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Resident Evil 2 Remake: Review, Gameplay, Guides, And What You Need To Know

Nightmare Recreated.

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After several years of waiting, Capcom has finally debuted its remake of classic survival-horror game Resident Evil 2. If you only watched its a few of its most recent trailers, chances are you have some questions regarding how it plays and how faithful it is to the 1998 original. There are still plenty of details that we don't know, but Capcom has at least offered some clarity on its most curious changes. And we'll be sure to find out everything once the game comes out at the end of this month.

To ensure you're kept up to date on everything there is to know about Resident Evil 2 remake, we've compiled all the information we have on the game so far: how it came to be, why its camera is from the third-person over-the-shoulder perspective, its collector's edition, and more.

The Review

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"Resident Evil 2 is not only a stellar remake of the original, but it's also simply a strong horror game that delivers anxiety-inducing and grotesque situations, topping some of the series' finest entries. But above all, the remake is an impressive game for the fact that it goes all-in on the pure survival horror experience, confidently embracing its horrifying tone and rarely letting up until the story's conclusion. Though Resident Evil 2 has its roots firmly in the past, it reworks the familiar horrors into something that feels brand new and all its own." Read the full review.

To Clarify: It's A Full-On Remake

While not explicitly titled "Resident Evil 2 Remake," the game is in fact a total remake of the classic survival-horror game, and not a remastered version of the PS1 original with touched-up graphics--much in the same vein as 2002's Resident Evil remake. You once again control rookie cop Leon Kennedy and college student Claire Redfield, who must escape Raccoon City after its citizens are transformed into zombies by a virus two months after the events of the first Resident Evil.

That's right, Mr. X returns and he's just as relentless as before--if not more so!
That's right, Mr. X returns and he's just as relentless as before--if not more so!

The project came to be after Capcom producer Yoshiaki "H" Hirabayashi took to Facebook on July 30, 2015 to ask the Resident Evil community if they'd be interested in a remake. The request was met with enthusiastic support, which prompted Hirabayashi to pitch the idea to his boss sometime later. The result of the pitch meeting was confirmed the following August when the game was formally announced by Hirabayashi in a special message to fans.

How It Plays

The Resident Evil 2 remake plays from a third-person over-the-shoulder perspective, similar to Resident Evil 4. If you're worried this deviates too far from the original's fixed-camera system, don't let this get you down: the remake still emphasizes survival-horror above all else. You're not given the same amount of power that the more action-oriented games in the series offer you.

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The new aiming style feels like a modernized version of the aiming from classic Resident Evil games that allows you to move and pick out where you want your shots to land.

This manifests itself in combat. When you aim, the cardinal markers on your reticle slowly move until they're closed in on the center, allowing you to fire a more precise shot. But when you move, the reticle resets and takes time to close in again. Shots take time to line up and you need to stand still to get them just right; you can't instantly fire from the hip and expect to hit your target. It's a small change, but it completely alters your sense of control. The new aiming style feels like a modernized version of the aiming from classic Resident Evil games that allows you to move and pick out where you want your shots to land.

Progression also remains largely the same as the original Resident Evil 2. You're still solving puzzles, tracking down keys, gathering resources, and putting them back into item boxes for later use. But there's more freedom to explore and discover secrets at your own pace and in varying orders--which is a welcome change of pace from the more constricted adventure game-like progression of the original. You're constantly investigating new pathways and gaining new items that might help you open up the way to your objective.

In the same way Resident Evil 7 felt like a classic Resident Evil game played from the first-person perspective, the Resident Evil 2 remake feels the same--but from an over-the-shoulder perspective.

General Impressions

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If you're looking for some general impressions on some of the latest revealed sections of the game, check our video above. We discuss new Leon and Claire sections that we got to play, as well as cover how Ada Wong plays.

Why The Third-Person Camera Perspective?

