Resident Evil 2 Remake review (Xbox One)

 

Resident Evil 2 (Remake)

After over two decades since the original playstation one release. “Capcom” delivers the classic fan favourite game. Remade from the ground up in a new vision. How does it hold up? Does it add anything new?  Are the changes for the better or worse? Let’s find out.

Story summary:

 

“The start of a long night”

The game follows two protagonists Leon S. Kennedy a 20 year old rookie cop who is coming to Raccoon city to start his police service and Claire Redfield who is looking for her brother Chris Redfield (a member of S.T.A.R.S. ,one of the main characters from the first entry in the series). Unknown to them, the city is now infested with living dead and other creatures infected by the T-virus. The games opening cutscene opens up with tanker truck driver listening to the radio, while driving his truck. While almost falling asleep at the wheel, the driver accidentally hits a woman on the road.  He quickly stops  and checks up on her. With woman showing no vital signs he determines that she’s dead. In shock he turns around and says “What am i gonna do…!”. At that moment woman stands up. Then we witness the scene with one of the main character arriving at the gas station. This is where they would get their first encounter with T-virus infected human who look like decayed corpse, which tries to attack living humans and eat their flesh (aka zombie). Here the player gets a chance to deal with the enemy, he will encounter the most through out the game. After a brief skirmish  the two main characters bump into each other and escape with the police vehicle. Shortly they arrive at the Raccoon city which is in total chaos. Surrounded by the horde of zombies they notice an incoming tank truck, driven by the driver from opening cutscene. Now bitten and near passing out is driving towards them. Leon and Claire manage to escape just in time before, the truck slams into the car and  explodes. Now separated they decide to head to Raccoon Police Department(RPD). With a brief sprint through the city streets. Either Leon or Claire arrive at the entrance of RPD. This marks the start of a long night.

Game Mechanics:

Let’s talk about game mechanics. For those who expected this to be like first Resident Evil Remake. With updated visuals, old school tank controls and fixed camera angles. Might be disappointed. The game plays like modern RE’s games (from RE4 and further) with RE2’s setting and story. You play from 3rd person perspective with an overlooking the shoulder camera. Default controls for movement are modernised and play similar to RE Revelations 2, you can still do 180° quick turn (by pressing back+B). Nonetheless the game retains survival horror atmosphere. Ammo is more scarce just like in old school RE’s, which makes inventory management more critical. When to use ammo and when to just run past enemies. Speaking of inventory, both characters start with 8 slots of inventory. Additional slots can be found throughout the game to increase capacity to a max of 20 (14 on hardcore) inventory slots. The characters run way slower than in the original. This seems like a creative choice, because the enemies being way slower than in other “Over The Shoulder Look” RE games. This does make enemies, particularly dodging boss attack. Outrunning lickers is almost impossible. Some of the mechanics return from previous games. Like “Sub Weapons” a mechanic first introduced in Resident Evil Remake. Which let’s player to avoid damage from certain attacks: zombie bite, grabs from bosses, dog pounces, etc. By the character using currently equipped sub weapon. Although attacks from the back will not prompt character to use sub weapon. There are three types: knife (the only weapon that can be retrieved after counterattack and used more than once, it will eventually break), flash grenade and frag grenade. You also be able to use them without being attacked, i.e: slash with the knife and throw grenades, which is minor new addition. Another old mechanic first introduced in RE3, which was brought back recently in RE7. Is gun powder canisters. Scattered und the areas of the game. By combining them, the player can make ammo of their desire. The classic item box for storing items and typewriter for manual saving are still in the game, but you won’t need to find  and use ink ribbons, if you’re playing on Standard or below difficulty. Shooting has some minor mechanic, if you hold aim  for couple of seconds. The character will focus and reticule will shrink, enabling for more accurate shots. This seems to apply for to handguns and magnum.

