Game review: Resident Evil 2 (2019 remake)

We take a look at the hotly-anticipated 2019 update of this Playstation horror classic.

 

Here I sit, controller in hand, waiting for the terrifying Mr. X to show himself again. At my side is a a pen and a piece of paper covered in codes and scrawled patterns to help me solve puzzles as I go. The lights are off and it feels like it’s twenty years ago and I’m playing the Playstation classic Resident Evil 2 for the first time.

And that really is what its like playing the 2019 Resident Evil 2 remake, like jumping back in time and playing a game that almost feels alien in today’s world of all out action games where you shoot to kill and don’t stop shooting until the screen either tells you you’ve won or you have to leave to get some outside time. Of course there are similar horror themed games on a smaller scale but this is one of the biggest of all time re-released for a modern audience.

Now I’ll be honest when I say that whilst I remember playing the original game on Playstation I don’t remember that much of it as back then I wasn’t the big tough boy that I am now and I put the game down after a few hours. Having said that, inside my head there was a definitive image of what the beginning sections through the streets and into the Racoon City Police Department looked like, and this remake captures the same kind of grandeur and loneliness that the original gave you with its limited view thanks to its fixed camera. It does this at the same time as bringing one of the most beautifully rendered and detailed locations that I imagine you’re going to see in 2019, and it even gives you full control of the camera.

So let’s talk about gameplay itself. It’s a standard survival/horror escapade where you get sparse ammo and health supplies while you try to outsmart enemies and conserve ammo so you can make your way to the end of the game and hopefully safety. But if you’ve ever played any of the Resident Evil games then your more than aware of exactly what to expect. So instead of that I’ll talk about exactly how I felt as I played through the remastered classic.

As I started the game I found myself playing slowly, creeping in between areas, checking corners and always trying to either down or at least take the legs out of any zombie I found. As I played on I found myself growing in confidence so I started playing a little faster whilst still being cautious about every move I took… that is until the Lickers were introduced (an enemy that can’t see but can hear movement) where I went back to being slow and cautious to the point where I wouldn’t open a door fully just in case something was waiting for me.

Then in what felt, at the time, like something specifically aimed at me, the mighty Tyrant made his appearance and my mode of low and slow was rendered useless as I came face to face with an enemy that was not only a giant hulking monster, but was also set on following me around the building no matter where I went. This is the point when I started playing the game like a frantic madman, running from room to room all the while being driven by the most intense panic I think I’ve ever had playing a video game. Now as I’ve been playing for hours, I look back and laugh at that fearful child I was as I run from room to room with a flamethrower with no fear at all… until Tyrant jumped out at me completely unexpectedly near the end of the campaign and literally made me howl out loud!

I may have grown up as a gamer but I feel like Tyrant–and the anxiety I had around him–is going to be something that stays with me for a long time.

For me this isn’t just a great remake of the game. It is one of the best horror games I’ve played in recent memory and even one of the best games I’ve played in the last few years full stop. I don’t care if you don’t like horror games or you absolutely love them, you all need to pick up this game and take yourself on a terrifying trip through Racoon City to try and find out exactly what’s in that sewer and who exactly is waiting for you once you go even deeper underground than that.

 

 

 

 

Author: Hal, Plymouth store

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