You’ve Been Here Before
Resident Evil: Genesis is a re-telling of the very first RE storyline that gamers were treated to on the Sega Saturn and PlayStation. On those consoles, the game was a creepy, mind-blowing tale of a virus outbreak and an all-out zombie freak-fest. However, on the mobile platform, the story is rather watered down. This is to be expected with the limited capabilities of something like the BlackBerry in comparison to a dedicated home game console, but excuses don’t make the game any better.
The story is such a shadow of its former self that entire characters from the original title are either completely missing or barely get a name-drop in this version. Perhaps what it all comes down to is that Resident Evil is a survival horror franchise, and nothing on my Blackberry’s screen has ever scared me, least of all Resident Evil: Genesis.
Control Your Fear
The biggest hurdle for any established game franchise when making the move to mobile is figuring out a control scheme that will not only allow the player to get a handle on the action but also not completely break the game wide open. Unfortunately for Resident Evil: Genesis (you’re going to be hearing that a lot in this review), it not only trips over this hurdle, it falls flat on its face and is then run over by a speeding automobile while writhing on the ground in pain.
The action is presented in a 3/4 top-down isometric view, and your character moves about on screen via the use of the scroll wheel or the number buttons on the keyboard. This makes things far more complicated than they need to be, and something as simple as finding your way to the front of a door can sometimes become a challenge when your character just doesn’t want to stop on the correct grid square. As you can imagine, this control scheme also makes combat a bit tricky. Firing in the wrong direction and wasting precious ammunition is an all too-common occurrence in Genesis.
The Bottom Line (2 out of 5)
I have a feeling that many people will be tricked into buying Resident Evil: Genesis as it looks rather nice in screenshots. And, truth be told, the game does LOOK like a winner. Seeing zombies shuffling toward your character in a very Sims-esque setting will certainly appeal to a large number of people. However, once you lay your hands on the game itself, those smiles will quickly turn to confused stares as you die over and over and over again at the hands of a control scheme that really doesn’t want you to win. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the game’s control set-up is the scariest thing about it.
This laundry list of issues is only made more glaring by the fact that Genesis will set you back a solid $10. That is quite a steep price for a mobile game, and, when that ten bucks changes hands, it is most likely paying for the franchise name and nothing more. The game is just plain bad, and its unique attempt at mobile survival horror just isn’t enough to save it from the mobile port graveyard. Avoid.