After stumbling through the gloomier parts of the Spencer Mansion courtyard, past the crooked trees that haunt the dark and muddy paths, you arrive at a ramshackle wooden cabin. Inside is a typewriter and an item box, both familiar symbols of safety, but this is no sanctuary. The sweetly haunting keys of the safe room theme are absent.
You’re right to be cautious at this point as the cabin is anything but safe. The obstacle that Resident Evil HD Remaster throws at you here – another malformed, nigh-invincible monstrosity in a series teeming with them – is nothing remarkable at face value. It’s a shambling mess of clanking shackles and tentacles in a Leatherface mask; a checklist of series mainstays and horror homage. It’s only later on, once you’re able to put a name to this collector of faces, that the tragedy of the encounter surfaces.
The Resident Evil brand is horror, action, and high camp. It’s mad science and multi-layered conspiracies. The architects of its landmarks expect you to collect three busts of Greek goddesses before breakfast just to operate the toaster. Everyone speaks in goofy one liners and every laboratory, police station, and public toilet seems to have a built-in self-destruct mechanism with a ten minute timer. It’s barmy and I wouldn’t have it any other way.