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Unlike most on the internet, I will not be gushing over the 2019 remake of Resident Evil 2. Mechanically, it's an extremely solid game, which plenty of other reviews will talk about in length. But is it a satisfying remake? I would say not.
The story is atrocious. Yes, the same basic ideas of the original story are present, but whereas the first RE 2 told a pair of complete stories through the use of its zapping system and interlinked Character 1 A and Character 2 B stories, the remake tells the same story twice with minimal changes. Literally the only differences between Leon and Claire's story, aside from cosmetic changes to their interactions with Marvin, are the final bosses they fight, the brief side-character segment associated with them, and who is on which side during the three scenes where they interact in the game; at the doors of the gas station, at the locked gate on the eastern side of the RPD, and on the other ends of a monitor screen before the final boss fight.
2nd Run is even worse, because story-wise it just gives you a stripped down version of the chosen character's story mode. Capcom should have either brought back and embraced the zapping system & A/B scenarios, or stuck to their guns and made each character's campaign entirely separate. This lame attempt to appease both sides fails to appease either.
But my biggest complaint is related not to the mechanics, but to the very spirit of the game. In trying to pursue a "realistic" game, Capcom has abandoned the very essence of Resident Evil, which was always a B-movie style horror-action world. Even in Resident Evil, you still had enough ordinance to fight the battles that mattered, and were facing off against such unrealistic, unnatural creatures as genetically engineered bug-men and Lizard Folk, zombie sharks, Giant Spiders and a Man-Eating Plant. "Realism" isn't Resident Evil's thing, and shouldn't be - that's what games like The Walking Dead are for. Instead, Capcom's cut some enemies and changed others for the sake of "realism".
R E2make is a decent enough Survival Horror game. But as a remake? It could have been much better. Resident Evil 6 is a better successor to the RE heritage than this.
When Resident Evil 1 came out, it was the dawn of the Survival Horror genre. But, much like how Silent Hill 2 was responsibly for truly putting Silent Hill on the map, it was the 1998 sequel that truly cemented Capcom's new franchise.
Younger players coming into RE2 from more recent generations may have problems looking past its pre-millenium polygonal graphics, and the Narm Charm of its dialogue - it is better than the original RE1, but that's not exactly a high hurdle to clear. Those who can do so, will discover why this game burned Resident Evil into the minds of a generation.
RE2 has many strengths to its name. Its protagonists - Leon Kennedy, the good-hearted but overwhelmed rookie cop; Claire Redfield, the tough but motherly college girl; Ada Wong, the enigmatic Femme Fatale; and Sherry Birkin, the lost and helpless waif - are all capable of making players fall in love with them. Whilst it bears only two new enemies, the Licker and Ivy, and its boss variety is less than that of the original RE1, they're so memorable and terrifying that nobody even notices.
Where it shines the most, though, are in two distinct areas.
The first is Atmosphere. RE2 was the original Actionized Sequel in the franchise... but it bears no stigma for that fact, unlike later games. Once you get past the bottleneck of the streets, ammunition is plentiful, especially when you discover the bullets hidden in room corners, under corpses and behind desks. But despite the ability to gun down literally everything in your way, the intense atmosphere of isolation, fear and dread never wavers. The player is powerful, but doesn't feel it, and that's due to the atmosphere, which is built up by scenery, lore files, cut scenes and background music.
The second is Continuity. RE1 had distinct stories for each protagonist, but didn't really make any efforts to explain how they fitted together. RE2 not only had two completely separate storylines, based on which combination of A and B scenarios were used, but took great pains to tell a coherent narrative within each story. Cutscenes and distinctive puzzles and boss-fights all made it really feel like you were playing two sides of the same story. Even the zapping system, as minor as its actual effects in-game were (access to a specific goody in the underground armory and to a bonus room in the lab), contributed to making the linked scenarios feel interconnected.
In short? Give the classic RE2 a try, whether you've played the Resident Evil 2 Remake or not. You might just be surprised.
