Set just a day prior to the mansion incident which unfolded in ResEvil 1, Resident Evil Zero puts you in the shoes of Rebecca Chambers, who would end up being the sole survivor of the S.T.A.R.S. Bravo team. Also playable is newcomer, Billy Coen, a man falsely accused for the murder of 23 people. Throughout the 24-hour long events, you can "zap" between the two, controlling them both in the same period of time. It is also possible to simultaneously control them both by moving the second character with the C stick, although you will probably never use this new technique, as it will quickly become, and stay, unbelievably difficult to control both characters at the same time. So instead, you will spend the entire game "zapping" between them. Although it is a little less nerve wracking to almost always have someone at your side throughout the game, this would have been the perfect entrance for co-op into the series, but unfortunately that wouldn't come until seven years later with the release of ResEvil 5.
The graphics in Resident Evil 0 are some of the best to ever grace the Gamecube console during it's entire life span, much like the remake of original. Even today it holds up against some of the new generation titles. Nothing in this game has a terribly "video game" quality to it, that makes you realize you're looking at a game at first glance. Sure, you're not that stupid to look at a screenshot and think some schmuck grabbed his camera at the right moment, but some environments in the game clearly look real. Water, for example. In the game's first area, you will find yourself walking in and out of a kitchen numerous times, so just take time to stop and look at the gorgeously rendered water just spilling out of the sink next to you. You'll definitely begin to believe your Gamecube will fry in a few moments, due to exposure to water, because it looks that real. Not long after, you'll have to walk on top of the moving train, and the forest whipping past you might just knock you off your feet.
What many see as a problem within the game, the controls, I have no problem with. Okay, maybe it's not all that fair since I've gotten use to these controls in many RE games before this, but the so-called "tank" controls, present no real problem with me. Sometimes, just like in any Resident Evil game, you'll find yourself trapped in a corner, and will almost indefinitely get bit, or clawed, or lunged upon, but the game's quick 180 turn around should get you out of those sticky situations fast. And if you're new to the series, and can't seem to escape, and just keep getting attacked, there are plenty of healing items lying around for your aid. Ammo, just like health, is in no short supply. Some RE games have been incredibly stingy with ammo and health supply, but some others, like Zero, provide you with more than enough to make it out of the nightmare alive.
The story may be the only thing that holds Zero from getting a higher score. Everything else is done just right, in true RE fashion. While the story does provide fans with some much need back round info, the game's story ends up veering off course at some point. At face value, the story seems just fine, but while playing the game, you'll notice the sense of excitement and fear you got at the beginning go away. Maybe it's not the story, but perhaps the level design, but they both play a role in Zero's surprisingly low grade compared to other RE titles.
Graphics - 4.5 out of 5
Controls - 4.0 out of 5
Story - 3.6 out of 5
Level Design - 3.3 out of 5
Replay Value - 3.4 out of 5