Genre: Survival Horror/ Puzzle
Platform: PS4, XBOX ONE, PC
Release Date: January, 25th 2019
Description: For the past 23 years, the Resident Evil franchise has been creatively terrifying players around the world with their heart-pounding jump scares and anxiety-inducing gameplay. In 1998, Japanese publisher Capcom released their flagship title Resident Evil 2. This beloved game is considered as one of the best of the franchise, and it only makes considerable sense that it would eventually get a full-blown remake. In the summer of 2018, Capcom officially announced that they would be remaking Resident Evil 2 with updated graphics, improved gameplay mechanics, and new scares. With all of that out of the way, let’s jump into what I thought of the game! *For this review I have only played Claire’s portion of the campaign and an hour of Leon’s*
Being a long time Resident Evil fan, but having skimmed through the original RE 2 during my early years, I was excited as hell to boot this game up and dive head first into the treacherous Racoon city. Once you arrive at the main menu, you have the choice to either play Claire or Leon’s campaign first. After you complete your first playthrough, you are taken immediately to the main menu where you can click on “2nd Run” which allows you to play through the other characters individual story. Both Claire and Leon’s story start and end exactly the same, but their journeys from point A to point B are significantly different. You retread a lot of common ground, but each character unlocks new sections of the map and puzzles for each chapter. This feature allows players to experience four different scenarios, giving RE:2 immense replay value.
The first thing that immediately jumped out to me was how beautiful this game was. I played on a 4K TV with a PS4 Pro, and the graphics were stunningly good. RE:2 uses the newly created RE engine which was introduced in Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. This updated engine takes immersion to a whole new level. Each zombie looks terrifyingly grotesque; creating a sense of constant fear as you push through the winding dark halls of the RC Police Station. Lockers, tables, and other various objects look like they are soaked in a reflective liquid, making the world feel grossly unsettling. The world truly does feel alive and never lets you forget of the shitty situation you have stumbled upon.
The early Resident Evil titles were not only notoriously famous for their iconic puzzles and creepy zombies, but were also known for their cheesy storylines as well. Like stated above, I have only played through Claire’s story and a small portion of Leon’s, hence the review in progress. Both stories are quite simple; Leon, a rookie cop, heads to Racoon City to start his brand new position while Claire is searching for her brother. Each character experiences their own descent into madness and terror as they battle endless zombies and monsters. Along the way, both Claire and Leon meet their own unique cast of characters which helps them further progress their stories. While I understood both character’s motives, I couldn’t help to feel let down by the third act. There are some truly epic moments through the game, but as soon as you start exploring the more profound mystery behind the outbreak, the game becomes just another generic zombie story. That being said, the overarching story between both characters are not horrible by any means necessary. Both Claire and Leon’s personal struggle while dealing with the undead are fascinating and humanizes both characters.
With the release of Resident Evil 2, Capcom has officially made it apparent that they are the king of remakes. RE:2 Remake is wildly different from its original 1998 release, reviving the franchise in ways that Capcom could only dream of. The game is genuinely frightening and rewarding at the same time, continually drawing me in. While the story ends with a dud, the journey from start to finish is genuinely thrilling. Capcom has now set a new standard for remastering games, and I honestly can’t wait to see where the franchise goes next. As of right now, I would give Resident Evil 2 Remake a 9.5/10
Reviewed by Mike Chase