No Caption Provided

As stated, Resident Evil 2 remake will play from a third-person over-the-shoulder view. Hirabayashi told GameSpot that he and his team chose the perspective because they wanted the experience of playing the game to be "intimately terrifying in nature, to [have] up-close and personal zombie encounters that you can only get with that kind of view." He commented further that the perspective was also chosen to open up new possibilities for the series' classic puzzle-solving.

Based on our time spent playing the game, the third-person perspective plays well with the labyrinthian corridors of the police department, making exploration feel unsettling and claustrophobic. We're curious how it'll be effectively used in the latter portions of the game.

How Faithfully Does It Recreate The Original?

The remake appears to closely recreate many of the area's iconic rooms and corridors, while adding in new details to give it a more modern flair. Some rooms have been slightly rearranged, but the overall structure of many of the area we've seen so far remains largely the same. Some areas are much darker than in the original too, forcing Leon and Claire to brandish a flashlight in order to safely navigate the environment. Also, there are no longer any loading screen doors, so say goodbye to your old-school escape techniques, zombies will now follow you from room to room whether you like it or not.

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Leon is still the rookie cop with a heart of gold that we all remember, yet his naivety and sense of honor is reframed and more subtly reflected in his line delivery. Commanding officer Marvin Branagh appears to be a more substantial character who still warns Leon of the dangers ahead, but who seems to have a larger presence, remaining in the main hall after gifting you with a survival knife (and not a keycard). Claire Redfield has the same sheer will and determination, as well as that charming sassy attitude she had in the original.

Story events seem to be remixed as well. The beats we've seen so far are incredibly similar, with Leon reaching the police station, but the story progresses slightly differently. For example, you're forced to explore the Eastern side of the police station first before encountering Marvin, instead of meeting up with him first to unlock the doors to both the Western and Eastern sections. Other sections vary in their sequence with your characters completing certain objectives in seemingly different orders.

How Will The Leon/Claire Campaigns Work?

One of the most unique aspects of the original Resident Evil 2 was how it separated its campaign; you had the option to start the game as either Leon or Claire. And depending on who you finished the campaign with, you could then start a new one from the other character's perspective. This closely tied into the Zapping System, where each of the two playable characters are confronted with different storylines and puzzles depending on the order you choose to play their scenarios. You had the option of starting the "A" scenario with either of the two protagonists and then completing their subsequent "B" scenario, resulting in a total of four different scenarios.

It appears that the remake won't use the Zapping System, but will instead offer a total of two completely separate campaigns starring Leon and Claire. It's unclear if your actions in either of the two campaigns will impact the other. However, it appears that both will have somewhat different experiences from the other in terms of the types of creatures and puzzles they encounter.

Will There Be VR Support?

Resident Evil 7 was one of the earliest big-budget games you could play entirely with a VR headset, so folks have been asking if Resident Evil 2 remake will receive the same treatment. Producers Tsuyoshi Kanda and Yoshiaki Hirabayashi confirmed that it was decided the game would not be playable in VR due to the third-person over-the-shoulder view.

Are HUNK And Tofu In The Game?

The original Resident Evil 2 had quite a couple bonus modes you could unlock after beating the game under special circumstances. The first was called The 4th Survivor--which was unlocked after completing both scenarios with an A ranking--where you played an Umbrella special forces operative codenamed HUNK. The second was a parody of the 4th Survivor unlocked by completing the main game six times in a row all in under two and a half hours with an "A" ranking. In this parody--titled The Tofu Survivor--you played a giant piece of tofu--yes, tofu.

Gallery image 1Gallery image 2

These two modes appear to be returning in Resident Evil 2 Remake. However, how you unlock them remains a mystery. We'll be sure to post a guide detailing how once we get our hands on the game. For now, admire the screenshots above of both HUNK and Tofu.

Any Other Fancy New Features?

Similar to Resident Evil remake, whenever you're grabbed, you can instantly stab a zombie to push them away and avoid damage. Interestingly, your knife will remain in the body of the zombie until you pick it back up. Multiple combat knives can be found, as they can weaken and eventually break with repeated use.

