Tips For Playing Resident Evil

Tips For Playing Resident Evil

If you’ve never played a Resident Evil game before, this week’s re-release is an excellent entry point. That said, it’s still a game with roots in 1996 game design. Excessive inventory management, unexplained mechanics, and a super weird save system are just the beginning.

I wrote about what this updated Resident Evil means for series diehards yesterday. The game allows you to ditch tank controls and view the game in widescreen. Is it worth another trip? Totally. But, hey, maybe you’re new to Raccoon City. It’s a scary place. I’ve got you covered!

Into the mansion we go…

Jill Valentine And Chris Redfield Aren’t A Palette Swap

Their storylines are a little bit different. While the plot moves in the same general direction, it’s substantial enough to warrant a second playthrough. There are gameplay differences, too. Jill has more inventory slots than Chris and carries a lockpick, which gains her early entry to rooms with substantial amounts of additional health and ammo. Chris can’t carry as many items, but he can take more damage, run faster, and aim more accurately. If you want an easier experience your first time, you’ll want to go with Jill. Plus, Jill gets to hang out with Barry!

The Game Doesn’t Explain Itself Well

As I’m exploring the mansion for the first time, I’m picking up ammo, medicinal herbs, and other random items scattered about. Pretty quickly, my inventory is completely full, but I’ve also run out of rooms to explore. Everything is locked. I’ve found a key on the ground, but Jill can’t pick it up. After another 15 minutes of exploration, I’m convinced I’ve somehow missed a storage box to stash my stuff. A walkthrough on GameFAQs, however, tells me otherwise. My only option, the one way to pick up that key, was to consume an herb and free up a slot. Ugh.

Never Stop Pressing The A Button

Most games are terrified players won’t find everything, which means items and other objects are often sparkling in plain view. While a few items are given this royal treatment in Resident Evil, plenty of them aren’t. Often, spare healing items and other useful equipment either won’t be highlighted or require blindly investigating a drawer or shelf. Sure, you might end up reading the description of a painting one too many times, but you’ll be thankful for the extra bullets.

Tips For Playing Resident Evil

You Can Aim Up And Down

Most of the time, the most effective strategy is to simply pull out your gun and shoot. Once you obtain the shotgun, however, there’s a little more nuance. In Resident Evil, players can shoot forward, up, and down. Enemies often temporarily fall to the ground after a few shots, which gives you a chance to put them down permanently by aiming down. With a shotgun, if you aim towards the sky, it’s also possible to blow off a zombie’s head with a single, clean shot.

Don’t Kill Everything That Wants To Kill You

Firing bullets is the easy way out, but it can get you into trouble later. Ammunition is scarce, especially in the early hours, so you’ll want to conserve as much as you can. Most rooms have space to navigate, giving you the freedom to run around a shambling zombie. Run away! Plus…

Not Everything Stays Dead

A big change with REmake was the introduction of crimson zombies. Crimson zombies are faster, scarier, and more powerful. When you kill a zombie, consider setting it on fire. While you only have access to limited amounts of gasoline, there’s nothing more terrifying than walking through a hallway and being unsure whether a zombie’s going to rise from the dead all over again. If you happen to decapitate a zombie with a shotgun or magnum, they will also stay down.

Tips For Playing Resident Evil

Your Knife Ain’t Too Shabby

One might call it an option of last resort, but when a zombie takes a few shots, it falls to the ground. That’s a perfect opportunity to get a few stabs in by aiming downwards. More often than not, the stab wounds will prevent the zombie from getting up, saving you a few bullets.

Make Use Of The Storage Box

Constant inventory management is an enormous (and still annoying) part of the Resident Evil experience. Thankfully, storage boxes are universal in this game. Whatever you put in one box will show up in another. It’s worth hustling back to a storage box to store an extra herb.

Listen, Look, And Observe

Sound and lighting are key to Resident Evil. Not only are the developers trying to freak you out, but they have also given you plenty of clues about the dangers ahead. The funky camera angles might prevent you from seeing where exactly a zombie is hiding, but the ambient shuffling lets you know how close an enemy is and shadows can tip off what side of the room they’re on.

