It’s been 21 years since the release of Resident Evil 2 on the PSOne console and many fans have been waiting for a remake. Fans don’t have to wait any longer for the remake because the newer version of the game is out now on PC, PS4 and Xbox One and it’s a blast to play.
1998 is a long time ago and a lot of things have changed over the years. Back when the original Resident Evil 2 game came out, PSOne gamers were used to the awkward tank controls and fixed camera angles. What was the norm twenty years ago has changed because gamers don’t like tank controls and fixed cameras anymore in 2019.
It wasn’t too long ago that I reviewed the Onimusha: Warlords remaster on Capcom and I said that game felt very outdated. Aside from the graphics getting a high resolution bump, the rest of the game was a mess because the old school controls and presentation wasn’t up to 2019 standards.
Thankfully, Resident Evil 2 is an actual remake from Capcom as everything has been built from the ground up from the beginning. This remake of the horror classic features a different control scheme, some updated cutscenes as well as better graphics that are up to 2019 standards.
I sadly never played the original Resident Evil 2 game on PSOne, but if I did, I bet you I wouldn’t have liked playing it in 2019. I absolutely hate fixed camera angles and tank controls which is one of the reasons why I gave my review of remaster of aforementioned Onimusha: Warlords a mediocre score.
Well I don’t have to worry about outdated controls and shoddy camera because this remake of Resident Evil 2 has a new layer of paint so to speak. The game adopts a third-person camera view much like Resident Evil 4 and the controls play like a modern third-person shooter.
The new control scheme is great as it forces the player to explore in their own pace and face their fears head on. You could be sneaking around quietly in a dark hallway until your flashlight catches a zombie around the corner ready to pounce on you at any moment! I remember getting a few jump scares while playing the game and the eerie atmosphere is captured perfectly in this new remake.
Aside from the modern control scheme, the visuals are also way more realistic compared to the PSOne original. In this newer version of the game, you will see the flesh of zombies slowly peel back as you shoot them in the head with lots of bullets. There was even a grotesque scene in the game where I got to see the innards of a human body that was torn up into two pieces. Resident Evil 2 may not be as violent as a Mortal Kombat game, although there were several moments I did turn away in fear at the graphic material this game offers.
Outside of the excellent and realistic visuals, another thing I like about Resident Evil 2 is the fact that this is a proper survival horror game that the series is renowned for. I remember a few years ago many people didn’t like the modern Resident Evil games because they featured too much action like a Call of Duty game. This was evident with the last generation releases of Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6.
Resident Evil 2 on the other hand keeps everything suspenseful because the main characters of Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield do not have access to a lot of ammo and firepower. Throughout the entire game, the characters are usually armed only with one pistol and ammo is usually rare to find. The fact that ammo is scarce in this game forces players to choose their battles because you can run away from enemies if you’re not fully armed yet.
If you choose to play the game on the ‘Hardcore’ setting, things are even more difficult for you. This is because you can only save your game for a limited amount of times, plus your inventory space is smaller than in the other difficulty settings. If you play the game on Easy and Normal, it’s easier because there is auto saving and the enemies don’t take as much damage to kill them.
Another thing I admire about this remake of Resident Evil 2 is that it’s not just a linear or generic action video game. You actually have to use your brain in this game because there’s lot of exploration and puzzles that you need to solve. There is a bit of backtracking involved, although it isn’t too annoying because the map will usually guide you to your next objective.
A thing added to keep players on their toes is the addition of a huge Terminator like character called Mr. X/Tyrant. This Arnold Schwarzenegger like character is unbeatable as he comes pounding in with heavy footsteps to kill either Claire or Leon whenever he enters a room. Sure this character can get annoying sometimes, but I loved how he scares players every time he shows his ugly face!
There’s isn’t many flaws that I found while playing Resident Evil 2. Some players may think the main campaign is short, although it took me a long time to know what to do sometimes. There is also a lot of replay value because both character campaigns feature slightly different storylines and boss encounters. Not to mention you unlock a few extra goodies when you complete the game as well.
The only other flaw I can think of is that some players may think this game has a slow pace. If you’re wanting an all-out action game, I suggest you play Resident Evil 5 or Resident Evil 6 instead because this game is more about survival horror rather than shooting bullets.
All in all, Resident Evil 2 is an excellent remake that modernizes the classic 1998 video game and makes it playable by today’s standards. Not only does the game pay homage to the original game, but it also offers something fresh for both new and old fans of the franchise. This is easily an early 2019 ‘Game of the Year’ candidate.
[Editor’s Note: Resident Evil 2 was reviewed on the Xbox One platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]