Resident Evil: Deadly Silence is an enhanced version of the original Resident Evil for the Nintendo DS port. It was made to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the series. Toshiaki Mori provided promotional artwork during the release of the game, including cover art. The game was released in Japan on January 19, 2006, North America on February 7, 2006 and was released in Europe on March 31, 2006.
There are many new features added into Deadly Silence, including "Knife Battle" sequences (seen from a first-person perspective) in which the player must stab enemies in the face by swinging the knife via the stylus. The player can also shake off enemies by using touch screen and stab a zombie (instead of merely pushing away the enemy). The file, "Eric's Letter" replaces the MO Disk in the library for Rebirth mode. This letter reveals the new location of the first Doom Book, which leads to a knife battle against the Yawn. There are fewer Hunters in Rebirth mode, replaced by the hardly-seen Chimeras. New unlockable costumes from Chris, Jill and Rebecca are added in addition to the original ones.
"Classic Mode" is basically the story mode to the original game with only a few alterations, such as a re-designed subscreen and the addition of touch-screen controls to a few of the original game's puzzles (including the original voice acting and black and white opening and color ending FMV sequences).
"Rebirth Mode" contains a greater enemy ratio and new puzzles that make use of the hardware's unique features and characteristics. This is the first Nintendo DS game to be rated Mature. This mode contains new puzzles which make use of the system's touch-screen and microphone to solve puzzles. Most notable is the CPR mini-game, where the player as Jill or Chris must blow into the microphone in order to perform CPR on the injured Richard.
The game includes wireless support (LAN-only) for up to four players with two different multiplayer game modes. The first is a cooperative mode in which each player must help each other come together. The other is a competitive mode in which the objective is to get the highest score out of all the players by destroying the most monsters (with the tougher monsters being worth more points). There are three playable multiplayer stages (the Mansion, Guest House and Laboratory) and nine playable characters (Chris, Jill, Barry, Rebecca, Wesker, Forest, Kenneth, Richard and Enrico).
The game makes use of the console's dual screen display with the top screen used to display the map, along with the player's remaining ammo and health (determined by the color of the background); while the bottom screen displays the main game play, as well as switch to the player's inventory. The game also include updated play mechanics from the later games; the 180-degree turn first introduced in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, along with the quick reload and knife button from Resident Evil 4. The updated controls are applicable to both Classic and Rebirth modes. Dialogue and loading screens can be skipped as well. The opening intro and Chris's bad ending used in the DS release were censored (even in the Japanese version). However, the scene that shows Kenneth's decapitated head had been kept.
Resident Evil: Deadly Silence garnered a lot of criticisms, however. Despite how beloved the first Resident Evil game has become, several critics were upset that Deadly Silence was yet another version of the very first Resident Evil. The lack of more extras only made it more disappointing. Many gamers also expressed that there was no point to getting Resident Evil: Deadly Silence for the list price of $34.99 when the Director's Cut version came significantly cheaper.
However, much praise was given to the gameplay additions in Rebirth mode such as quick turning, the knife no longer taking up inventory and being accessed with the L button for quick knifing, the tactical reload introduced in Resident Evil 4, which makes reloading much easier and faster, something that not even the GameCube remake had, and the ability to skip through door opening animations. These additions make Deadly Silence one of the most playable versions of RE1.
Critics were split on whether or not the crisp DS screen enhanced the visuals or detracted from them. On one hand it was possible to see much greater detail but on the other hand it wasn't as smooth or soft as when viewing on a TV screen, making the backgrounds appear obviously pre-rendered.
When you are given the choice to choose between "Classic" mode or "Rebirth" mode, if you press and hold the right d-pad button for a few seconds the writing will turn green. This will enable "Training" mode which is very similar to the training mode enabled in the "Director's cut" version of Resident Evil, which you obtain by following the same process listed above. "Training" mode makes the game considerably easier and doubles any ammo or ink ribbons you pick up.
- Official website (Japanese)