Release Date: January 25, 2019
ESRB: Mature / PEGI 18
Available Platforms: PS4 [Reviewed], PC, Xbox One
Genre: Survival Horror, 3rd Person Shooter, Puzzle
Let’s start with a time travel back to the year 1998. Capcom released Resident Evil 2, which turned out to be fantastic and became one of fans’ favorite RE games. Capcom managed to deliver a more than perfect sequel to their new franchise, even though the game has basically been rushed due to scrapping of their first prototype, today known as Resident Evil 1,5.
Heading forward in time we arrive in 2002 and Capcom releases an amazing remake of Resident Evil on the Nintendo Gamecube and surprises everyone with how they handled it. New areas, enemies, mechanics… this wasn’t simply a remake but a re-imagination of the game. This left us, the fans of the series, hungry for more and we couldn’t wait for the remake of part 2 and 3… and so we waited. It is January 2019 and we finally have what we wanted! How did it turn out to be? Well, let’s take a look at that.
A remake of Resident Evil 2 would be a hard task for Capcom. How can this game be remade while pleasing both the old fans, who prefer survival horror and exploration, as well as new fans? Capcom once tried to make a RE game with the intention of pleasing all of its fans and failed miserably, not financially, but in eyes of their fans. I am talking about Resident Evil 6. This game tried to be everything: some horror elements and zombies in Leon’s story, being chased around by an immortal enemy in Jake’s, more action-oriented campaign for Chris and an attempt at going back to more puzzles for Ada.
This time around Capcom hit it out the park. The game feels like a classic Resident Evil! Easier aiming was balanced by making enemies tougher than usual and let me tell you, it works. A single headshot won’t take down an enemy, a zombie lying on the ground doesn’t mean it is dead. A zombie that falls over after 3 headshots may appear to be defeated but next time you come there again you’ll find out otherwise. The undead can also crawl at you after you destroyed their limbs. There are a lot of aspects that make the experience more challenging compared to the latest of Resident Evil games.
The atmosphere of the game is simply amazing. Capcom managed to reanimate the feeling of claustrophobia and anxiety from the classic games. Wandering around the police department with a flashlight in a dark corridor will keep you focused on surviving and the sound of footsteps in the distance, especially those of Mr. X will keep your blood pressure high.
The sound design is fantastic and even better when using headphones. Hearing noises and trying to figure out where they come from is a lot of fun (and helps keep you alive). The soundtrack, while not as memorable as the original, does its job well. Owners of the Deluxe Edition can switch to classic music and sounds in the menus. It’s worth pointing out though, that the classic music is not available in the standard edition.
I love the fact, that the game avoids quick time events almost completely, with only exception being pressing a button for climbing or holding it down for pushing something only a few times during the whole playthrough. Same goes for Karate / Ong Bak / Jean-Claude van Damme / Wrestling moves introduced by RE4, RE5 and RE6. You can no longer kick the living crap out of a zombie, which makes the game feel more natural and more like Resident Evil. There is only you, your gun and the enemy in front of you.
Talking about a way to kill an enemy, the game uses a similar function of defensive items which were introduced in the first REmake. While equipped you can counter a grab by pressing a button to shove a grenade down a zombie’s throat or to stab them. Those items are limited and for this fact can’t be abused which balances it out. The special items can be used without being grabbed though, which wasn’t possible in REmake 1. That means you throw a flashbang or grenade at any time.
Like a classic Resident Evil, this game focuses a lot on backtracking, puzzles and unlocking new areas. Finding an item in one place will help you progress in another one. On your first playthrough you might scratch your head a lot not knowing what to do or where to go next, just like in the old games. I would say your first playthrough should take you about 8-10 hours with every run after that being shortened, since knowing what to do cuts the time by a lot.
Both Leon and Claire have an own story, which is almost identical and only differs on few occasions, as well as a 2nd run, known as the B-scenario in the original. The 2nd run is a bit shorter than your first run and the only real difference is the beginning, as well as an additional boss fight at the end. Finishing all 4 scenarios should take you about 20 hours. You will also unlock a bonus mode known from the original: 4th survivor. You play as Hunk and have to make your way through many rooms with limited inventory in order to escape and if you manage to do that, you will unlock Tofu… Tofu’s run is basically the same as Hunk’s with the only difference being Tofu’s even more limited inventory (only knives and a few herbs).
Was it worth waiting for the remake? Yes. Is the game something old RE fans will like? Being one myself, Yes. Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
The game instantly became one of my favorite RE games and if the rumors about RE3 being remade as well are true, then count me in day 1. I finished Resident Evil 2 Remake many times already and it didn’t get boring so far.
*Overall Enjoyment Factor, Fascination with Game World, Level Design, Variety, Playability, User-Friendliness (Ease of Use / Readability / Controls / in-game Tutorials / Menus)
The redesign of the locations is well done and the variety between the rooms make it easy to navigate. Menus are easy to understand and make it clear of how important examining and combining items is. Gameplay itself is super fun as well for the classic RE fan in me, as well as fan of 3rd person shooters in me.
*Quality of the Singleplayer Story, Cutscenes and/or Multiplayer Modes (whichever is available). If a game has no Story or no Multiplayer it won’t be rated (thus no negative effect on score).
Story never was RE’s strength. You are looking at your typical story of simple people completing ridiculous tasks like defeating oversized monster but for what it tells, the story is very well done. Cutscenes aren’t particularly long and don’t destroy the flow of the game.
*Graphics, Texture Quality, Character Details, Lighting, Weather Effects, Animations, Loading Times, Number of Loading Screens, does it run smoothly
Looking at all the aspects I do not have much to complain about. The only slightly negative aspect would be character design, but only slightly. Claire’s eyes are a bit too shiny and Sherry’s running animation is kind of weird. The attention to detail, especially on clothes is amazing. You can see rain on your clothes, as well as your whole outfit getting wet when jumping into sewers. The game, similar to Resident Evil 7, has almost no loading times which makes the experience very smooth.
*Amount of Content, Production Quality, Replay Value, is there enough content to justify a purchase
You get 4 scenarios (stories) and 2 bonus modes which all are fun and offer excellent replay value for S-Ranks and hardcore difficulty.
*Rates how much fun the Platinum / 1000 Gamerscore is to achieve: Are trophies fun to do? Do trophies restrict freedom of gameplay? Missable trophies? Multiple playthroughs required? Luck-based trophies? Pointless farming/grinding? Glitched Trophies? Are stats/trophies tracked correctly?
A challenging list but a fun one. You will have to finish the game multiple times, but due to difficulty settings it will be a new experience each time (some items even change places on hardcore). Collectibles aren’t too many (87 in total) and won’t annoy you at all. Due to many save-points in the game, missable trophies won’t be a huge problem.
|Extraordinary Score Increase or Deduction
*Reserved for extraordinarily good or bad features that the other categories don’t cover (such as game-breaking bugs). This score is directly added/subtracted from the final score.
A perfect remake or Resident Evil 2 and an amazing game overall. I got what I expected it to be and even more than that. Definitely a recommendation for fans or the series as well as for everybody else.
Played on PS4 Pro, completed the game multiple times on all available scenarios and difficulties, as well as bonus modes. Platinum trophy achieved as well.
For more on how reviews are scored, check out our Review Policy.