The achievement for finishing this additional episode is currently listed as ‘rare’. This seems a trifle odd, as not only is this add-on free but it’s also rather short, lasting around two hours.
We can only assume it has taken such a long time coming (it was originally due shortly after RE VII’s launch) that many Resident Evil fans had simply given up waiting, either trading-in their copies or forgetting about it entirely.
Not a Hero sees franchise stalwart Chris Redfield head back into the abandoned mine under the Baker’s property, in a bid to rescue three captured squad members. Resident psychopath Lucas has rigged the mine with a few nasty surprises, turning it into a mental challenge of sorts. There’s nothing here quite as elaborate as the main game’s ‘Happy Birthday’ VHS tape, though. In fact, this add-on is rather archaic in terms of design.
After a spot of mindless shooting, Redfield finds himself in a large central cavern. From here, three paths lead off to a trio of rather non-descript tunnels, each of which houses an item required to progress. These mostly come in the form of upgrades for Chris’ military-grade helmet, with the premise being that some caverns are full of toxic gas; something that adds a welcome sense of urgency.
Chris Redfield’s bulging biceps are put to good use, used to knock seven shades of mould out of the main game’s common foes. Soon, a new enemy is introduced – one that must be avoided until a new ammo type is discovered. This also leads to a few panicked moments. Alas, they’re only fleeting – once Redfield’s trusty pistol is locked and loaded, these new enemies go down with one hit.
As for puzzles, there’s just one, which simply involves shoving a few minecarts into position. Rest assured that the focus remains on action here, backed by the presence of a colossal enemy stalking the mines, and the final confrontation with Lucas – Not a Hero’s showpiece.
Although there is scope for an additional playthrough – the elusive antique coins return, and there’s an extra unlockable difficulty mode – Not a Hero is very much a ‘one run and done’ experience.
It’s hard to sniff at a two-hour chapter that’s free, considering it manages to engage for its duration, but we have a feeling it wasn’t delayed to make improvements. We’re more inclined to believe Capcom pushed it back until the launch of the ‘Gold Edition’ as had they charged even just a fiver (or thereabouts), chances are it would have still been criticised for feeling a tad insubstantial.