Who Let the Blogs Out?!
[Halloween is my favorite holiday, and October my favorite month. Let’s kick this year’s spooky festivities off right with an oldie but goodie from Nathan D exploring the excellent camera work from 2015’s remake of Resident Evil. This is part of our Who Let the Blogs Out?! series highlighting awesome community stuff we missed the first time around. Get your butt into gear and write about your favorite spooky things from video games, and you could see your work on Destructoid’s front page! – Wes]
Halloween is just around the corner (and so are zombies…probably). Why not talk about one of the last true survival horror games?
The pre-rendered camera angle of early survival horror and adventure games has become a lost art. While notorious to some gamers for inhibiting the player’s view and being overly disorienting, the pre-rendered camera angle is an incredibly effective way of creating mood and atmosphere. Few games have done this form of art better than the remake of the original Resident Evil. Taking cues from classic Gothic horror, the camera and environmental design combine to create a game world dripping with atmosphere and detail…
Alright, let’s stop being so formal – RE REMAKE IS SO F***ING COOL. I know what you’re thinking: “Geez, calm down Nathan. They’re just camera angles.” No, I won’t calm down. They’re too cool. Let’s look at some examples why.
(Just so you know, I’m going to be saying “cool” a lot.)
The Dining Hall
One of the more iconic angles of the game, this one is rather effective at getting down to the character’s level and defining their size and place in the environment. The bent candelabra is a nice touch, too. That’s cool…
Ooooo, look at this one! The Dutch angle combined with out of frame light source that casts Jill’s shadow across the wall is pretty foreboding. Pretty cool…
Dining Hall 2nd Floor
Nothing special about this one in and of itself, but look at the shadow the zombie casts. No one really notices the incredible lighting and shadows in REmake because they’re integrated so well, and this is one of those instances. Really cool…
Look at how cool this looks! Talk about creating a unique and spooky perspective. It’s not very subtle, what with having you walk by a gravestone, but damn if it doesn’t get the job done. Freaking cool…
Woah, coolness overload. Claustrophobia, dread, and foreshadowing all combine a sense of apprehension of what ungodly thing is at the bottom of those stairs. The Dutch angle and depth that you are allowed to see to might as well imply you are going to the depths of Hell itself. Gah, IT’S SO COOL!
Main Hall 2nd Floor
This angle does a great job of conveying the sheer enormity of the Main Hall, and furthermore, your insignificance in the scope of the mansion. Plus, when lightning strikes and casts shadows on everything…whoo. Isn’t that cool?
“I’m Ready For My Closeup”
This angle exists for one purpose: “Hey, look at how badass our character models are!” Too cool…
Northeast Corner Stairwell
Nothing too special here, but the fact the lightning flashes can be seen through the window is some pretty neat attention to detail. Plus, if you examine the pictures it says that all of the faces have been, “scratched out.” It just adds some flavor and character to the mansion.
Northeast Corner 2nd Floor
I don’t know why, but I’ve always liked this area of the game, even back in the original. It just feels lonely somehow, even though there are A LOT of zombies. Also, it’s really neat how the camera is framed so you can see the zombie hiding around the corner on the right. Super cool…
LOOK AT HOW SPOOKY THIS LOOKS. There is absolutely no reason this camera angle exists other than to freak you out. There is never an enemy that pops out on any of the difficulties. It’s just there to troll you, and I love it for that. SO. FREAKING. COOL.
“Was There A Fight?”
Not particularly spooky, but it adds to the mysterious air and subtle backstory implied by the mansion. This hall is littered with broken mirror and plate shards, but doesn’t totally imply that they were broken by the people who were attacked and zombified in it. The mirror is too high up to have been broken by someone being attacked, and the broken plate here is not positioned right to be broken by accident. It looks like it was possibly thrown and someone put it back on the table after it was broken. If there was a physical altercation, what started it? Interesting…
Tell me this isn’t cool. Not much to say here, I think it speaks for itself.
“In the Moonlight”
Isn’t it cool how the moonlight allows the dust particles to be seen?
On top of being a pretty cool angle on it’s own, the moths dancing around the light are a really nice touch. It’s a great example of how REmake combined static backgrounds, real time shadows, and 3D models to create a totally believable and immersive game world.
Well, I think that’s it. For some reason, the environments outside of the mansion all have camera angles that are a little more purely functional, as opposed to some of the more evocative ones already shown. I’m sure I’ve missed some, so be sure to post your favorite ones in the comments!
What do you think of pre-rendered camera angles? Should they come back? Should they be abandoned forever? Should they perhaps make a return in the upcoming RE2 remake?
Discuss away! Thanks for coming, and I hope you had as much fun reading this as I did writing it.