No Caption Provided

As you explore, you'll get your hands on wooden boards that you can use to barricade doors and windows from zombies and other bioweapon threats. If the absence of loading screen doors hurts your sense of safety, then these new wooden boards can serve as a decent--albeit temporary--replacement.

There's also new puzzle solving opportunities. For example, during Ada's section, she has a special tool that allows here to scan for devices in the walls that can unlock the path forward or manipulate mechanisms in the environment.

Lastly, a gunpowder crafting mechanic is present, which allows you to create much-needed ammo from scratch. If it's anything like past games, you'll likely be relying on it to create the fancier ammo types needed to swiftly take down strong opponents.

What's In The Collector's Edition?

No Caption Provided

The collector's edition includes the already announced deluxe edition of the game, which is Resident Evil 2 with a special packaging design and an extra DLC pack. This includes two outfits for Leon and three for Claire, the Albert model of the Samurai Edge weapon, and a code to listen to the original music while playing the game, rather than the remaster's soundtrack.

The collector's edition also adds a 12-inch statue of Leon, a 32-page art book, a digital version of a 25-song soundtrack, and a Racoon City Police Department poster celebrating its conversion from museum to police station. It's all collected in an R.P.D. themed box. The collector's edition is a GameStop exclusive that can only be purchased in North American regions. It's priced at $200 in the U.S. and $240 in Canada.

Gameplay And Screenshots

Capcom has released new screenshots showcasing Claire's campaign. Aside from the iconic heroine, you can get glimpses of Sherry Birkin, the mutated William Birkin, and the corrupt RPD Chief, Brian Irons. We've also added shots including Ada Wong and Mr. X. If you're itching to see how Mr. X hunts you down this time around, you can watch the gameplay below.

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Gallery image 1Gallery image 2Gallery image 3Gallery image 4Gallery image 5Gallery image 6Gallery image 7Gallery image 8Gallery image 9Gallery image 10

Download The Limited-Time "1-Shot" Demo

Capcom is currently offering a unique demo for Resident Evil 2, but you'll need to be careful not to burn too much time because it only lasts 30 minutes before locking you out from playing anymore. Titled the "1-Shot" demo, it's available now in Australia and will be available everywhere else starting on January 11 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

The demo takes you through an early section as Leon S. Kennedy, and if you finish quickly enough you can play it again. If you fail, you can keep trying until your half-hour is up. Upon completion, the demo will give you an exclusive new cinematic trailer, which we've uploaded for your convenience if you're not able to unlock it. The demo will be available through January 31.

Guides

If you've been playing Resident Evil 2, chances are you might be having a tough time taking on its numerous challenges. Below are some guides providing tips and solutions for many of the game's most peculiar elements.

Release Date

Resident Evil 2 remake will release on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on January 25, 2019. That's this month!

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Now Playing: Resident Evil 2 - Official Announcement Trailer | E3 2018

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mgespin

Matt Espineli

Matt Espineli is an Editor at GameSpot. He loves MGS, film noir, and westerns, but he very much loves YOU too.

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Vodoo

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Will the preorder guns have unlimited ammo?

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phili878

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phili878  Online

Leon looks like a 14 year old... sigh

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clay544888

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Edited By clay544888

The most hated game right now Battlefield 5 gets an article and has 300 comments but the Resident Evil 2 Remake article has 60 comments. Says a lot about the mentality of humans lmao.

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jinzo9988

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Edited By jinzo9988

Personally I hope it isn't too faithful to the original game. I think a lot of people forget how small the original game actually is. I mean maybe there could be a mode in it where it's almost literally 100% faithful, but I'd like to see the areas expanded upon to make it a bigger game. Despite RE2 being best known for the RPD HQ, I have more fond memories going through the streets in the beginning of the game. RE3's streets were different from 2's but they both had the RPD HQ. The RE2 remake could for example have some of RE3's streets in it to fill out the area and they'd need to give you an excuse to explore those areas... so now the original street section that may have taken you 20 minutes to get through to make it to RPD HQ could now take you an hour or two. Little things like that to flesh out the game would be cool.