“Holding aim for a few seconds will focus fire. Making reticule shrink for a more accurate shots”

Weapon upgrades featured in original PS One version (Leon campaign only) are back, but this time Claire gets to upgrade her arsenal too. There is more than one upgrade available for characters weapon and their effects vary: from making your gun take less time to focus aim, to reducing recoil or even giving special properties like Leon’s “Matilda” handgun firing in a burst of 3 bullets. Your usual green, red and blue herbs are back too. Like in all the other RE games, green herbs heal character about 1/3 – 1/4 of total health. Health has four states: “Fine”  indicates that character has full health also character runs at full speed; “Caution” (Yellow) less than full health running speed is decreased; “Caution” (Orange) less than half health, nearing the critical point, running speed is the same as in previous state; “Danger” – near death state, this is the state you should never let yourself to be in, almost any attack will result in death, speed is considerably reduced. Combining green herbs heal more, red herbs can’t be used by themselves, but combing green + red fully heals the character from “Danger” state. Finally the blue herbs, like always they heal poison. There is some new things, by combining red + blue herbs will heal poison and give you poison immunity. Green + red + blue combo will fully heal you, cure poison like in previous games, give you poison immunity for a short time and give you new temporal effect. Which lasts couple minutes and let’s your character take more hits before they go from “Fine” state to “Caution” and from “Caution” to “Danger”. Finally the puzzles, which are lacking in newer instalments are back and there’s plenty of them. There aren’t any particularly difficult puzzles, most of the puzzles involve code combinations (lockers, dial safes, statues and other) or using switches to manipulate machinery, electricity scale. Solving a lot of these is needed to progress through the game, solving the rest will give the player resources or weapon upgrades.

 

“R.P.D.’s rooms and hallways being shrouded in darkness “

Graphics:

Capcom has done a great job making the game with modern graphics. The visuals look amazing, redesigned areas of the game, with R.P.D.’s rooms and hallways being shrouded in darkness making your character use the flashlight, giving you a feeling of suspense with reduced visibility, character models look more realistic, zombies showing signs of decay and wounds appearing after you shoot them. Main areas of the game look really well designed with a lot of small details and objects added in. This game is a real treat to the eyes in 4k.

 

Sound and music:

The soundtrack is really great with some of older tracks recomposed such as: save room theme (still prefer the original), library theme (the new version of this is called “The Book of Truth”), R.P.D. hall and others form original game. All of the tracks fit well with the game’s setting or action on the screen. Capcom went with more ambient sound direction, therefore in some areas music doesn’t play too long or at all. Some of the more notable tracks: “Black Impact”, “Third Demise”, “Collapse”, “The Straight and Winding “, “Reliving the Present”, “Center of Desire “, “Expansion”. For those who prefer the original soundtrack, it is available with purchases of Deluxe Edition and separately at the price of 3€ for download in digital stores. Sound effects are really well done  too, it is really satisfying playing this game with headphones. Hearing groans of zombies, flickering lights, doors cracking, MR.X walking around precinct trying to find. Voice acting is also top notch. With voice actors being newcomers to the series, they did a really good job to expand casts interactions with game’s events and bring out their personalities to light.

Notable changes:

****May contain spoilers****

For those who have experienced the original version. Since this games was build from the ground up a lot of things had been tweaked or changed. This section will not include every minor change, just the more prominent ones. Let’s start with the way campaign mode can be completed. There is no more scenario A & B, where both Leon and Claire could experienced the game from the different starting point, new areas and encounter all possible bosses. The game  has 1st and 2nd scenario mode, where characters go through a bit different path and have a bit different scenes, but generally their campaigns stay the same regardless if it is 1st or 2nd scenario. Which means bosses they encounter are still the same in both scenarios.

“MR.X now stalks you around R.P.D.”

