Resident Evil 2 is a remake of an originally released game by Capcom of the same name which first came out in 1998. The game allows you to play through its story as one of two main characters to choose from, either Leon S. Kennedy or Claire Redfield. The two characters try to survive the night, in a police station filled with zombies.
I’ve bee very keen to play this game for most of last year as I was quite drawn to the art style and the overall presentation of the game in general. Along with my interest came the frequent teases throughout the year from Capcom’s marketing team which intrigued me more and more each time. I was further excited about the game after playing the demo of it a few weeks ago and you all know on the site what my thoughts on that demo were.
After playing through the game last weekend and completing Leon’s story and this weekend completing Claire’s story and having finished them both now, I have to say that this game was the most fun I’ve had in this genre of gaming for a very long time. It’s exceptionally well put together and very well made by the developers.
Resident Evil 2 looks exceptionally good. On the PC on the higher settings if you can run them, this game is one of the sharpest and best looking games I have in my collection. On the original PS4, things also look great too, but we’re at the point in the current console generation where PC games are once again starting to push ahead slightly in the graphics department compared to consoles. Things do look noticeably different as you switch platforms. But, differences aside. The game looks decent on no matter what platform you choose to play it on.
Gameplay wise, Resident Evil 2 is exceptional. The horror genre is a difficult one to get correct and lately many games in the genre have failed in this area. Resident Evil 2 has your chosen character move through the map rather slowly, either by slowly walking or a light jog. When aiming, your character will have further reduced movement. Aiming while moving isn’t ideal as bullets (which are rare items) will be wasted and will likely miss their targets. The slower pace to the gameplay makes the scripted sequences in which a zombie or a boss is coming towards you, all the more scary.
One of the things I liked the most about the gameplay and this is an odd one, is the way the characters reloaded their weapons. Some weapons are quick to reload, but many are not and at times reloading your weapon can be quite the hindrance when out in the field. The animations during the reloading and the sound effects each weapon made during this process were much appreciated.
Apart from the action side of the gameplay, the other side of the gameplay experience will have you as either Claire or Leon venture around the map collecting items such as keys, health, booklets, ammunition, weapons, key cards and other valuable items to get you through the game.
The inventory your character can carry at a particular time is limited by the item slots available in their hip pouch. As you go through the game, you do unlock additional hip pouch slots, but I always found mine to be full. If your pouch is full you cannot pick up any more items unless you discard one of your current items and discarding items is permanent. Having your inventory managed like this meant there was some strategy to what you decided to carry into certain areas and what you did not during the game.
As Resident Evil 2 is a game based on an older game from 1998, the game utilises manual save points, which the player can access at various check points. I thought that this was quite good and a much missed feature in gaming. Now I know auto saving is convenient, but manually having to save the game at certain points as I progressed added some urgency and also danger. Now I do know it does autosave at certain points, but I’m not too sure what these were so I often relied on manually saving my progress as I went through the game.
At the save stations there’s also a big storage box, much like a chest in Minecraft, which you can store your excess inventory from your hip pouch, allowing you to keep your items and free up slots for the next section of the game you will go through. This is useful as your pouch is limited and there are countless items spread throughout the game’s levels to find and keep.
As for the story in this game, generally the plot is quite linear. Claire and Leon get separated and they spend the initial parts of the game looking for one another. But as they go through the police headquarters, they get diverted into their own individual plot lines. I don’t want to really spoil the story, but I do applaud Capcom for not having the characters simply play through the same story as each other. I had initially thought before I played throhgh both characters and I did Leon first, that if I pick Claire next, I will get an identical story and experience just with Claire’s character. But actually while the second playthrough was similar in the beginning, Claire’s and Leon’s stories are completely separate. Save points, weapons and items were all different for Claire during my second playthough after completing Leon’s story and I loved that.
To be honest with my readers, I actually found my second playthrough to be a little more scary than the first. As I had become used to the police headquarters after spending ages there with Leon. I thought the old building would be the same for Claire, but running through the police headquarters turned out not to be a great idea early in the game. I got quite the shock when I ran into one of the game’s bosses, The Tyrant, very early on. All the comfort I had from my first playthrough was now gone. Hearing that monster’s footsteps in my second playthrough terrified me as I had no weapons at all and really didn’t know what I was meant to do for a while and I loved that feeling.
Once you finish the game, you unlock additional modes to do a second run through of the game. Overall it took me 6 hours to finish Leon’s story and it took my another 7 hours to beat Claire’s story on my second run. The reason why my second run was a little slower, was that I spent a long time unlocking all the rooms, collecting all the items and visiting everywhere I didn’t visit during Leon’s first run, as I had more of an understanding of what opens what in the game. I’m quite happy with the length of Resident Evil 2 and I’m keen to play through the game again very soon.
Overall Resident Evil 2 is one of the best games of 2019 so far and a game that I quite enjoyed. During both my playthroughs of this game, I did not really want to leave my seat and I didn’t leave my seat. The gameplay is captivating, the graphics are impressive and the tone of the horror in the game is set just right. Resident Evil 2 will be a great game to add to your collection and one that I highly recommend adding to it.