REVIEW: ‘Resident Evil 2’ is a Spine Chilling Remake (PS4)

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Resident Evil 2

In 1996, the world of video games and the genre of survival horror changed forever. Shinji Mikami and Tokuro Fujiwara banded with video game company Capcom to deliver Resident Evil. A survival horror experience unlike any other game, Resident Evil set the staple of video games and the horror genre. With its atmospheric immersion, haunting story, and white-knuckle gameplay, the original Resident Evil 2 was a milestone for PlayStation and computer entertainment.

The original was followed up with its sequel in 1998, Resident Evil 2.  Designer Hideki Kamiya directed Resident Evil 2, with Shinji Mikami producing and Resident Evil 2 was launched to roaring critical and commercial acclaim. Over the years, Resident Evil 2 has found itself frequently cited for its incredible design, with many praising the game as being among the very best games ever made. With the success of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, the team got together to remake Resident Evil 2 for a new generation.

Titled Resident Evil 2, this new title is a complete remake of the original title, introducing a modern design to the familiar game. As someone that hasn’t played an installment of the Resident Evil franchise before, I had no idea what I was in for. After some time,  I can safely say that I have truly discovered the chills and thrills that make Resident Evil a renowned name in the gaming world. Resident Evil 2 is a chilling frightening, bloody experience, and I would not have it any other way.

Resident Evil 2 takes place a few months after the events of the first game in the series. Despite their best efforts in, the original, a horrendous outbreak occurs in Raccoon City, infecting most of the citizens with a deadly virus that turns people into zombies and other monstrosities. Police officer Leon Kennedy and college student Claire Redfield, find themselves wrapped up inside the hellscape that the Umbrella Corporation has created.

As a player you can choose to play as Leon who has been tasked with reporting to the station, or Claire who is looking for her missing brother. The only area deemed safe is the police station, but even that won’t keep players safe for long. Low on ammunition, Leon and Claire have to find a means to escape or risk becoming the walking nightmare outside.

Being a remake of a game with some of the most infamous control schemes in gaming, tank controls, we have to talk about mechanics. Tank controls are based on moving your character moves like a tank. In addition to being slow, the directions change consistently depending on the level. The original game has illustrated levels, and the camera was fixed to a certain perspective. The static camera made the original Resident Evil 2 a challenge to play.

It could be argued that while these controls may have benefitted the overall horror experience in the original, it was nonetheless needlessly difficult. The new Resident Evil 2 adopts the game into a 3rd-person shooter. Players can have more control of their movement, shooting, and camera. Additionally, the entire game has been built on the same astounding RE engine, the same that powered Resident Evil 7, giving more realization to the nightmare within the station.

Resident Evil 2 splits the campaign into two parts, letting players choose between Leon and Claire. Each character has a significantly different experience, including different weapons and challenges. To get the full story, it is recommended to play both. The two characters also interact with each other during either campaign.

Despite these changes, at its core, Resident Evil 2 is a survival horror game. Avoiding enemies and sparingly using ammunition is a must. There are plenty of secrets to discover and useful items to find. But safety, while scarce, is a must. As someone that has never played a Resident Evil game, it is with great excitement and pride that I say that Resident Evil 2 is a frightfully bone-chilling experience and I would not have any other way.

After players become familiar with the mechanics and make their way through the police station, the game really opens its box of horrors. Combat is intelligent and suspenseful, easily providing the best zombie shooting of the year. In Resident Evil 2, a well placed headshot does not kill a zombie. Even if they fall down and appear to be dead, they will crawl back up moments later in an attempt to kill you. These zombies are difficult as well. Each zombie has a carefully calculated fixation on you.

Fortunately, players do have close-range melee weapons that can work when enemies get too close. Grenades, flashbangs, and knives all work, to great effect. Shoving a grenade in the jaw of a zombie, then shooting them, is immensely satisfying. This is further compounded by the fact that zombies are deteriorating as you fight them. Their limbs will fall off, but they will stop at nothing to bite you. However, as mentioned before, items are scarce. Every bullet and medicinal herb counts in Resident Evil 2.

The lights and darks of the overall game picture are fantastic, instilling that back-stiffening sense of dread that I haven’t felt since 2008’s Dead Space. Exploring dark areas, in particular, is genuinely frightening. While the flashlight pierces the dark, only the faint glimmer of lightning and moonlight help to illuminate the way. With a well-designed audio presentation and refined soundtrack, every step a player makes will be more frightening then the last.

I found myself cautiously walking through the hallways of the station, approaching bodies with caution and hesitation. Just when I would think I was safe, I would turn a corner and a random zombie would be grabbing me. In several instances, I was ambushed by zombies hiding in the dark. In some others, I ran to avoid enemies. Even when I acquired new weapons, such as the magnum and the shotgun, I found myself in a constant state of fear and vulnerability.  As for the game’s puzzles, some will put up a challenge, including one towards the end of the game. But, they are good puzzles to solve, especially for players with a love of them.

In this genre, instilling fear is a talent that is often missed as some games lean heavily on action and seeming invincibility as opposed to vulnerability.  In the remake, players do feel vulnerable and are in a constant state of uneasiness. Each and every enemy can be deadly, even a disemboweled zombie can be dangerous.  As new enemies are introduced, including the infamous Mr. X, this fear swallows the player, making Resident Evil 2 not for the faint of heart. It’s a hell of a thrill and a great one at that.

Resident Evil 2‘s greatest strength is in its accessibility. The game is challenging and intimidating, but as a first time player to Resident Evil 2, I never felt cheated or stone-walled. I felt challenged and vulnerable, but not put into an impossible loop with little chance of success. Resident Evil 2 invites players for a nightmarish experience, but it still knows how to have fun and have the player enjoy the spine-tingling chills. There are several difficulty modes as well, so newcomers to the franchise can play on an “easy” mode while those yearning for a true challenge can use the “hardcore” mode. For this review, I played on normal, which provided plenty of challenge and depth.

Resident Evil 2 will easily be one of the best games of 2019. In addition to being a new staple for the Resident Evil franchise, Resident Evil 2 shows how remakes can and should be done. For fans, they will find a refreshing mix of new and classic. with very welcome design choices that will make the experience immeasurably better without sacrificing the quality of its unsettling nature. Resident Evil 2 is a masterpiece and I encourage everyone to play it.

Resident Evil 2 is available on Play Station 4, Xbox One, and Stream.


Resident Evil 2
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    Rating - 10/10
10/10

TL; DR

Resident Evil 2 will easily be one of the best games of 2019. In addition to being a new staple for the Resident Evil franchise, Resident Evil 2 shows how remakes can and should be done. For fans, they will find a refreshing mix of new and classic. with very welcome design choices that will make the experience immeasurably better without sacrificing the quality of its unsettling nature. Resident Evil 2 is a masterpiece and I encourage everyone to play it.

1 Comment on “REVIEW: ‘Resident Evil 2’ is a Spine Chilling Remake (PS4)”

  1. This is the most convincing review I have read about Resident Evil 2 remake. Otherwise, most of the writers have been promoting fake reviews for the sake of earning some extra money. Please keep up the good work you are doing

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