After many years of fan speculation and rumors, Capcom has finally released a revamp of Resident Evil 2, the classic survival horror game! Many gamers will remember the original from 1998 as being a highly impressive (and terrifying!) video game for the time. Available on the original PlayStation, this game featured some groundbreaking cut scenes, brilliant CGI, and profoundly memorable plotlines.
Above all, it was a thrilling zombie game, and it was among the first of its kind. It taught us how to save ammo, solve puzzles, slash and hack with strategy, and run away when necessary to avoid hoards of twisted zombies.
So how did the remake do? Is it the best or worst Capcom game so far? Find out in this Resident Evil 2 review!
Resident Evil Remake
The remake of Resident Evil 2 was released at the beginning of this year. And in just three months, sales exceeded over 4 million units! It was a long wait too, with plans of the remake announced as early as 2002 by Capcom.
The reason why the remake is available only now is that Shinji Mikami, the creator, planned a Resident Evil 4 remake at the same time. Perhaps the wait was worth it, too, since the response was quite mixed regarding Capcom’s other game remakes.
In 2019, Resident Evil 2 was finally published for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows.
However, its release was discussed by many critics, and a lot of people were expecting a flop. Luckily, they were wrong.
The new game is a ground-up revamp featuring top-notch graphics. It also offers updated controls and a dual plotline which is even darker and much more disturbing. Resident Evil 7 from 2017 was perhaps the most successful recent game in the series. Capcom surely had that in mind when they created this Resident Evil game remake.
In fact, Resident Evil 2 includes all the best moments from the original and blends them with contemporary game design elements. It also uses some of the most successful aspects from newer games in the Resident Evil series. In many ways, it’s a completely new game with all the essential elements of the original and a whole lot of improvements.
Unlike other game remakes, which simply add new textures and boost the resolution over the old game versions, Capcom has truly exceeded all our expectations. They rebuilt this game from the first to last pixel and paid attention to every little detail. Actually, RE 7’s engine was used to power the new remake. This could be why it looks completely unique and so fresh.
A Classic Zombie Story With a Twist
As mentioned, the game includes two scenarios for characters Claire Redfield and Leon Lennedy. The story starts off much like the source material the college student and rookie cop traveling to Raccoon City in hopes of finding answers. After the events of the first Resident Evil story, the entire population of Raccoon City has become fully zombified. The pair then get separated due to an accident. Then, they must escape the city with zombies and all sorts of creatures like the Tyrant super-zombie chasing after them.
One of the things we spotted immediately is that the second game mode isn’t all that different from the main mode.
Whether you play with Leon or Claire, the differences are minimal. The second mode in Claire’s story will offer new locations and reshuffled quest items, but the events that will happen are more or less the same.
The bosses and supporting characters are nearly identical too. The main thing that changes is the character perspectives and playstyles. For instance, Leon has a flame thrower and shotgun while Claire has a grenade launcher and machine gun. Nevertheless, the differences are just enough to make you want to replay the game again. And that’s a good thing due to the remake’s superb visual effects and tons of gameplay options.
While the original featured glitchy, pixelated graphics and animations, the remake is a full 3D redo. It contains incredible atmospheric effects, fantastic environments, and detailed character animations. Plus, the zombies are some of the best you’ll ever see in the genre!
Most of the zombies are new, but some of them have been reused, which is great since you’ll surely remember them.
One thing that’s also completely new is the anatomy of the zombies, or better yet, the way they look when you shoot or dismember them! The mechanics of the game have also been updated, and the controls are fast and intuitive. For instance, Leon Kennedy and college student Claire Redfield now move swiftly and in a way that makes sense. In the original, movements were slow and sort-of irrational. The dark hallways and other environments have superbly realistic designs, too.
The main setting of the game is the police department that is completely abandoned, very low on supplies, and covered in blood. Plus, corpses are everywhere. One of the things that terrified us the most is that we didn’t know which corpse was fully dead and which one could rise up and take us down.
The gameplay of the remake will make you think back to the original and remember some of the most successful tactics. However, the remake features even less ammo than before, and the threat is much bigger.
While players move through the rooms and hallways, they’ll encounter strange puzzles which are some of the key elements of the game. One of them will make you look for three medallions in the police station, and another will make you look for a special key. The game is full of places you can explore. And the smartest thing you can do is conserve ammo and inventory items.
On top of that, some of the improved aspects include automatic map updates for rooms that you’ve already cleared. It’s incredibly useful since you don’t have to go back and forth like in the original. Also, the new game includes unlimited save points which will speed up the game quite a lot.
Moreover, the Tyrant is surely among the best aspects of the game. The super-zombie will stalk the player with a nightmare-inducing, stoic face and disturbingly creepy movements. The Tyrant’s presence truly becomes terrifying while you’re solving a puzzle and need to avoid him.
Another thing that got our attention was the outstanding sound design. Namely, the soundtrack is minimal and leaves plenty of space for creepy noises. However, it’s also a complete redo. There are subtle nods to the original score all over the game, but the main soundtrack is a lot different, which could upset some die-hard fans. Nevertheless, the new score is equally terrifying and combined with precise and detailed sound effects, it certainly contributes a lot to the new game.
What Needs to Change
Some fans have expressed frustration due to the new soundtrack, but there are also some issues where the game didn’t do so well.
Namely, some players have argued that the zombies simply take too long to kill (headshots will not put them down) and that it can be hard to estimate if they’ll get back up or not. It takes around five shots only to get them down. Yet, they can get back up quickly, and you can never be sure that they’ll stay down. Granted, the game is meant to be extremely limiting for the player.
Another thing that’s missing from the original is the huge spiders in the sewers as well as the infected crows. Luckily, those are only minor changes that do not interrupt the gameplay too much. It’s probably best to view this game as a remake with a few updates and changes and not as a full-on, contemporary replica of the old classic.
The premise of the original Resident Evil 2 game is extremely simple, but it offers hours of gruesome and extremely horrifying zombie action! Overall, the remake has absolutely outdone itself aside from some major flaws. It’s an entirely new game created with a new engine, but it contains most of the original’s nostalgia-evoking elements.
The gameplay is surely up to par with the newest games out there today. Plus, the graphics are among the best in the RE series. Moreover, while the soundtrack is not the same as in the original game, it’s a perfect fit. So if you’re a fan of the series, definitely play Resident Evil 2!