Full disclosure: I have only played Leon’s A campaign and part of Claire’s B. I have not played the additional content provided in DLC. That said, I think my time with the game is adequate enough to provide a fair review.
I have a special place in my heart for Resident Evil. I remember playing Resident Evil 4 on my PS2 in the summer 12 years ago. It still remains one of the best games I’ve ever played.
Then came the Resident Evil 2 remake in January. Reminding me of that time spent with my PS2 all those years ago, the game is a true contender for my GOAT position.
The plot of the game is fairly straightforward. Leon S. Kennedy is a rookie cop with the Raccoon City Police Department (RPD) who, on his first day on the job, encounters the city’s zombie outbreak. Claire Redfield is a young college student en route to the city in search of her missing brother Chris. On this fateful night, their lives become intertwined as they search for answers in their respective quests. After meeting, they must split up and experience slightly different characters and events — they only connect three times in the game.
The story’s not outrageously complex, instead enjoying a ‘90s era simplicity that only strengthens the game.
Make zombies scary again:
I don’t think I’ve been more terrified by zombies in a video game. I was nervous around every hallway. Every blood-curdling moan sent shivers down my spine. I wasted countless bullets as I frantically tried to plant the necessary headshots, which only slightly deterred the undead from lunging forward.
The game’s enemy design is astounding. The Lickers looked gruesome, boasting exposed brains and skinless bodies. Since the Lickers are blind, you can sneak past them if you walk slowly, which adds an interesting element of stealth. The monstrous boss fights provide enough challenge to keep them fair without being controller-breakingly difficult.
Then there’s the star of the show.
Fuck waiting for you to get it on your own, Mr. X gon’ deliver to ya. Knock knock, open up the door, it’s real. He won’t stop with pop-pop of your stainless steel. So go hard, getting busy with it.
In all seriousness, the Mr. X boss fight is a fun aspect of the game that forces players to have patience and strategy. It adds a level of fun I wasn’t expecting. It provided genuine tension piled onto the suspense already present from the zombies and Lickers.
The inventory system can be limiting, but it forces players to employ actual resource and space management. It’s a fair system that rewards exploration (for space upgrades) and smart usage of health and ammo.
I will say that after all the weapon upgrades my inventory became severely limited, which made things quite difficult later in the game.
I also appreciated the voice acting, which was probably the best it’s ever been in the series. It made me actually invest in the plot and characters, rooting for them to survive the night (despite my terrible gaming skills).
I could gush about this game for hours more. I have yet to finish Claire’s B campaign, but every day I can’t wait until after class to go home and play more. Ultimately, that’s what the Resident Evil 2 remake does: reminds me of why I love video games.
Verdict: 10/10. X came and delivered it to me.