Resident Evil 2 Remake Review
Resident Evil 2 is much more than a just a remake. It’s a call back to form from Capcom. Who were letting the once great series turn into a call of duty Michael Bay fest. The fans were crying out for a return to the survival horror routes for which the series was a pioneer off.
Capcom listened and delivered with a bang. Capcom use the updated version of their powerful RE engine to wonderful effect. Character models are incredible and the facial animations set a new industry standard. Lighting and shadows play a huge part in the atmosphere and can play some nasty tricks you, as they should. Audio is an absolute knockout here and I will recommend using headphones as Resident Evil 2 supports binaural audio. It’s an incredible feature that ramps up the scares massively. The decision to go to a over the shoulder camera or stick with the tank controls was a big one but in my opinion they made the right choice. The controls are sharp and responsive and feels great to get a headshot against an approaching zombie. Claire and Leon no longer move like tanks, but like modern video game action heroes in third-person view.
The police station is beautifully, gruesomely realized. Some rooms are dark as night, lit only by the blaze of Claire’s or Leon’s flashlight. Emergency lighting reflects off the water in flooded hallways. There is trash and rot in the attics, piled-up office furniture blocking pathways, and it’s all very realistic-looking. Flashes of lightning will light up the room your in just long enough for you to maybe think you saw something lurking in the distance.
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. Zombies in the remake are back to being scary again and tougher than before.
For my first playthrough I chose Leon. Exploring the RPD station again was just amazing. Seeing what’s new and what wasn’t. I have to mention the sound design, it is something else and kept me on my toes making think I was hearing monsters in the distance. Just hearing the footsteps of the unstoppable Mr.X hunting for you while you try to escape is heart pumping.
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.
If there is a template of how to make a good remake then developers should look towards Capcom because they have hit it out of the park again. In my opinion this is the most accessible game for new comers to the series or gamers sitting on the fence about jumping into survival horror. For those of you out there like me that maybe missed the first instalments 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.
With a lot of fan favourite unlockable characters returning and two main characters story there is a lot of replay value in RE2. I highly recommend you go out and get this game. I promise you won’t regret it and you’ll get value for money and finally I’d like to say thank you to Capcom for listening to the fans and delivering and masterful remake we all longed for.
GoT Rating 9.5/10