Resident Evil 2 is a remake of the 1998 PlayStation game, which helped define the survival horror genre and make PlayStation a household name. Developed by Capcom R&D Division 1 and published by Capcom, Resident Evil 2 is available for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
In an effort to modernize and make the game more accessible, Resident Evil 2 includes a whole slew of updates. Some of which include a new camera system, updated graphics, and gameplay that focuses on horror over action.
Is Resident Evil 2 every bit as scary and fun to play today as it was 20 years ago? Let’s find out!
Resident Evil 2 Details
A zombie outbreak ravages Raccoon City
Resident Evil 2 takes place in a remote mountain community known as Raccoon City just two months after the first game. The city is rocked by a zombie outbreak caused by the T-virus—a secret biological weapon developed by the pharmaceutical company Umbrella. You can assume the roll of police rookie Leon Kennedy, or college student Claire Redfield, who is looking for her brother Chris Redfield, as you try and unravel the mystery behind Umbrella Corp and the T-virus.
Playing as either character you pull up to a gas station on your way in to Raccoon City and quickly realize that something is wrong. You bump into one another and make a quick escape towards Raccoon City Police station in hopes of getting help and making sense of it all. Not long after, you are separated and this is where your adventure begins as either Leon or Claire.
For the most part regardless if you pay as Leon or Claire, you experience and story is very similar. However, there are a few differences that shake things up a bit. And, though I played Resident Evil 2 when it was first released on PlayStation back in 1998, the technological advancements in the past 20 years help give the story a new life and seem like a breath of fresh air.
Updated and modernized gameplay
Aside from the massively updated visuals, one of the first improvements I noticed was the third-person, over-the-shoulder view. It allows you to get a much better view of what is going on and makes gameplay more pleasant. Thank goodness the fixed camera angles are gone. They often allowed for cheap attacks by the zombies and messed up the direction you were walking or running—especially when trying to get away from a zombie attack.
If you’ve played the original game on PlayStation, don’t think that you will be able to solve every puzzle or find all the items in a snap. Layouts of many of the locations such as the Raccoon City Police station have been tweaked and puzzles have been updated so that they are not as tedious as they once were.
Another feature that I really like is now the map will update and let you know once you have gotten all the items from each room and what is left in them. This makes it extremely handy when you are looking for gunpowder or herbs.
Survival horror at its finest
Just like in the original game, inventory management is key to success. It is important to carefully evaluate every item you have and determine it if will be of use to you. Some items can be combined and others you will have to examine to find out their true use. In addition to the trunks at save spots that allow you to store items, there are hip pouches that you will need to find that will allow you to expand your inventory every so slightly.
As the survival horror name suggests, Resident Evil 2 isn’t about going in guns blazing and taking every thing out that you see. With barely enough supplies to survive the sense of vulnerability is extremely high. Watch out for Mr. X! This massive Tyrant is invincible and you can only stun him for a short period of time. I’ll be honest, when Mr. X was chasing me, I was genuinely frightened. In addition to items being scare, so are save locations. Dying by the hands of Mr. X usually means losing a considerable amount of progress.
Overall, Resident Evil 2 is a more accessible than it was 20 years ago. It will still give you a decent challenge and some puzzles will take a bit more work to figure out but it’s never overly difficult. There a several different difficulty levels but you can expect your first run through to take you between 8-10 hours.
Breathtaking visuals and sound
Resident Evil 2 uses the RE Engine and is absolutely gorgeous. The opening sequence is done using the in-game engine and within seconds of starting, my jaw literally hit the floor. This is the same engine used in Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and it allows Capcom to create an absolutely terrific horrifying atmosphere. Furthermore, the game’s lighting and shadow effects are equally impressive and to top it all off, the game runs at a buttery smooth frame rate.
In addition to the game’s visuals, the audio and sound effects are absolutely exquisite. The sounds of moaning zombies and the clearly recognizable stomps of Mr. X complete the immersive experience that Resident Evil 2 offers.
Resident Evil 2 is the perfect example of how to successfully remake a game
It amazing the amount of care and detail that Capcom has put into remaking one of the all-time greatest survival horror games, Resident Evil 2. Gameplay has been modernized in several different ways that now make this a game that everyone can enjoy. Giving a focus on horror over action was a fantastic idea and welcomed change. It helps create some of the most on the edge of your seat moments I’ve had in recent memory.
Resident Evil 2 offers solid gameplay, phenomenal graphics and an immersive atmosphere. I highly recommend Resident Evil 2 and it is one of my favourite games of the year so far.
+ Modernized gameplay
+ Phenomenal updated visuals
+ Immersive atmosphere
+ Offers a decent challenge but never frustrating
+ Revival of the survival horror genre done right
– 2nd Run is a more difficult remixed version rather than a second half
– A few graphical glitches here and there
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF RESIDENT EVIL 2
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5