Tips For Playing Resident Evil

Don’t Be Afraid To Save

You don’t have infinite save slots. While each save requires using an ink ribbon, the game gives you plenty. In the first hour, you’ll have nearly 10. There are surprises around every corner, which means you’re going to die a bunch. If you’re headed to a new area, save. There will be plenty of ink ribbons where you’re going. Why? Well, don’t think about that part too much.

Think About Making Your Own Map

While there’s an in-game, it’s basics. It tells you what doors are locked but not why. Getting around the mansion becomes second nature pretty quickly, but remembering what keys are used for what doors is fairly confusing, once you gain access to armour, helmet, and sword keys.

Tips For Playing Resident Evil

Prepare To Die

Well, this one’s self-explanatory.


  • I think the best advice you can get for this version of the classic Resident Evil is that it’s easier to outrun or just run around a standard zombie than it is to do the same to one of the reincarnated super zombies. Only kill things that you definitely need to kill and ALWAYS burn the bodies. I still get goosebumps thinking about playing this bad boy on Gamecube! I can’t wait for my pay check to go through this week!

  • Freaking loved the original, loved the Gamecube version even more. Man, I wish they would do something like this for RE2 and 3.

    • Yeah even the director of 3 expressed a desire to do a HD remake (but then admitted he doubts it would ever happen)

  • I’m enjoying this so much. I really hope they do RE Zero too! (Would be surprised if they didn’t.)

  • You forgot to mention always mix herbs! It saves space and lets you heal more! The best combo of Red+Green+Blue is a full heal that heals poison. Some people do triple green for a full heal. But double green + blue or just double green is usually enough to keep you ticking. And that extra Green is better spent on combining w/ a Green+Red which does full Heal

    • I don’t think there’s any benefit to mixing a blue in unless you need the space though… at least in original RE it was better just to keep a blue around to stop the poison, and heal separately.

      • I usually mix it w/ a RGB or GGB just to save space. Because poison isn’t really a common problem through most of the game and since it’s a DoT you can let it run till you’re near death and just heal + remove poison at the same time.

  • The only way to play this game is stop buying it, playing it, thinking about. Then soon enough it will no longer exist. Seriously people, these games are complete garbage, do not encourage them into thinking people want to play something so clunky. -1 out of 10 for every resident evil game. Officially a hater of the series and proud of it.

    • You are in the minority. Sorry man. People like these games.

      I know how you feel. I hate Halo and I think WoW is an utterly terrible game on practically every level. Love REmake, though.

    • Cool beans. Would you like a lollipop for your achievement? =P

      Honestly though the games not your thing and that’s fine not everyone is forced to like *everything* but why you would take the time to officially declare you hate the game when you can just ignore it and play games you would prefer is beyond me xD

  • The GC remake was so special, I just don’t know if its worth the price of admission again. Not really anything new to draw me back…decisions.

    • Once upon a time I would have snatched this up no questions asked since I was a huge RE tragic back in the days…. unfortunately being burned by Capcom from another game basically means I have a self imposed boycott on Capcom for the time being =P

  • I’ve only played the originals on Playstation and not the REmake, but a great tip imo is to try to use the right weapon vs the right creature. Like one bullet from a beretta is enough to put a dog on the ground, whereas you need many more to put a zombie on the ground. Meanwhile, you could also take out 3 zombies with one shot from a shotgun if you point it up at their heads.

    • REmake has an entire extra area with a new subplot that ties things together better with the later games.

      It’s also awesome. Totally worth your time.

    • Also just to add Shotguns no longer “insta crit” zombies on the REmake. You need to really line up the shotgun (well the first one anyway… the combat shotgun which you get later has better dmg and higher crit) to the head if you want the satisfying head pop insta kill!

      Also people seem to always forget… distance actually affects your dmg in the game (ie. shooting at a zombie from across the room does less dmg than a few steps away!)

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