It has been nearly twenty-one years since Resident Evil 2 had scarred our childhoods with the fear that an actual zombie apocalypse could happen. CAPCOM decided to revive that terror, and gave us a re-imaging of the horror classic game. Resident Evil 2 is a complete overhauled and re-imaging of the zombie apocalypse, but does it live up to the hype?
You play as either Leon S. Kennedy or Claire Renfield. They end up meeting at a gas station in Raccoon City, where they get a preview of the events that are ahead of them. After making your way through some of the undead, you both head to the police station in hopes of it being a secure place. As you near, you are rammed by a big rig whose driver has been infected. The brutal crash forces Leon and Claire to go separate ways. Their objective: to meet up safely while gathering infomation about the events going on around them.
Resident Evil 2 is an over-the-shoulder shooter, just like the fourth through sixth entries in the series. When you start the game, you are able to choose which character you wish to start with. The first playthrough (the campaign of your choice) of the game is the same as in the ’98 version, just a little more updated. If you haven’t played Resident Evil before, the main tropes are still there.
These trials include scavenging for items and ammo, solving puzzles and also facing your worst enemy: your inventory system. No longer do we have to worry about terrible camera angles. The over-the-shoulder camera is very responsive. It makes it difficult not knowing where your enemy is causing great panic. Besides a few run-ins with bosses, the main antagonist here are the zombies. In a lot of games, they have been pushovers. Though in RE2 they make them a great foe, giving them near invincibility, forcing you to consider if you should waste your ammo taking one down, or nearly stunning one to attempt to pass it.
There are a lot of good things about the game. For starters, the graphics are amazing, from the water effects to the rain to the blood and decay from the undead. This game is quite stunning visually. The sounds emitted are very dynamic in making you feel as if you are in the game living your worst nightmare. It also adds a real-time binary audio system, drawing you more into the game when playing with a headset. You are left unnerved even in the safe places. Zombies are given back their undead charm and are an unstoppable force. RE2 introduces two new short story arcs that are refreshing, leaving you craving for more. Just like in the original, we are given a second campaign where every puzzle and enemy introduction have been severely altered to keep it fresh.
A huge downfall to any game is backtracking and this game is a tremendous offender. In the first minutes of the game, you find a locked door. Said door requires a specific key ,which happens to be in an entirely different area, causing a lot of time to be lost, only to find yourself traveling through the same area yet again later on. Being Resident Evil fans, we have become accustomed to unlockables such as infinite ammo and powerful weapons. But here you exceedingly struggle to unlock anything. This can be unfair to players who just want to have fun killing bio-weapons and the undead.
As mentioned earlier, I loved the side stories, but they were way too short. My relationship with the character was unable to build high enough for me to truly care about them. For me, I’ve decided to share my biggest con through a new category I’ll be using in reviews I call Nostalgia VS Longevity.
Nostalgia VS. Longevity:
As you all know, RE2 came out 21 years ago and it was a smash hit, with it still being played to this day. Since we have a new, updated version of the game, the question really comes down to is this an entirely new game or is this a copy and paste version of an already great game? After playing this game for two weeks, I realized the longevity of this game wore off the more I played it. Yes, there is fun to be had but I felt it was unfair to pay the price that you would for a new game, especially since I’ve played this game 21 years ago. So, unless you haven’t played it, there’s nothing new to enjoy about it. This is a new thing that I am realizing in the gaming industry, making gamers pay for nostalgia.
3.5 out of 5