Resident Evil 2 Review: True Survival Horror Redefined

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel
Expert Contributor
January 22nd, 2019

Content Editor, Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast

Review of: Resident Evil 2

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On January 22, 2019
Last modified:January 23, 2019

Summary:

Capcom blew us away 20-years-ago with Resident Evil 2, single-handedly redefining what the term “survival horror” in many ways from gameplay mechanics and fleshing out Shinji Mikami’s (Resident Evil 4) ideas in of the best sequels in video games — expanding upon ideas which came before. And the reimagined version celebrates that rich history while bringing new ideas to the table. Creating in my opinion, one of the best gaming experiences in a decade. The return to strong item management, survival and tense gameplay still works wonders. Level design alone is beautiful. Making for a fun experience for even long term “Resident Evil” fans.

Review of: Resident Evil 2

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On January 22, 2019
Last modified:January 23, 2019

Summary:

Capcom blew us away 20-years-ago with Resident Evil 2, single-handedly redefining what the term “survival horror” in many ways from gameplay mechanics and fleshing out Shinji Mikami’s (Resident Evil 4) ideas in of the best sequels in video games — expanding upon ideas which came before. And the reimagined version celebrates that rich history while bringing new ideas to the table. Creating in my opinion, one of the best gaming experiences in a decade. The return to strong item management, survival and tense gameplay still works wonders. Level design alone is beautiful. Making for a fun experience for even long term “Resident Evil” fans.

The deadly T-virus escapes into the streets of Raccoon City. Leon and Claire find the police officers left abandoned. In an underground facility, the story of Umbrella Corp. gets unfolded.

Capcom conquered the industry with their ambitious horror video game series “Resident Evil” all the way back in 1996 on PlayStation One. Creating a title which pits players into a creepy zombie-filled mansion with the primary goal being surviving the horrifying scenario. It blew everyone away with its unique approach to the dying genre of horror, with its beautiful graphics and tense atmosphere that stood out against the competition.

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“Resident Evil” sold incredibly well and kickstarted the franchise into the mainstream, becoming Capcom’s most successful IP with over 85 copies sold worldwide by 2018. A sequel went into production titled merely “Resident Evil 2” that heavy expanded upon the horrific themes from the original, combined with Hollywood level cutscenes and survival horror elements. It's been called one of the best games ever numerous times, as Shinji Mikami vision for true horror was finally realised in the sequel — completely refining the series.

But with age “Resident Evil 2” has issues, all stemming from the awkward tank controls and a heavy focus on backtracking which padded out the game unnecessary. Capcom heard fan cries in E3 2018 when they announced that “Resident Evil 2” would be remade for current generation consoles, using over-the-shoulder technology introduced in recent titles.

But, can the 20-year-old horror masterpiece: deliver to modern audiences and introduces new fans in the process, kickstarting a new era of Capcom’s most successful game series of all time? And bring the genre-leading title back into the upper echelon. It’s time to jump back into the world of pure survival horror. ComiConverse reviews the long-awaited reimagining of Resident Evil 2 on the PS4 Pro.

Has true survival horror returned? And does it stay true to the original?

Capcom

Yes. I’m happy to say that Capcom has reimagined “Resident Evil 2” perfectly with brand new elements and homages to the classic 1998 release — making a fantastic game that goes back to franchise roots while paying respect to modern day game design. It’s great to see developers breathe life into old ideas. Everything about the reimagined “Resident Evil” reeks of quality, from R.P.D. headquarters expanded map to beautifully rendered zombie carcasses in dark hallways. It just feels creepy again.

Unlike previous “Resident Evil” games which relied heavily on action, Capcom takes the remake back to basics. With players exploring large spaces for ammo, puzzles and upgrades that will help your escape. I had to balance fighting zombies, healing and boarding up windows throughout my entire 15-hour play-through: taking me right back to what made “Resident Evil” individual in the first place.

Fans worried about Capcom taking an action-oriented approach to their acclaimed masterpiece shall rest easy as “Resident Evil 2” remains a proper survival horror experience with sprinkles of combat. It’s so surprising to see the reimagined title not being afraid of being true to original concepts created 20 years ago.

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Do the new additions work? Or break Its original legacy.

Capcom

The new additions to “Resident Evil 2” remake work wonders in making it feel like a fresh coat of paint has been applied to the classic release, with expanded locations and puzzles that should make hardcore fans excited to jump straight back in. The over-the-shoulder camera allows for more immersive and cinematic experiences, which boosts the scare factor tenfold. Capcom made sure the new additions wouldn’t break their original “Resident Evil 2”

It’s great to see developers expand upon the structure of the original from remixed events and item placement. Making players approach both campaigns differently, and take risks discovering new ways to tackle survival horror. I got spooked multiple times within my entire playthrough due to not predicting the level and building structure.

Anyone worried about these new additions to “Resident Evil 2”, should rest easy because Capcom makes it work out for the best.

How are the iconic characters? And does it hold up graphically?

Capcom

Little has changed in terms are two main protagonists underlying attitudes: Leon and Claire both feel true to their original character debuts in “Resident Evil 2” (despite a crazy amount unnecessary swearing) with story elements expanded on. Leon S. Kennedy is the rookie cop trapped in a horrific reality, and Claire Redfield is still a biker looking for her muscular brother. Naturally, fan favourite Umbrella spy Ada Wong returns, and deliveries some elegant one-liners while kicking ass in that bright red impractical dress. But the best character in Capcom’ remake is probably evil tyrant " Mr X" whose footsteps inflict an excellent sense of fear for players.

Capcom made sure to keep this character accurate to their original roles in "Resident Evil 2" 1998 release, with there original designs being remade for modern day consoles and making for a realistic approach to each of these iconic characters. Even the Zombies are given drastic makeovers, bringing their horrific nature to almost photorealism and makes for a more pleasing experience than the original release.

Given the emphasis on dark hallways, “Resident Evil 2” makes good use of modern-day HDR technologies aiding to the spooky atmosphere and is a treat for fans with gorgeous 4K TV panels. It’s stunning on 4K televisions with the attention to detail unmatched “Resident Evil 2” without question is a visual masterpiece, and will most likely blow gamers away even several years from now.

PC's will melt playing this at maximum settings with proper HDR support.

The bottom line: this is true survival horror

Capcom

Capcom blew us away 20-years-ago with Resident Evil 2, single-handedly redefining what the term “survival horror” in many ways from gameplay mechanics and fleshing out Shinji Mikami’s (Resident Evil 4) ideas in of the best sequels in video games — expanding upon ideas which came before. And the reimagined version celebrates that rich history while bringing new ideas to the table.

Creating in my opinion, one of the best gaming experiences in a decade. The return to strong item management, survival and tense gameplay still works wonders. Level design alone is beautiful. Making for a fun experience for even long term “Resident Evil” fans. ComiConverse is looking forward to seeing where “Resident Evil” goes next because there are so many potentially great horror stories left to be told in the future.

Resident Evil 2 releases on January 25th for PS4, Xbox One and PC

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Resident Evil 2
  • 5
Capcom blew us away 20-years-ago with Resident Evil 2, single-handedly redefining what the term “survival horror” in many ways from gameplay mechanics and fleshing out Shinji Mikami’s (Resident Evil 4) ideas in of the best sequels in video games — expanding upon ideas which came before. And the reimagined version celebrates that rich history while bringing new ideas to the table. Creating in my opinion, one of the best gaming experiences in a decade. The return to strong item management, survival and tense gameplay still works wonders. Level design alone is beautiful. Making for a fun experience for even long term “Resident Evil” fans.

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