Some of the boss encounters are the same for both character (even if it’s 2nd scenario), while other boss fights are exclusive to the characters campaign. Which means you can’t experience those boss fights with the other character and vice versa. Game locations have been tweaked, not only by adding new rooms or expanding area but even moving the scenes or locations, which you would experience in the start of the Original RE2 to somewhere 1/3 of the game or half through. This isn’t necessary a bad thing, a lot of changes make the story more coherent, but some of the changes are a bit questionable. They just seem to turn out  as “change, for the sake of change”. Some of the creatures you could encounter in the original are completely absent in the remake and they added one new enemy to replace one of them.Personal items: Leon’s Lighter and Claire’s lock pick had been cut from the game. The things you do in the 1st scenario has no impact on the 2nd scenario, unlike in the original. Where you had a choice to take inventory expansion pack or leave it for your other character on B scenario. One of the more interesting changes is  that MR.X won’t just try to attack you in one area or chase a bit if it’s scripted. Now he actually walks around the whole Police Department and stalks you (funny enough he still can’t enter save rooms, except for main hall). This is actually one of the better changes (depending how much you like to be disturbed in your tracks). There are more things which veterans of the series will be surprised by, but i think this pretty much covers the more significant things.

Replay Value:

Replay Value. How much playing time can Resident Evil 2 Remake offer. A lot if you want to complete both scenarios for both characters and extra modes. Even more if you like to complete the game on higher difficulties, get S ranks, unlock all achievements, complete all records (to unlock everything in gallery and other unlockables), residentevil.net website even hosts weekly online challenges for those looking for more challenge. The game’s length is pretty standard like the original game’s or most multi character Resident Evil games. It took me 5h49min to finish the 1st scenario with Leon, but i played cautiously for the first time. Replaying the same scenario right after. I managed to beat the game in 2h39min from the sheer memory. Second scenario with Claire took a bit longer than i’ve expected, because of the break from the game. I also played cautiously again (some of different things happen in the same places), did some mistakes running through and with puzzles. Ended up completing 2nd scenario at 4h52min. So it’s save to say on average the player’s will complete a scenario in 5-8hours respectively with both characters. Hunk and Tofu are also back in the “4Th Survivor’ mode. On top of all this Capcom will deliver a free downloadable content with episodes about the side characters in the game.

Conclusion:

Resident Evil 2 Remake does a great job that reimagining the classic game. Offering new comers to experience one the story, characters and setting of the game. While giving the fans of the series a whole new experience while keeping nostalgic elements in tact. I would definitely recommend everyone to play this game, even if you never played any Resident Evil games or survival horror games. And if you enjoyed this game, should give a shot to play the original. They’re both great in their own way.

Pros:

  • More coherent execution of storyline.
  • New experience for fans of the series.
  • Plenty of puzzles to keep gameplay from being repetitive.
  • Being stalked by MR.X can ended up being one of the most memorable moments of your playthrough.
  • Plenty of unlockables and extras to strive for.
  • Almost has a perfect length for one session playthrough.

Cons:

  • No real scenario A&B, which makes some boss fights character exclusive.
  • Can’t use key items on object from inventory. Always have to press on the object, which then prompts you to use it.
  • No extra mercenary/battle mode.

 

Score: 5/5 – Resident Evil 3 Nemesis next? CAPCOM please!

Developer(s): Capcom R&D Division 1.

Publisher(s):CAPCOM Co., Ltd.

Release Date: January 25 2019.

Genre: Survival Horror.

Mode(S): Single Player.

Platform(s): Xbox One, Playstation 4, Microsoft Windows.

System Requirements: Minimum

  • OS: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 (64-bit required)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-4460, 2.70GHz or AMD FX -6300 or better
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 or AMD Radeon R7 260x with 2GB Video RAM
  • DirectX: Version 11

           Maximum

  • OS: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 (64-bit required)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-3770 or AMD FX -9590 or better
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 480 with 3GB VRAM
  • DirectX: Version 11

Price:  Retail 50-70€ ,Microsoft Store 50-60€,  PSN 50-60€,  Steam 50-70€.

Official website: https://www.residentevil.net/en/two.html

All rights belong to CAPCOM Co., Ltd.

Images of gameplay used in this review were made by the author playing the game.