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Mighty-Lu-Bu

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@jinzo9988: I mean, I hope its just like the Resident Evil Remake which to this day is the greatest remake ever. They kept the original concept and story pretty intact, but they added things to make it that much better.

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chriswilkes509

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This game is going to be awesome I am going to preorder it

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mashroob

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It's dumb that a developer has to defend his/her reasoning for using 3rd-person perspective. How about gamers want the same da**ed game they played 20 years ago; only updated to today's standards? Ever think of that?

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RaveNRolla

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giving extra functions to the reticle aiming probably means i can kiss my beloved lasersight goodbye, which is a shame, because for me it belongs in a resident evil game. all shootertype games out there have reticles, resident evil always had lasersight (yes, with always i mean since re4). but putting it in this game would probably just make it unfairly better than the reticle-thing they got going.

i think what i like most about lasersight is that it is integrated into the game-environment, whereas a reticle is a HUD-element that kills off a bit of the immersion.

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clay544888

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@RaveNRolla: Well the original RE2 had no laser sights and Capcom seems to be trying their best to keep as much as possible intact that made RE2 RE2.(except fixed cameras and constant in game music because it doesn’t fit too well in this remake.) With that being said, that’s most likely why they didn’t include laser sights, to stay true to the original as much as possible.

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santinegrete

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I became a fan of Resident Evil when this sequel, one of the best in the series, was released more than half a decade ago and very hard to get in original retail. The only way to get it in my country was pirating it thanks to ruined economy and a culture of burn everything into your CD-R. I want this game so much, and owe it so much to have it for real in my library, that I may get two versions (PC and a console). I just hope it does the original justice.

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santinegrete

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First time I see this kind of articles with a confirmed release date instead of pressuming and not giving a date. Thanks for actually doing your job instead of pure clickbait Matt.

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The1stNoel

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Interesting they decided to take out the whole scenario A & B story lines. I'm sure both Claire's and Leon's story will intertwine some how.

But I'm excited that they are adding aspects of RE 1.5 that they took out back into this remake. ( The DLC Claire skin of Elza Walker?! WHAT?! ) My teen hood dreams come true .

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Clefdefa

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@the1stnoel: They did intertwine in the original game ... not for long that is for sure but they did

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IcelandicHossi

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Claire has a busted face, wtf is going on!!!

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Clefdefa

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Edited By Clefdefa

@icelandichossi: It is quite close if not the same as in the CGI movies Capcom did

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Sindroid

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@icelandichossi: I think she looks hot.. Screw all the overly great looking sluts they put in game.. This is great stuff..

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DarkRikuShadow

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@icelandichossi: Yeah i feel the same way man.

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IcelandicHossi

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@DarkRikuShadow: Capcom used to make the best looking girls in gaming.....wtf happened? pretty sure people in Japan do not like it as well

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VS_Shield

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I much prefer the exploration and survival aspects of the older Resident Evils compared to the actiony new ones. Looking forward to this!!

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The1stNoel

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@vs_shield: Hell yea, the fear of what lurks around the corner type game play? Totally agree with you. I can't wait!

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se7en1989

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60 bucks lmfao

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clay544888

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@se7en1989: Well it’s a full fledged reimagining of the old one which requires just as much work as making a new game. Just compare the two moron!

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studivan

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Edited By studivan

Gamespot 8 months is an eternity, so why don't you guys stop writing these articles on a game in development and let them make the game and when it's close to release date about December then start all the hype.

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clay544888

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@studivan: 6 months actually.

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bongaconga

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Edited By bongaconga

Gamespot, one can see you never played the original RE2. So much emphasis on the knife. It is useless. The only thing to do with the knife is to drop it in the item box. In RE2 many zombies lunge the last couple of yards at you and in hard mode with few ammo, they will kill you if you use knife. Against lickers the knife is totally useless at best and against tyrants lol, not even worth mentioning.

Too bad I can’t use the best controller ever made (microsoft side winder freestyle pro), as it is not win10 compatible...

