21 years after the release of Resident Evil 2 on the PS1, Capcom has put out a fully reimagined version of the game with modern technology, while still staying faithful to its original release. With Resident Evil 2, they continued with the traditional horror that brought Capcom success after the release of Resident Evil 7 back in 2017.
Scarier Than Before
When announced at last year’s E3, I have been looking forward to it ever since. From the success of Resident Evil 7, it seemed Capcom was getting back on track with its traditional horror franchise, and Resident Evil 2 is no exception. The game is played in third person, as opposed to the fixed camera and tank controls in the original. This change benefits the game as a fixed camera with tank controls are not expected anymore this generation, so Capcom was forced to change the gameplay style. The game is remade on the RE Engine, making the game look great while bringing in some similar mechanics that were used in RE 7. This also helps to the horror aspect of the game as it makes it difficult to see things coming at you in certain areas and scenarios, allowing the game to be scarier. The horror really is one of the best parts of the game. Many times, the game gets me with some pretty clever jump scares, leaving me frightened to continue exploring to my objective.
The standard Resident Evil enemies you’ve come to expect like the zombies and lickers are in the game and will always just show up at the least convenient times. But it’s not until the monstrous tyrant, Mr X. makes his appearance later on that the game truly gets frightening. This hulking man could drain lots of your bullets without even flinching while wiping half your health away in a single hit. While making your way through the police station, you will constantly hear his footsteps getting closer to you. Although, Mr. X’s challenging and eerie presence in the game makes it more enjoyable, he can be quite a nuisance when you’re just trying to solve a puzzle. If you’re in the middle of one and he makes his way towards you, you will have to run away and lead him somewhere else and return to the spot to complete it. You will also have several boss fights throughout the game, none of which feel the same but each battle is still frightening.
From the get go, Resident Evil 2 gives you the option to play as one of the two main characters, Leon Kennedy, a fresh recruit of Racoon City Police Department as well as Claire Redfield, a college student in search of her older brother. Each character gives you a different perspective on the sudden outbreak. You’ll have some different interactions with characters and explore some new areas, but for the most part, the overall narrative of the two remains the same. And like the original, in order to get the full story of Resident Evil 2, you have to play the game once with each character to unlock the true ending.
Despite the fact that the game requires you to play the story twice to see everything it has to offer, just one playthrough of the game can be relatively short. Because the alternate playthrough with the other character isn’t completely different, some people may choose to not play the game again and just settle with the first ending they got. With just a singular playthrough of the game, you could beat it in around 6 to 7 hours. The game also comes with a special challenge mission where you play as Resident Evil fan favorite character Hunk. This one mission tasks you with backtracking through the game to escape in a helicopter while fending off the undead. While this one side mission is fun the first couple of times, I can’t see any reason to return to it after players have completed it.
The Resident Evil 2 remake stays faithful to the 1998 original while giving it modern graphics and controls. It’s a delight that a game from three console generations ago manages to be even scarier today. With two characters to play as; both telling a great story, it’s hard not to recommend this game. Although there isn’t much left to do in the game after the two campaigns are completed, the single player experience alone is truly enjoyable, especially if you’re a fan of horror games.