Before I got my hands on the remake of Resident Evil 2, the original Resident Evil remake was not only my favorite Resident Evil game of all time, it was one of the best games I had played… EVER. Now if Resident Evil 2’s remake is as good as, if not better than the original remake, how good does that make Resident Evil 2? The answer if it wasn’t clear enough already is really, really, really good.
One of my biggest fears was that Resident Evil 2 would not be able to follow how well the original remake was done, it was incredibly faithful to the original with just the right amount of new to make it the amazing game that we got. Now with Resident Evil 2, it makes one major change from the original right away, and that is the removal of fixed camera angles. Instead Resident Evil 2’s camera is over the shoulder that Resident Evil 4 made popular and kick started the brand new era of Resident Evil. Although it would’ve been nice to have fixed camera angles as an option, not having them in Resident Evil 2 was not an issue at all for me. Even with the over the shoulder perspective, Capcom was still faithfull to the horror and fear that we all felt many years ago in the original Resident Evil 2.
The designs of areas mostly felt cramped and tight to compensate for the over the shoulder camera, so even with this perspective, you still always have that fear in your mind of what is around that corner. Mostly hoping and praying that classic enemies like Lickers are not hanging above, waiting to pounce and yes, even 20+ years later they are still as horrifying as ever. With Lickers, you have one of two options either walk past them as quiet as possible and just hope that a zombie doesn’t put a stop to plan of being quiet or you can choose to fight them. Fighting Lickers is not always recommended as in some cases, it could be the beginning of the end so like I found out pretty early on, don’t go looking for a fight with Lickers unless you’re packing some serious heat to take them out.
The use of confined spaces also work great with Mr X encounters, yep he’s back too and is more menacing than ever. In the remake, I felt like he was more similar to Nemesis than the original Mr X in that he will constantly come after you even when moving to different areas, but still keeps his original slow paced yet terrifying walk towards you. Don’t expect to hear music as a hint that he is around like the original, all you will hear is the horrible sound of footsteps that sound like they are getting closer and closer. He can also go through pretty much every door in the Raccoon Police Department so escaping his pursuit can be pretty difficult. Mr X also provides an additional difficulty curve for puzzle solving, one example is when you have to move book shelves in the library whilst Mr X is around. He will make sure that what should be an easy task is way more difficult. Now like the original, you can incapacitate from his hunt to kill you but with the added change of that he will get back up in around 30 seconds after dropping him. In the original if you dropped him, he was down and out until the next encounter, this is just one of many examples of the Remake ramping up the difficulty with changes to the original formula.
Now us Resident Evil fans do and rightfully associate the over the shoulder camera with action, action and more action. However Capcom stayed faithful to the original Resident Evil 2’s survival horror gameplay which includes having to be careful with resources like ammo and health. It’s not encouraged at all to fight everything in sight, it’s actually encouraged in load screen hints to pick your battles wisely. Don’t go into Resident Evil 2 Remake thinking that you can blast your way through every zombie and other enemy type and have enough for when it really matters like boss fights. There were times early into the game were even I felt like I’ve been pretty careful with my supplies, but ran into a boss fight (As early as the first encounter with Birkin) and ended up not having enough ammo to take him out. True Resident Evil survival horror at its finest.
Like the original Resident Evil 2, you can play a scenario with both Leon and Claire as they both go on their own separate ways to find the truth of what’s going on in Raccoon City. Both Leon’s and Claire’s stories are completely unique, but will intertwine with each other with messages from the other character being left for the character you’re playing as being one example. With two completely unique stories, and a true ending that can only be played out when both scenarios have been completed, you are looking at easily over 12 hours of gameplay. If you are someone who likes to really search around and find every easter egg and file, then you are looking at easily way over 20 hours of gameplay for just the two scenarios.
To the surprise of many, A/B scenarios also make a return from the original but are now called 2nd runs. When you complete the first run of one character, the 2nd run of the other character will unlock which will change quite a lot of the things that happen at the start of the game, like for example, you will start outside of the police station rather than inside and the intro is recapped as one big skippable cutscene rather than playing through it all over again. Yes, Resident Evil 2 Remake is stacked with content, and so highly replayable that I completed both Leon and Claire’s 1st/2nd runs along with 2 other playthroughs because this game is that good! I’ll be shocked if this game DOESN’T end up as my Game Of The Year 2019.
The Final Verdict
Buy it. That is all.
+ The greatest remake in video game history
+ Resident Evil done right
+ Incredible gameplay
Final Score: 10/10