Resident Evil, the long-standing horror franchise that has captured every fan's imagination recently came out with a remaster of one of its classic games.
We played a demo of the game at Gamescom and it already looked fascinating back then. Resident Evil 2 was originally released in 1998 and was about the fall of Raccoon City. It had iconic villains and characters that made it one of the most renowned Horror games in history.
Now exactly 20 years later, the game has been remastered by Capcom with updated graphics, an updated story and better gameplay mechanics. In essence, the game was coded from the ground up and is probably the best-remastered games we've ever played. In fact, the game follows the same formulas as the 1998 classic game and is unapologetic about it.
In the game, you will either be playing as Leon Kennedy (cop) or Claire Redfield (college student in search of his brother) and follow different story arcs in the zombie-infested Raccoon City.
Resident Evil 2 is a third person, an over-the-shoulder shooter that still has the same claustrophobic feeling you would get from the original game. This oppressive feeling would add to the anxiety when you are trying to fight off zombies in tricky areas and even in open hallways.
The over-the-shoulder play is tweaked to perfection here, as it instils gut-wrenching horror in every step you take. The environment itself its filled with tension that adds to the visceral and morbid world of Resident Evil. There's darkness in every corner and your flashlight is the only thing keeping you safe until you get jumped on by a zombie.
The scare is real where you have to tackle jump scares while traversing different areas in the game. The audio design is also top notch as moans and shrieks added extra tension in moments of silence.
Tackling zombies also need to strategic in certain scenarios as you can either blow their face off or blow up a limb to slow them down. This is by the scariest Resident Evil game we've played yet and it's great that the franchise embraces everything that made it successful in the first place.
The story in Resident Evil 2 is identical to what the original game with a few more cutscenes and new locations that add to the narrative. You won't see any cringe-worthy lines or dumb quotes that took away the seriousness in older Resident Evil games. A lot of the game takes place in the massive police station where you will have to unlock new areas by hunting objects and combining them to open areas.
Just like the original, this game does not have an autosave feature which means you still need to find a typewriter in order to save progress. The voice acting also adds to key character moments as it accentuates the modern cinematic style. Performances by voice actors were up to the mark that added some weight to scary or emotional moments.
For the first time in a game, I was genuinely scared because of an NPC that would show up or stalk you at any given time in the game. The enemy is called “Tyrant” and it will show up every few hours that would eventually skyrocket the intensity and stroll levels of the game. Once you encounter the enemy, you will be more careful where you go and have to be attentive of every door you open. You can't even kill the damn thing so shooting at it is pointless.
Sound design also plays a crucial role when it comes to horror games and Resident Evil 2 delivers the perfect experience in that department. It's probably one of the reasons why Tyrant sounds scarier than anything else in the game. You will hear its footsteps echo in your environment even though it's not on the same floor as you. The incredible sound design basically got me anxious each time I opened a door. You will be travelling with genuine fear simply because of these mysterious sounds.
When it comes to gameplay, the new over-the-shoulder perspective works extremely smooth and you can control both Leon and Claire without any issues. Both characters have unique weapons and gadgets that you will use whole tackling enemies. There are also puzzles like the original game that you will need to solve and they aren't overly difficult or simple either.
Resident Evil 2 is all about survival and where staying alive is as important as having the ability to shoot zombies, It isn't fast paced like modern zombie games where you will shoot everything in sight. Each move, path and shot has to be calculated otherwise you will end up dead.
In fact, when you are done with your first play-through, we encourage you to play the game again with a different character (either Leon Kennedy or Claire Redfield) as the campaign offers different scenarios for each character. You will have similar objectives, visit the same locations but a lot of the campaign is different. You'll even unlock The 4th Survivor where you will play a small side story with its own story and rewards. Overall, the game has more replay value than any other horror game we've ever come across.Verdict
Resident Evil 2 gives you the extra replay value you expect from a game as you would expect it from games from the 90s. It's got an exceptional sound design, great environments and overall a very scary experience.
Even if you have played the original Resident Evil 2, you really don't want to miss out on the remastered version. It's a whole new game that hasn't forgotten its roots and is arguably the greatest survival horror game very made. You simply can't ignore this one.