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YourMajesty13

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Edited By YourMajesty13

It took them way to long to remake this game. If they would have remade it when they were suppose to (after gamecube re1 remake with same team) we would have seen a masterpiece with fixed cameras. Super disappointing for them to have skipped generations into modern day where the players as a whole prefer 3rd person :(

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ZmanBarzel

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@yourmajesty13: if more people had bought the GC remake, Capcom would’ve been more excited to do RE2 in a similar style.

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jenovaschilld

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@zmanbarzel: Problem is the port was not only pretty late but a horrible port. The gamecube controller not mapped well either. With the dual shock all the rage back then, the gamecube third party forcefeedback was ho-hum. Just do a look up RE2 review. Also the pricing was also too high for such an old title that was avaible on three platforms for less then the Nin GC.

To the OP: maybe, but by then tastes were changing, Code Veronica was already out, Silent hill, and FAtal Frame were doing other stuff. And the xbox was doing some interesting things. REmaking RE2 for 6th gen was not a high demand, and 7th gen was insane with FPS and social games. Even RE4 -an amazing title that sold well, was not the direction Capcom and the industry was moving.

I am happy these remakes are here regardless.

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Edited By clay544888

@jenovaschilld: Bullshit the GameCube version is one of the most played and praised version! It has better prerendered textures and overall better graphics. I play the GameCube version with an emulator and it’s EASILY superior to the PS1 version on an emulator. I don’t use the GameCube controller but instead I use an Xbox One controller and it controls perfect so I didn’t encounter that problem. But the port is great, I don’t know where you get your information from.

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jenovaschilld

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@clay544888: Just click the RE2 Review highlighted above in my post, also do a review check of the GC port, also this port was fodder for most all gaming magazines at the time as well as review shows like AotS, X-play, and SA.

Dude believe me, i was a horror game nut and still am, I bought literally all things RE on all platforms back then and kinda still do. Hoping for hidden secrets, new content, or even better graphics/performance I was just as dissapointed in the GC version when it came out. This was critical consensus by all.

But one of the main problems with the port, was system architecture itself, instead of reworking the game towards the more powerful processing the GC had over the 5th gen ps one, it instead emmulated the psone. (like watching the Love Boat on a HD flatscreen, but actually its a picture of a oldfashioned tube tv playing the Love Boat broadcasted to the newer tv).

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ASnakeNeverDies

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Edited By ASnakeNeverDies

@yourmajesty13: I agree with your sentiment wholeheartedly, YourMajesty. However, methinks you meant to write OverTheShoulder, not Third Person. That said, I suppose genuine Survival Horror iterations could be construed as being in the Fourth Person, due to their segregated combat implementation.

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YourMajesty13

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@asnakeneverdies: lmao whoops meant over the shoulder

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jenovaschilld

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Edited By jenovaschilld

It will not make the release date at all. Expect a March or even May release date, possibly later.

Unless its set for a pre Christmas set date for retailers, then the Jan 2019 is just a place holder. Mark my comment... we will check it's accuracy come January.

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Sagittarius476

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@jenovaschilld: well RE 7 was released in January 24th sooo why not RE2 remake?

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jenovaschilld

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@sagittarius476: ah good point.

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Edited By clay544888

@jenovaschilld: Resident Evil 7 made its release in January with no delays and Capcom is KNOWN for releasing their games on time. Besides it was just recently announced that the RE2 Remake is 80% done right now so all they need to do is more polish so 6 months should be plenty of time. You marking your words is gonna be a disappointment because it’s VERY CLEAR that this game WILL release in January. Just follow Capcom’s track record guy.

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alien33

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@jenovaschilld: Most probably.

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StokeMeAClipper

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Edited By StokeMeAClipper

I'm not going to say I would have preferred a remastered version of the original, but I'd welcome the release of one in addition to the remake.

In a way, it's not even for my sake but more for newcomers and/or people that are put off by the dated graphics of the original. Personally, I still love playing old games, warts and all, but that's because I'm old enough to have seen the evolution of graphics over the years and can put it in context. I don't look back and think "Look how bad the graphics are". I look back and find it fascinating to see how people worked within the limitations of the hardware.

