REVIEW – Well this generation has certainly been a surprise for the gaming medium. While most people in the entertainment industry loathe remakes when it comes to movies or TV series. It seems that the gaming industry just keeps hitting it out of the park. First Shadow of the Colossus, Ratchet and Clank, and now Resident Evil 2. A classic and original 1998 survival horror has been remade, and not just simply remastered with some extra high-resolution textures. Instead, we get a whole new reimagining of the 1998 cult classic with expanded ideas.
Unlike most remakes, this is not a cheap cash-in on nostalgia and Capcom is heavily banking on success. Let us see if they made something truly terrifying or is it a shlocky Z horror.
The Police Department of the Dead
Resident Evil 2 takes place two months after the incident in the Mansion, and Raccoon City has become a zombie-infested hellhole. Our two new heroes Claire Redfield, and Leon Kennedy make their way to the city, only to be greeted by a legion of zombies. Both of them head to the Police Station where they are forced to survive, and figure a way out of the mess, all the while also uncovering a conspiracy. The story only matches in broad strokes with the original, but a lot of new scenes have been added, and the way A/B Scenario is handled is also different. Rather than the „Zapping” mechanic, you play through whichever character you first choose, and then once completed you have the option to complete the game with a different scenario with your other character.
Both sides as per the original game, are entirely different with separate routes, story beats, and cutscenes. They also provide different weapons and challenges along the way. The two campaigns last around, depending on the difficulty the player chooses around 6-8 hours per campaign, so you get around 14-16 hours in total. There will also be a few extra DLC coming as recently announced by Capcom. In the end, the story is a great reimagining of the original Resident Evil 2, and expands, changes the storyline not for the worse (the usual thing that happens with remakes), but for the better.
Shoulder Aim For the Head
One of the most fundamental changes to the gameplay of Resident Evil 2 is that rather than doing the good old „tank” controls, it now works just like Resident Evil 4. Over the shoulder aim, and that means that the game also has a new gore system. You can shoot off enemy heads, legs, and arms, and those zombies will react accordingly. They also put a new fun mechanic where you are able to board up the police precinct’s windows to encounter fewer zombies. Which is needed as the zombies are not your typical one shot to the head they are dead zombies. Instead in line with the Resident Evil lore they act more as Bio-Organic Weapons, where it will take a lot of bullets to take them down. The inventory’s design has also changed, and it is a copy of Resident Evil 7, which was a clean and simple inventory, does its job and does not outstay its welcome.
Unlike Dead Rising, or pretty much any other Zombie Survival game even though you have weapons, you can just ignore the zombies to escape most situations. In fact, piling up ammo, and shooting for the legs to make the simple zombies immobile is sometimes more manageable than trying to kill them. As ammo is scarce so the player will have to make tough decisions during the storyline, plus sometimes careful planning and stealth will get you further than simply guns blazing.
The gameplay of Resident Evil 2 has not changed, they just added a couple of new and interesting ideas, and the new camera system to accommodate the new graphics. In the end, it is a mix of RE4 and RE7 added on to the story and location of RE2. It simply works, and the blend, in the end, becomes a great third-person survival game.
Gore and Screams
Resident Evil was already not for the faint of heart, but with this remake, the developers have gone out of their way to make everything disgusting and bloody. From Hellblazer like body horror to screams of agony, the remake does not hold back. The new RE engine that was used in Resident Evil 7 has been updated and drives the experience for RE2 Remake. The result is something of a technical marvel, where the environments, the enemies, and even the sound effects (for the most part). Every shot has a visible effect on the zombies, and most enemies, not just by simply falling down or crawling, but bits of flesh tear away as they get shot. They scream when hit by flame shots, or if they get hit by a shotgun round. The environment also has been completely remade and looks stunning, plus there are alternative routes, new secrets, and all in high definition. Also, the HDR makes the game pop out more if you have a 4K HDR TV.
Sadly though some of the sound effects are lacking especially the gunshots sound like peashooters. The howls and screams are good, and the explosions have great depth to them. Also, there is a bit of a lack of music or themes in the game. Other than beside Mr X’s chase sequences or HUNK mode’s theme not many memorable themes are in the game. There is also no save room music which is a tad bit disappointing, but you also have the option to replace the music with the original with DLC so if you have the Delux Edition or bought it separately you are able to have a bit of nostalgia.
An Excellent Remake
Unlike most movie remake, the videogame industry just got one remake that is superb, and Capcom did the necessary legwork to make this a special game. In the end, it returns the franchise to its status as king of survival horror and even puts a new spin on its best game.
+ Fun campaigns, and also long
+ Great graphics
+ Tense moments
– Sound design is lacking a bit
– Zombies can be bullet spongey, especially on hard mode
– Mr X might annoy some
Genre: Survival Horror
Release date: January 25, 2018