RESIDENT EVIL 2
By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on January 28, 2019
Friday, January 25, 2019 marked the arrival of a game that a lot of us horror game enthusiasts have been anxiously waiting for! We had to wait for a long, long, looooong time, but finally the Resident Evil 2 remake was released! But does this remake do the original game (which was arguably one of the best in the Resident Evil series) justice, or is the hype bigger than the game itself? Well, gather your bullets and your green herbs and get ready for a trip into horror survival darkness!
When the original Resident Evil 2 came out in 1998, it was hailed as being the pinnacle of Horror survival gaming. In 2015, a remaster was announced but, after that, all went quiet on the Raccoon City front. That is, until the E3 2018, where Capcom regaled fans with a awesome trailer of what was to become the remake we can now all enjoy. Unlike Resident evil and Resident Evil 0, which were remastered for modern systems in 2016, the developers chose to build Resident Evil 2 from the ground up, effectively creating a brand new game.
The best thing about the new Resident Evil 2 is the fact that it stays true to the original game, without simply being a copy. Instead of the clunky controls and fixed camera angles the older Resident Evil games (up till 2004) all "suffered" from, the perspective is changed to closely match that of Resident Evil 4 and the controls are updated to meet the standards of today. These two enhancements alone are responsible for one hell of an improvement as far as gameplay is concerned. But Capcom would not be Capcom if they hadn't more to offer.
One of the things I vividly remember from playing Resident Evil 2 all those years back was how beautiful the intro looked. I remember looking at the events unfold and thinking: "it doesn't get any better than this!" Funnily enough, when starting the remake last weekend, the exact same thought popped into my mind! I mean, come on. Whether you're a fan of the series (or even horror games in general) or not, you'll just have to admit that the intro looks absolutely stunning. And the fun doesn't stop there, because the in-game graphics look truly awesome as well! Trust me; Raccoon City, its inhabitants and its majestic Police Department have never looked this beautiful.
So we've established that the look of the game is awesome, as is its vastly improved gameplay, but what about the core of the game; its heart and soul if you will. The things Resident Evil 2 revolves around; the story, the characters and the puzzles? Well, let me put your mind at ease straight away: I cannot remember playing a Resident Evil game that felt more complete and compelling than this remake. Of course, with the overhaul of the game's key locations comes the ability to also tell the story in more depth than was ever possible. Playing this game feels familiar and surprising at the same time. As I've said at the start of this review, this game is nowhere near a simple duplicate of the original. Capcom went above and beyond the call of duty to deliver us one of the most intense and awesome Resident Evil experiences ever created!
What makes Resident Evil such a good game is the fact that it still conveys the same eerie atmosphere as it did all those years ago and even manages to enhance the ever present feeling of danger. The game's environments have been expanded, which gives long-time fans of the series a new challenge. I thought I knew the Raccoon Police Department inside and out, only to find out that things are no longer as they used to be. Among other things, items are now in other locations and puzzles have different solutions. The change in environment s is first noticeable when entering the main hall of the RPD. This hall already looked majestic in 1998, but nowadays, it looks nothing short of breath-taking. The backstory is much more evident in your surroundings, giving the game an edge it didn't have at first.
I am not going to tell you exactly which changes have been made, because that would spoil the fun there is to be had by exploring the game's environments, now would it? I can tell you, however, that back-tracking is still a huge part of the Resident Evil 2 experience, just as it should be in my opinion. You will most definitely come across familiar characters and environments, but with small (or larger) changes made to them, so they also feel new and exciting. It's like putting on an old comfortable jacket that has just been to the dry cleaners. You're happy that it still feels the same, but also glad it has been cleaned up. And boy, did Resident Evil 2 get a good cleaning. It's the same awesome horror game it has always been, but everything just looks, feels and works that much better.
One of the best improvements in Resident Evil 2 has everything to do with something very simple: the opening of doors. Remember the doors in the original Resident Evil games of yore? I had a love/hate relationship with those things when I was young. On one side, it meant a few moments respite from the harrowing eveils that lurked the halls, but it also meant that, if you entered the wrong door, you needed to watch the damn thing open again just to exit the room again. And while they were an integral part of the game, these cutscenes of doors swinging open at a pace of about one inch per 30 minutes were enough to drive you mad after a while. Of course, this was done because of the need to load environments. Luckily, through the magic of modern technology, doors can now be opened without these cutscenes, considerably speeding up the game's pace.
When all is said and done; every herb mixed, bullet gathered, zombie routed and puzzle solved, I can only surmise that Resident Evil 2 is, without a doubt, still one of the best horror games ever made! The remake brings the game into the twenty-first century and does this completely in style. Resident Evil 2 looks awesome, sounds awesome and handles like an absolute dream. Every little detail has been lovingly and expertly crafted anew in order to breathe new life into this horror classic. When creating the Resident Evil 2 remake, Capcom set out to bring us the grand experience the game was always meant to be and have, in my personal opinion, truly succeeded in doing so.
Now, not to jump the gun or anything, but I can only hope that Capcom will bring us equally grand remakes of Resident Evil 3 and Resident Evil Code: Veronica. I don't want to be just another whiny little spoiled gamer that always simply screams for more. I mean, I am truly happy that Capcom chose to create this excellent reimagining of Resident Evil 2 and loved every second of it. It's just that, if these remakes were to be made, a whole generation of younger gamers would finally get the chance to get to know the games that defined the horror genre. Here's me hoping they will someday, at least. Until that time arrives, I will be happily running through the Raccoon Police Department and its hidden structures. I fantasized for years about what this game would be like, but nothing prepared me for the sheer awesomeness that is the new and seriously improved Resident Evil 2!
RESIDENT EVIL 2
January 25, 2019