Before the more recent game gradually started shying away from anything that might hurt their mainstream appeal, the Resident Evil series was known for its puzzles. They were often ridiculous and nonsensical, but they’re also challenging, and that made solving them rewarding. I don’t mind having to scour every inch of a creepy, zombie-infested mansion for a key shaped like an arrowhead because I know that when I do, I’ll have earned my special fuck-yeah-I-rock-at-horror-games dance.
Thankfully, game design trends seem to be shifting away from the hand-holdy garbage that plagues too many modern video games — thank you, Dark Souls — so we might see this shift away from long-winded tutorials and busy HUDs in more games, including horror games.
With the release of the Resident Evil HD remaster last month and the recent debut of Resident Evil Revelations 2, I thought it might be fun to look back at the best and worst puzzles the series has thrown at us so far.
Looking back, I can think of about a dozen puzzles that made me feel especially good when I bested them, but the water samples puzzle from Resident Evil 3 may be the most satisfying of the bunch. I hated this puzzle until I solved it.
It wasn’t until after the frustrating bit was over that I was able to forget about the fact that I just spent 20 minutes of my life cursing at the screen as Jill fumbled her way through a console filled with rows of colored patterns, or whatever that thing was about.
Now it’s your turn!
For better or worse, what’s the most memorable puzzle from the Resident Evil series so far?
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