The title says it all: I'm somewhat of a newbie to the series. I've only really gotten into RE as a whole starting with 4, and I'm not very knowledgeable of the lore of the older titles. I've never actually played the original RE2, and my knowledge on it is limited to the segmented playthroughs I've watched of my brother ages ago, so for this review I'm basically going in fresh.
From the get-go, I prefer the over-the-shoulder perspective over the classic fixed camera view, and you can fight me on that. I liked how the remake offered a mix of old and new, and on a technical level the gameplay is very enjoyable, though I'm not very happy about how key items you don't use cannot be discarded if you pick them up by mistake (Diamond Key). Not a very big gripe, but it does hurt Minimalist/Speed runs where you cannot use the item box.
Story-wise, I'm not very familiar with how the original handled A/B runs or the zapping system, but I do notice some inconsistencies and mutually-exclusive events that don't mesh together if you put the scenarios next to each other. Others could, and probably have, explained things better than I can, so I won't be going into that. As for what I liked, I think the new dialogue is better written than most RE games I've played before, and also appreciated the remade environments. They are quite accurate for the most part to what I can remember, so that's a lot of fanservice right there.
Instead, what drives me up the wall a LOT in this game is how incredibly tanky everything is, how fast their attacks are and how slowly you recover. It can give them a lot of cheap shots in without letting you breathe at times (Lickers, Dogs, Mr. X), so a lot of the times dying can be very frustrating. There's Lightning Bruiser, and then there's this. G-4 Birkin is very annoying because of this, which says something because the other 4 forms are rather simple to beat. That being said, I didn't have a lot of trouble with Mr. X, in fact I've even made sort of a quasi-sport in trolling and out-moving him, hat on or not, although I can see why some hate running into him so often. Makes me wonder what will Nemesis be like if Capcom were to remake RE3.
In short, as a newbie to the game, there are many things I liked and didn't like about the remake, none of them have much to do with the accuracy of the work done. My complaints are mostly technical, which can hurt the potential for new players to enjoy it. I don't review games very often, but overall I mostly enjoyed it and can appreciate the effort put into making it both refreshing and nostalgic; it's not perfect, but a very good game.
Tittle say's it all. Buy it. Buy it just so the action fans lament in horror that their sub series is going to die. Not to mention it's an amazing game, gameplay, horror, and atmosphere wise.
Made an account after lurking for a long time just to give support to this game. It's fucking amazing. Everything has been remade so lovingly, and amazingly. This is Resident Evil at it's best, and i'm glad they've finally stepped away from the trash introduced in 5 and 6. Capcom's back, and it should be celebrated!
Redesigns that stay faithful to the original. Tense and amazing gameplay. Full of atmosphere and tension, Survival Horror has never been done so well.
The amount of complaints are negligible, and I honestly think this remake is a perfect game. Great job Capcom!
(Disclaimer: I have never played this game before about a month ago. I am neither finished nor very good, but I do know the plot.)
Resident Evil 2 was my... third or fourth RE game, depending on your definition of "played". It's also the oldest one I've touched. However, in the areas it can be reasonably expected to, it holds up to its successors. (Of course the voice acting and graphics are worse than 0, time marches on- that can't be helped.)
The gameplay is solid (getting used to tank controls is another story), the difficulty is a challenge, and the story is fantastic, being one of the few horror games with genuinely emotional elements, and probably one of the first. Having four distinct stories gives it quite a bit of replay value.
While the voice acting is, for the most part, what you'd expect from a game that came out in the 90s, it's a massive improvement over the first. There are actually a
few performances that I would consider good; Sally Cahill as Ada sells her (occasionally very odd) dialogue perfectly; most fans seem to regard her as THE Ada, and it's not hard to tell why. Alyson Court as Claire is also good, and Paul Haddad is at least competent.
In summary, this game is still worth playing, and easily worth the roughly five bucks it costs on PSN.
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