Screenshots captured via the author's PlayStation 4 owned by Sony. Resident Evil 2 made by Capcom; Resident Evil franchise owned by Capcom; http://www.residentevil2.com/
NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGMENT IS INTENDED, AS THIS IS MEANT TO SOLELY BE A REVIEW/COMMENTARY OF THE GAME IN ACCORDANCE TO FAIR USE. HOWEVER, IF NEED BE, THE AUTHOR WILL COMPLY WITH ANY REQUESTS MADE ON THE MATTER
(WARNING: Some screenshots may feature violent or gory scenes, which some viewers may find disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised)
In 1996, we were introduced to what would be one of the most historic milestones in the horror genre of video games; Resident Evil (or Biohazard if you live in Japan, where it was created). A couple years later, we got a sequel. Then another sequel and....well the rest was history. In 2002, we got a remake of the first game for the Gamecube. Now, to start off the new year of 2019, we have another Resident Evil remake; of the first game's sequel. That's right folks; we've got a remake of Resident Evil 2. I have been watching footage of the game on YouTube for awhile and now got to play the game when it came out (I also played a one-shot demo of it beforehand). Without going into spoilers (there MIGHT be some spoilers all the same, you have been warned), I will try to review the game and give you as best an honest review as possible. I hope you will enjoy it.
While Resident Evil 2 originally had the old-fashioned fixed camera views, the remake uses the over-the-shoulder point of view that was introduced in the franchise via Resident Evil 4. While some may have wanted the fixed camera view to return, I think that the over-the-shoulder view works just fine.
Also, the inventory and weapon equipment systems are similar to when I played Resident Evil Revelations 2 for the Xbox 360. Some weapons can take up at least two spaces (this was also the case in the original Resident Evil 2 with the submachine gun, spark gun, flamethrower, and rocket launcher). In addition, the subweapon system is also similar (as well as similar to the Resident Evil 1 Remake).
One thing that has changed is how you kill or hurt enemies. While shooting a zombie in the head is usually accepted as a good way to kill a zombie, one shot is usually not enough (you MIGHT get lucky, depending on where you aim and what weapon you use; if you have enough ammo to spare, then the shotgun is ABSOLUTELY your best friend in that department). Then again, Resident Evil was usually more about surviving rather than just wasting bullets whenever on any enemies (you should ALWAYS save as much ammo as possible for boss battles, since you definitely CANNOT avoid those). Avoiding enemies can sometimes be a hassle (especially when you're playing the 4th. Survivor mode upon unlocking it; I ended up quitting that after a couple of deaths). This can be a problem if you're trying to save up on healing or defense items.
The good folks at RE Engine and Simplygon Studios have really done this game justice. The graphics in the remake of Resident Evil 2 are extremely realistic and fantastic. They really showcase the realism of what happened during the notorious T-Virus outbreak in Raccoon City. In fact, many of the places we know and love from RE2 are given quite a makeover for the remake. And just like in the RE 1 remake, the makeover is well done. There is even an added touch of showing visible wounds on your characters when they get hurt or bitten by monsters.
The characters are even given a makeover as well. We see Leon and Claire with some new threads (you can have them wear their classic RE2 costumes upon beating the game). And their appearances are fantastic, and the same can be said of the other characters and the monsters. Even the Mr. X Tyrant gets to rock a fedora hat (Umbrella must have watched a lot of noir movies when they made him). And Ada Wong rocking these sunglasses....wow!
NEW FEATURES: (8/10)
Resident Evil 2 2019 is not just a simple remake. In fact, there are extras exclusive for this game. You get to unlock concepts and art, unlock bonuses, and even interact more in-depth with the revamped puzzles. You can even shoot the Mr. Raccoon toys to unlock bonuses as well. This game basically does what RE 1 Remake did before it, make the game more complex yet intriguing and fun. It certainly met my expectations for being a Resident Evil remake.
Those of you who played Resident Evil 3 Nemesis will be in for a special treat; you can pick up gunpowder to create ammo to stock up for battling monsters. In addition, there are also some new places to go, including an orphanage when you play as Sherry.
As you play Ada Wong, being that she is a spy, you get to use a little gadget that lets you hack into machines and stuff to get to places. Kinda James Bond-ish....I wonder if Q Branch gave her that gadget....and I wonder if Ada does better in bringing back gadgets in one piece than 007 does....oh well.
However, there is one MAJOR problem I have with the game (and I do mean major in all caps). In the part where you play Sherry while trying to escape Chief Irons, I have to hide from him and getting caught means you have to start over (there are at least three “checkpoints” in this part where you can continue from if caught). This was something that I felt the game could have done without. This is supposed to be a Resident Evil game, NOT Metal Gear Solid or Alien Isolation. I am just glad this didn't make me rage quit the game altogether. And it made me dislike Chief Irons to the core. I did manage to get through it though after a few tries (even got through it a second time, albeit more frustrating especially with me barely making it to the end before Irons caught me), but it is still something that could have been better left COMPLETELY out of the game (or at the very least optional AND skippable with no effect on the final ranking). I'll say this; this did a good job of making Chief Irons as unlikable as JR Ewing from Dallas (though Irons was already unlikable to begin with given he is evil)!
The story of the remake is a revamped version of the story of the original, with the peaceful Raccoon City now being devastated by the infamous Umbrella Corporation's unethical and immoral experiments (including the infamous T and G-Viruses). We get to see this through the perspectives of rookie cop Leon Scott Kennedy, RPD S.T.A.R.S member Chris Redfield's sister Claire, Sherry Birkin, the mysterious Ada Wong, the Umbrella operative HUNK (aka Mr. Death), and even a block of Tofu (yes, Tofu is back!). As with RE 2, we also see Annette Birkin (the mother of Sherry), Robert Kendo (gun shop owner and good friend of magnum-wielding Barry Burton), Marvin Branagh (the ill-fated police lieutenant who sadly became a zombie), Chief Brian Irons (a corrupt and immoral villain), Ben Bertolucci (the reporter scooping up the dirt of some of the corruption within Raccoon City), and even William Birkin (who ends up becoming the victim of his own creation when he mutates thanks to his G-Virus). In fact, as with RE 2, you can play as either Leon then Claire, or Claire then Leon.
As for the story....well play the game and find out. :)
The music is mostly modern and dark, and not fitting for my tastes....BUT there is a silver lining to that cloud; if you either pre-order the Deluxe Version or buy DLC, you can have the game swap the modern soundtrack with the original soundtrack (which, in my opinion, is WAAAAY better). Extra brownie points for including that (kinda makes you wish they did that for the RE1 remake.... even though the music for that game was awesome in its own right).
OVERALL SCORE AND RECAP: (9/10)
-Game really does follow the RE1 remake's footsteps nicely
-Gameplay is decent, but can be frustrating at certain points
-Graphics are excellent and realistic to the letter
-Music is dark and a little too unsettling at some points, but the original soundtrack swap DLC does make up for this
-Story more detailed and revamped
I have been looking forward to playing this game for awhile, and now that I have I can safely say that I do enjoy it. I will admit that some parts of it can be frustrating (mainly the enemies and running from Chief Irons when you are playing as Sherry), but if you can look past that, Resident Evil 2 Remake really does follow the footsteps of the Resident Evil 1 Remake. And hopefully the remake of Resident Evil 3 Nemesis will be just as enjoyable as (or perhaps even more enjoyable than) the original Resident Evil 3. THAT would be something to look forward to.
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