Resident Evil 2 (Remake) Review
Capcom reinvented the wheel for the genre survival horror back in 1998 when they released the mindblowing & creepy world of RE2. Not only did the game surpass the original in both depth, graphics & gameplay, but it truly put Resident Evil on the map & made the series a household name. It was disturbing, yet beautiful, smart & thoughtful puzzles, & brutal boss fights & enemies but also a game that rewarded players for their exploration & trials. And when they announced the game would be remade on current gen consoles & completely re designed from the ground up, I was a bit worried as were many people. Many times one of my favorite childhood games being promised to be remastered or made accessible has turned out to be a catastrophic let down. But, thankfully, this is certainly not the case with this gem.
The game picks up at the same time of the original. Playing as either Leon Kennedy, a rookie cop who arrives on his first day on the job to a city in ruin, or Claire Redfield, a tough gal who is in search of her brother Chris Redfield. The 2 playthroughs are COMPLETELY different and offer new paths to take, characters to meet & different parts of the mystery to solve. The original was so inventive in the fact that playing as Leon and partaking in certain activities or doing specific things could affect how things go when you played as Claire. It rewarded many play throughs and had so many differences that each one felt like their own little game. Well, not much has changed. This updated and much better adventure will allow players to do the same thing, and no matter who you choose to play as, one thing is guaranteed. That Capcom truly has put the horror back in the series. This game is truly terrifying, even so in ways the original couldn't even dream of being. The dark areas of the Raccoon City Police Department are so intense & quiet and just when you think you are alone, BAM a zombie or other monstrosity will make its dreadful presence known. Only in RE7 can I remember being so tense & chilled and sincerely afraid to move for fear of what is waiting on the other side of the pitch black hallway. The 2 protagonists soon realize that something is terribly wrong with the city & that they are in grave danger the longer they stay. The G Virus, or Umbrella Corporations dirty little secret, is the culprit and has transformed the majority of the people into flesh eating zombies and many other forms of mutated creatures. The zombies are back and man oh man, I wish Capcom could find a way to make them a relevant part of every ongoing Resident Evil game, cuz this game proves they can be more than just gory kills or easy prey. These zombies will freak you out and too many can easily & quickly overcome you. Head and shoulders more fun & creepy than the tar covered freaks from RE7. All the faces from the original will make an appearance from the likes of the fan favorite Ada Wong, Annette Birkin, Sherry & William Birkin & many more. One thing I can go ahead and warn you is of Mr. X, a superhuman man-beast who will legitimately make you shit your pants. Without giving anything away, he will stalk you and chase you & make you feel like Nemesis from RE3 is childs play. I was so glad to see Capcom kept true to the original staples of the game & while many things are different, the basics & core concepts are true to the original & don't stray too far as to feel like something else. The team clearly did their homework & brought their A game to this title.
Survival horror is back and that means you better think hard about whether or not you want to waste bullets or whether you should save em. On Normal mode, the game will not give you either bullets or medical (healing) supplies in large quantities. Reminiscent of the original in every way, you will have to remember what items are where when you run out of inventory space & what terrifying monsters you may have had to flee from earlier that is in the next room. The chests & typewriters are back, and while you don't have to include an Ink Ribbon in your (oh so precious) inventory space for one, you will still need to maintain keeping any unnecessary objects out of your inventory for any extra ammo or key items you may find. The game will force you to backtrack and retrace your steps for object acquiring & puzzles, because I mean come on, this is a core & beloved feature of the classic & original Resident Evil recipe. The game gives you just enough green herbs & ammo to beat the game, but if you go in guns blazing you will soon find yourself reloading an earlier save slot, cuz this is Dead Rising & you WILL have to flee at times.
Zombies are of course the main dish on the menu, but I wanna mention some of the other horrors you will face when you progress through the game. Lickers are back and are just as hideous & scary as you remember. With the ability to lunge 20 feet across a room or hallway to try & attack you, this fiends are not to be taken lightly. Looking like a skinless animal (albeit an animal who is the size of a tiger or lion) with a tongue that can quickly decapitate its prey, these things are the stuff of nightmares. Then there is the truly terrifying Mr. X. Mr. X is a Jeepers-Creepers like superbeast who at certain sections of the game will HUNT you down & stalk you everywhere you go. And to give you the fear on extreme levels, you will hear his super heavy footsteps as he canvases the area in search of you, this guy really made me nervous to go anywhere in fear of him. Pro tip, don't even think of trying to fight him. When all is lost, have faith and continue to grab whatever items you may need and there will come a point in which he will leave you alone but oh man the time he does pursue you will stick with you and haunt you. Truly intensely creepy. The jacked up alligator returns in a form and there is a massive and eerie monster in the sewers who will make you scared to think about coming in contact with any water. And of course, there is William Birkin, and he will present quite the challenge once again. The eyeball is back, peering at you disturbingly from his shoulder, and Capcom made this mutated freak feel painful & authentic. You can literally feel & hear the pain & suffering in the groans & roars he produces. He is horrifying and a presence you will not want to be in for a long period of time. The game has brought all these beloved & memorable characters & enemies back in such amazing style & detail that all I can say at the time is BRAVO CAPCOM!!
So, the game is much better than the already excellent classic and is ten times as scary and bloody. It is not for the weak hearted or weak stomached, but is totally gonna blow newcomers & series veterans minds with the stunning details & picture perfect locations. I was also thrilled to see that they also decided to bring back Hunk Mode & Tofu Mode, 2 different modes playable when certain conditions are met whilst playing the story, and these 2 modes may be like mini extras compared to the whole product, still offer a change in pace & give you a sense of accomplishment & reward for the harrowing & traumatizing campaign you will have to complete. Also, I hear there is a way to once again get such gameplay modifiers as Infinite Ammo among other cheats should you once again meet certain criteria while playing. Another sign of developers showing fans they can offer rewarding & true experiences just like the old days. Capcom has truly hit the nail on the head with this instant classic, and I can only hope and pray that the reception is nothing but positive & inspires the team to go this same route time and again when developing either remakes or new additions to the Resident Evil series. There was a long period of time when the series had lost its identity & didn't feel like Resident Evil anymore. Well, this is the first true (RE7 was close but still too far from the original design for me) IP that has convinced me that Capcom still has what it takes. Wonderful A+ job on this genius classic, maybe now we can get a proper RE3 remake....??