The Resident Evil series is certainly an interesting one. The series is one of the most successful in the industry, yet the quality of its entries range from groundbreaking to downright awful. Thankfully the series has returned to form in recent years, seeing success with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and the focus of today’s article; Resident Evil 2.
The original Resident Evil 2 released in 1998. Early last year, it received a fresh coat of paint in the form of a complete remake. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the game, it takes place within the Racoon City Police Department. Set two months after the events of the original title, most of Racoon City’s population have been turned into zombies.
There are two playable characters in the game. The first is Leon, a police officer who had plans to report to the station for his first day of duty. The other is Claire Redfield, who’s in search of her older brother Chris who appeared in the original.
While featuring a number of parallels that are sure to be recognised by fans of the original, the Resident Evil 2 remake also features some drastic changes. The most notable is, of course, the gameplay style. Instead of the fixed-camera and tank-like controls, the remake uses over-the-shoulder third-person gameplay elements, much like the critically acclaimed Resident Evil 4. Aside from that, there are a few narrative changes, along with some differences between the design of the police station and the items that are available within.
Resident Evil 2 is one of my favourite games in recent years. Built from the ground up on the RE Engine, the game looks stunning. The Racoon City Police Department building is designed wonderfully, receiving an awesome makeover that looks great and terrifying at the same time. Of course, this is where the game’s greatest strength lies as it continuously builds up the tension more and more right until its conclusion. You can largely credit this to the enemy design in the game, as even your average zombie can be a real threat at the right time especially if you’re faced with multiple zombies at once. Factor in other enemies like the Licker and the ever-so-popular Mr X. and you’ll find yourself checking every corner as you move through the game.
To progress through the game, you’ll be doing a lot of exploring to find solutions to many puzzles. The puzzles themselves are easy enough, but from my experience, I found that most of the time taken was due to running back and forth collecting different pieces of each puzzle. It essentially forces you to learn the ins and outs of the map, but you’ll definitely find yourself feeling lost in the early stages of the game.
Admittedly, the story mode is quite short, and your first run will likely last around five hours. However, this is negated by the number of playthrough options present within the game. Both Claire and Leon have two playthroughs each. Weapons and item locations differ between these, as do some gameplay segments. You can also run the game on higher difficulties, and there are DLC campaigns available for free too. I’m a bit of an achievement hunter, so I’ve been making my way through collecting them all and will likely settle on around six playthroughs in total. This might seem excessive to some, but the gameplay loop in Resident Evil 2 is so fun that I haven’t felt fatigued by the game at all just yet.
Resident Evil 2 is the perfect example of a remake that goes above and beyond to provide an experience that is not only true to the original game but also feels like its own entity at the same time. Capcom has once again created a terrifying experience where players will constantly be on their toes. Some might find an issue with the length of the campaigns, but there are multiple runs to play through so you’re certainly getting your value for money.
Resident Evil 2 has been out for a while now, but if you’ve yet to give it a shot it’s an absolute must-play.