Resident Evil 2 (2019) Review

  • Developer: Capcom R&D Division 1
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Release Date: 1/25/2019
  • ESRB Rating: M
  • Reviewed on: PS4 Pro
  • Review copy was purchased at retail

Since the game has been out for a couple of days as of this writing, the review will be spoiler free and straight to the point.

The original Resident Evil 2 is on of my all-time favorite games. Even so I played it, unlocked all of the content and I have not picked it up since 1999 or so. The best thing about that is I was able to play this shiny new remake with fresh eyes (with a few flashbacks to things I remembered here and there) and that made the experience even better.

Raccoon City’s crystal meth problem is getting out of hand

The Basics…

The new Resident Evil 2‘s retelling of the zombie apocalypse in Raccoon City pulls you in from the very beginning. Once you select your character (either Leon S. Kennedy or Claire Redfield) you are put right in the thick of things. Leon and Claire are both heading to Racoon city for different reasons. Just on the outskirts of town, the bump into each other during their first zombie encounter and they head into the city together. On their way to find refuge in the police station things get even crazier and the game begins as your chosen character sets of to find answers and a way to survive.

Oh he’s dead dead…

Things are structured a little differently here from the 1998 release. While both Leon and Claire have some different experiences in their initial campaigns, the bulk of the story unfolds the same way for each. They each have a different final boss encounter and a sub story mid game to mix things up but like I said that is just for their initial playthrough. More on that later.

One headshot will not be enough in most cases so keep your distance!

As you would expect for a current gen adaptation of a PSX game, the characters (including the zombies), environments and the lighting have been reworked with an amazing level of detail thanks to the engine that powered Resident Evil 7. Leon and Claire look more like actual people more than ever before. Zombie decay is sickening and every area you explore can give you a sense of relief or dread just by looking around and there is one location in the game that will make you downright queasy.

It’s great seeing these two again

But is it scary?

Um…yeah. Past RE games really only used jump scares as fear tactics. Not this one. There are plenty of jump scares to be had but they only serve to get you in the proper head space. Dealing with zombies, lickers and other creatures in some of the claustrophobic settings is doable. Dealing with a Tyrant dressed like Candyman in the same environments is doable. Dealing with them all in the same hallway = crippling panic attack. Hearing the footsteps of your stalker get closer while you try to explore for that one item you need to progress can ruin your night. In other words it’s amazing and now on my 5th playthrough I still can’t seem to shake the feeling of foreboding and I already know what’s going to happen next!

Yeah, f@%k this guy…

Why am I on my 5th playthrough? That is because finishing the game with either/both of our heroes will unlock what is called a 2nd Run. This is more than a “new game+” with new weapons encounters and more and it is the only way to unlock the game’s true boss fight and ending.

The Verdict

Not since being hunted by Jack Baker in Resident Evil 7 have I played a game that has left me on edge and still sucked me back in for more. This is exactly what fans wanted and an example of a remake done right in every possible way. There is even more content coming to the game next month that will keep me stuck in the death filled world of RE2 even longer. With a game this good it makes me hopeful for remakes of RE3 and Code Veronica in the future.

Final Score: 9.75/10

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