Last updated on January 27th, 2019
Capcom’s Resident Evil 2 Remake has finally launched, and one by one people are asking the questions: “How is it? Is it worth it? Should I get it?“. In this Resident Evil 2 Remake Review we “aim” to answer just those questions, and we’ll try not to “drag” it out too long. Read on to see what we think of Capcom’s gamble to remake one the most iconic console games of all time.
Resident Evil 2 Remake Review
Genre: Action-Adventure, Horror
Developed by: Capcom
Published by: Capcom
Release date: January 25th 2019
Platforms: PS4 (review platform), Xbox One, PC
Price at the time of the review: $59.99
Before we get into the review I would like to highlight that I am nearly a Resident Evil virgin. I’ve played a bit of RE 5 and some of RE 6, but I had otherwise not played any Resident Evil, except for the demo of the Remake. For this review, I played the game on the Hardcore settings, which is not recommended to a new(er) player at all, so keep this in mind when reading this review.
RE2 Review: Story & Setting
Resident Evil 2 takes place in a fictional location known as Raccoon City, where the “undead” roam the streets, and just about everyone else is dead or gone. The Umbrella Corporation’s experiments have gone horribly wrong, and have lead to mass destruction and chaos.
The game follows two main protagonists in Claire Redfield and Leon Kennedy, as they seek to escape Raccoon City after becoming separated and trapped. Their stories are interwoven as they try to find means to survive the horrible nightmare they’ve become a part of. You can play as either character, creating two separate gameplay experiences.
The atmosphere of the game is very much that of modern horror, in that you travel through dimly lit hallways with only your flashlight to see, there are disturbing noises in the distance, and you can hear footsteps and growling as you move about the game’s buildings. Capcom successfully builds anxiety and tension in the player, not only by adding tons of jump scares, but also by giving you very little health, and limited means of healing. This means you are very much afraid to find out what’s on the other side of that door up ahead, because it could kill you instantly, and you’d have to reload from the last save.
RE2 Review: Gameplay
The meat of Resident Evil 2‘s gameplay lies in the calculated risks you must take in order to achieve your objectives. Sometimes you know exactly what you need to do, and there is more than one way to go about it. For example, do you head through a shortcut and try to dash past the zombies there, or do you take the long way and have to sneak by the Lickers that may kill you instantly if they hear you. These are the sorts of decisions you must make constantly, and it is nerve-wrecking to say the least.
Players are given a set of objectives that they need to complete in order to move to the next “area”, and as the game progresses more and more areas become unlocked. What’s really great about the way Resident Evil 2 does this, is that you will revisit areas and be able to unlock doors you could not previously. Thus the game feels much larger than it is. It all has a very old school feel, but with a modern flair, and of course a fantastical visual upgrade.
There are puzzles and hidden goodies to find for those that pay attention, and the game encourages you to explore (at your own risk). Sometimes you will find better weapons as you complete tasks, and this is really felt by the player, because the smallest upgrade in fire power makes such a huge difference. I’ve never been so relieved to find a Grenade Launcher in my life…
Audio & Visual
Capcom has done an outstanding job here on both the audio and video. The music and sound effects of the game are pure gold. They only add to the insane amount of tension the game already brings, and really pushes that “horror” aspect of the game into the space of the player. Even the sounds of footsteps getting closer or fainter, and other subtle things, really help to set the mood of the game. The voice acting is mediocre, but it isn’t terrible and is elevated by the good SFX.
Visually the game looks as good as you would expect any 2019 game to look. There are only a few places where I noticed some graphical inconsistencies, but I actually believe these were put there intentionally by Capcom to create a slight bit of nostalgia, so I do not fault them for that. RE 2 Remake does an amazing job with lighting, and much like the music and sound, it only adds to the suspense of the game.
Resident Evil 2 Remake is everything you could really want, and because I cannot compare it to the original experience I will simply say this: If I had not known it was a remake, and I had just thought it was a brand new game, I would not know the difference. They did that good of a job.
For those of you out there like me that maybe missed the first installments of Resident Evil, for whatever reason, you will definitely enjoy this game. It is an Action Horror game that revolutionized gaming in 1998, and I think it may just do that again in 2019. The gaming industry has needed a breath of fresh air for quite some time, and while I’m not a fan of remasters and remakes generally, perhaps this one will remind us of how great games of days gone by have been. Maybe it will spark something inside both developers and gamers that pushes the gaming industry even further forward, and hopefully that something inside isn’t one of the creatures from Resident Evil 2…