Resident Evil 2 Game Review


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Christopher Ocker, Staff Writer

The Resident Evil franchise has hit some rough patches in the past few years. RE5 and RE6 were poorly received by most critics, and the series has been deviating farther from its survival horror roots. However, after the success of RE7 in 2017, Capcom has decided to bring back to its basics by remaking the second game in the series, Resident Evil 2. While the original game was and still is an important landmark in gaming history, this remake does so much to revive the classic story and bring it into a new generation of gamers.

Resident Evil 2 is the same story that was told through the original game. After the events of the first game, the dangerous T-virus has escaped from the Spencer Mansion and made its way into Raccoon City. Within a few hours, the entire city is in chaos with thousands of zombies roaming the streets. The story then follows one of two characters: Leon Kennedy, a new recruit for the Raccoon City Police Department, and Claire Redfield, a resident who is trying to locate her brother Chris. The story is nothing too spectacular, but extra journal entries and cutscenes that the remake provides make the mysteries so much more intriguing and disturbing. Where the story fails, however, is how the game is split between the two campaigns. Although both characters are meant to follow two different journeys, only a couple sections are distinctly different, depending on the campaign you pick. You can even fight the same boss with both Leon and Claire, breaking the continuity of the story. This is not a game breaker since it practically doubles the playtime, but it was certainly done better in the original game.

Resident Evil 2 is a tremendously tense and gripping experience because of how well it sticks to the survival horror elements. Firstly, your inventory is very small and resources are scarce. This means that you have to conserve your ammo and use your few items very wisely. However, this is incredibly difficult because of the way the game is built. You can try to run past some of the zombies without taking them out, but you risk running back into them when you inevitably need to backtrack. Every decision you make has a significant consequence. There are also plenty of encounters that get your blood pumping in terror, the most significant of which is Mr. X. This gigantic mutant wanders around the entire police station and is impossible to kill, forcing you to avoid him and take alternate pathways. What makes him even more terrifying is how intelligent and logical he is, almost reminiscent of the Xenomorph in Alien: Isolation. The Tyrant’s heavy footsteps echo through the hallways and goosebumps flew up my body every time I heard them. There are also the blind licker monsters which force yourself to calm down and slowly maneuver yourself around them to avoid getting into a dangerous fight.

All these mechanics work together to put the player on the edge of their seat while still force them to have the courage to fight their instincts. Those moments are where Resident Evil 2 shines. Not only is the game a great love letter to the fans of the PS1 classic, but it is also a fantastic remake that will engross modern gamers. RE2 is an absolute scary, creepy, disgusting, and terrifying game; And I wouldn’t have it any other way.