I feel genuinely sad for people too young to have experienced a generational leap like the one between the 16-Bit era consoles and the 3D consoles. It was mind blowing! 1998 really stands out in my mind as an incredible year for games (though looking back, there had been some amazing releases before that) and I have fond memories of that year in particular. It felt like the year that console generation hit full stride. I didn't own a PC at the time but I remember being aware that there were amazing things happening on that platform too.

In 1999 my brother bought a PC (and my family got on the internet). Admittedly, I never got heavily into PC games at that time because I didn't realise the benefit of (and we didn't have a very good setup for) playing with mouse and keyboard. From my days playing on Amiga, at that time it was my understanding that you only used the keyboard for games if you couldn't afford a joystick. I kept trying to play with cheap gamepads (PS1 pad clones without analogue sticks) or my brother's flight joystick. Let me tell you, that isn't the way to play Kingpin! It was only a decade later when I bought my first dedicated gaming PC for myself that I actually finished it. Had I known that keyboard and mouse was the preferred/recommended method to play most PC games, my life as a gamer may have been quite different. The late '90s-early '00s was an amazing time for PC games and I'm kind of sad that I didn't get to experience many of the outstanding releases of that time until years later. Some I've still yet to play (No One Lives Forever for example)

Sorry for the life story, got sidetracked a bit there.

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clay544888

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Edited By clay544888

@StokeMeAClipper: Oh man, I got to experience all those games on pc at that time! I know exactly what you’re feeling, those were my young gaming years too! Some of my best gaming memories came around 1998. RE 1-3, Tenchu Stealth Assassins, Clock Tower, Banjo Kazooie, Super Mario 64(1996), Metal Gear Solid, Syphon Filter, etc. And on PC I did like No One Lives Forever and I remember being content with lower FPS because I loved maxing out my graphics so much. And Unreal Tournament 1 was another PC game in that time that I played to death along with many others. But generally speaking, those years were such an iconic time in gaming!

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santinegrete

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@clay544888: 1998 is the 0 christian year of Gaming. Such greatness.

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jenovaschilld

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Edited By jenovaschilld

@StokeMeAClipper: Agree with you alot. A free copy of the ps RE2 vita/ps classics that can be played on the ps4/3 should be offered as well.

Great time for games and gamers - as the war raged on for the domination of 5th gen consoles - Sega, Nintendo, and new comer Sony were pouring money into any developer or studio that could bring a game to their consoles. Meanwhile heavy hitters like Capcom, Konami, Square, etc etc and a multitude of first party studios were also feeling the heat and competition. Much BOLDER games were green lighted, much more games on the fringe were given the go as well. The race of new IPs was more important than safe stallwarts like repeated versions of Nintendo games and the result was 97-99' possibly being one of the greatest times for games in the history of the industry.

Magic time. But as a gamer since atari and arcades - it is but one of the better years for games to me, and RE2 took a sleeper IP and not only doubled down on it, but created a franchise that even ..... well RE6 couldn't kill.

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StokeMeAClipper

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@jenovaschilld: I started out on Atari too :)

Where I live, we never had a dedicated arcade. Just a few machines at the local leisure centre, a few at a bowling alley and individual machines at a couple of locations. I loved playing the few we had (though I didn't get enough pocket money to play very much). Good times.

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Oddsnake

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I want it now so badly it hurts my very essence and being. It looks absolutely fantastic, yet I don't really want to watch too much to spoil the small moments and changes. I hope this will be a huge success, inspiring Capcom to either make RE8 the same way, or go for RE3 Remake. In any case, this is so crazy good looking and just reading about it makes me fuzzy inside.

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clay544888

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@oddsnake: You know, Capcom tweeted a photo of a cardboard Nemesis standing on a staircase on Friday The 13th and people are thinking this might be hinting at a RE3 Remake after part 2 so here’s to hoping!

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