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Resident Evil 2 (PS4)
- A spine-chilling reimagining of a horror classic - Based on the original PlayStation console release in 1998, the new game has been completely rebuilt from the ground up for a deeper narrative experience
- A whole new perspective - New over-the-shoulder camera mode and modernized control scheme creates a more modern take on the survival horror experience and offers players a trip down memory lane with the original gameplay modes from the 1998 release
- Terrifyingly realistic visuals - Built on Capcom's proprietary RE Engine, Resident Evil 2 delivers breathtakingly photorealistic visuals in 4K whilst stunning lighting creates an up-close, intense and atmospheric experience as players roam the corridors of the Raccoon City Police Department (RPD)
- Face the grotesque hordes - Zombies are brought to life with a horrifyingly realistic wet gore effect as they react in real time taking instant visible damage, making every bullet count
- Iconic series defining gameplay - Engage in frenzied combat with enemies, explore dark menacing corridors, solve puzzles to access areas and collect and use items discovered around the environment in a terrifying constant fight for survival
- See favorite characters in a whole new light - Join rookie police officer Leon S. Kennedy on his first day in the job and college student Claire Redfield, who is searching for her brother amidst a terrifying zombie epidemic
- Step into the rookie shoes of both heroes - Enjoy separately playable campaigns for both Leon and Claire, allowing players to see the story from both characters' perspective
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Platform: PlayStation 4 | Edition: Standard
The genre-defining masterpiece Resident Evil 2 returns, completely rebuilt from the ground up for a deeper narrative experience. Using Capcom's proprietary RE Engine, Resident Evil 2 offers a fresh take on the classic survival horror saga with breathtakingly realistic visuals, heart-poundingly immersive audio, a new over-the-shoulder camera, and modernized controls on top of gameplay modes from the original game. The nightmares return reimagined for the PlayStation4, Xbox One and PC.
In Resident Evil 2, the classic action, tense exploration, and puzzle solving gameplay that defined the Resident Evil series returns. Players join rookie police officer Leon Kennedy and college student Claire Redfield, who are thrust together by a disastrous outbreak in Raccoon City that transformed its population into deadly zombies. Both Leon and Claire have their own separate playable campaigns, allowing players to see the story from both characters' perspectives. The fate of these two fan favourite characters is in players hands as they work together to survive and get to the bottom of what is behind the terrifying attack on the city. Will they make it out alive?.
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A spine-chilling reimagining of a horror classic
Based on the original PlayStation console release in 1998, the new game has been completely rebuilt from the ground up for a deeper narrative experience.
Terrifyingly realistic visuals
Built on Capcom’s proprietary RE Engine, Resident Evil 2 delivers breathtakingly photorealistic visuals in 4K whilst stunning lighting creates an up-close, intense and atmospheric experience as players roam the corridors of the Raccoon City Police Department (RPD).
See favourite characters in a whole new light
Join rookie police officer Leon S. Kennedy on his first day in the job and college student Claire Redfield, who is searching for her brother amidst a terrifying zombie epidemic.
Iconic series defining gameplay
Engage in frenzied combat with enemies, explore dark menacing corridors, solve puzzles to access areas and collect and use items discovered around the environment in a terrifying constant fight for survival.
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As before, you can play the game from one of two perspectives, that of either Leon S Kennedy or Claire Redfield, both of whom are unfortunate enough to find themselves caught up in the apocalyptic events, Leon because it is his first day on the job as a Raccoon City police officer, and Claire because she is desperately trying to find her brother Chris.
Like in the original, each character has a different campaign from the other as they tackle the zombie menace from opposite perspectives. Some of the areas that are open to Leon will not be for Claire, and vice versa. Each character also has a very different arsenal of weapons to the other, meaning that their style of play is distinct.
It took me about 8 hours complete my first play through. In truth your second play through will probably take less time as you are able to breeze through those parts of the game that are identical for both Leon and Claire, but with 'new game+' options for both characters (which will be slightly different from your original play through's), there is plenty of incentive to play through a couple of times with each character, meaning you have here a game that has a great deal of replayability, well in excess of twenty hours worth of game play, and provides plenty of value for your money.
Your adventure as either character starts on the road outside the city limits at an abandoned gas station in a short scene that effectively acts as a game tutorial. Here you will learn how character and camera movement operates, aiming and shooting works, and how to use your inventory and use various items. The game effectively drip feeds you further tutorials as you proceed so you never feel at a loss with regards what to do or how things work.
From this very first scene it's immediately obvious just how good the visuals are. Characters are extremely realistic looking, so much so that in cut scenes you can seemingly see every skin pore, hair, and bead of sweat! Character movement is fluid and natural, and the use of lighting and shadows makes every part of the game scary and foreboding.
Sound is also very good. The voice talent is excellent and scenes are well scripted - no more corny 'master of unlocking' lines or anything like that! As you traverse the dark corridors of the Raccoon City Police station and other locations, rain will batter the windows, steam will vent from broken valves, water will drip from overhead pipes, and the sound of the dead is never far away, all of which creates a very palpable feeling of dread at almost every turn.
Controls are similar to those that fans of the franchise have been using since Resident Evil 4. The left stick moves your character, whilst the right stick operates the camera. There are no fixed camera angles unlike the very early Resident Evil games, and this method helps to increase the sense of anticipation as you are forced to frantically search every corner and shadow for threats rather than have the entire room laid out for you to see.
The left trigger readies your weapon, whilst the right trigger is used to discharge it. The left shoulder button readies secondary weapons such as the knife. The keypad is used to interact with items, reload your weapons, and access your inventory and other menus. It's all very fluid and ergonomically designed.
In terms of story, as I mention at the top of the interview this is a reimagining of the classic original game rather than a simple remake. Whilst the broad strokes of the storyline and most of the characters remain the same (and you will still meet the likes of Ada Wong, Sherry Birkin, and Marvin along the way), the fine details are quite different, so even if your memory is good enough to recall every detail of a game you probably last played twenty years ago, this one should feel almost entirely new and fresh to you.
The way the game is laid out is also almost entirely different from the original. You still start out on the streets of the city desperately trying to find your way to the assumed safety of the Police Department, although sadly you do not have a run-in with an unfortunate gun store owner at this time (but who knows what might happen later!)
The vast majority of the game as before is set within the confines of the Police station and the secret underground Umbrella laboratory,however other than certain key areas - such as the main entrance hallway of the Police station for example - the rest of the game map is almost completely dissimilar from what you would have seen before. You will still find all of the kinds of things you would expect from the Police station, but the layout of the landscape is pretty much entirely different from before.
The objective of the game is still to escape with your life, and you will of course still find yourself embroiled in a conspiracy of epic proportions, but at the start you will find yourself restricted to one small part of the map and are required to solve a series of small puzzles or mysteries in order to proceed to other areas. As is tradition, these puzzles are always of the 'find hand crank/find I.D card/find diamond key/find 3 x medallions' variety.
Whilst looking for key mission items you will also find a variety of useful inventory items to help you keep the hordes at bay. These range from simple ammunition for your weapons, heavier weaponry such as the shotgun or grenade launcher, special weapons such as flash bang and fragmentation grenades, to components that make your existing weapons more deadly or effective (such as the extended pistol magazine). The game sees the return of the well known 'herb' method of healing injury and poison (as well as the usual first aid sprays), but also the use of the 'gunpowder' system of producing ammunition, which didn't appear in the original version of this game (not being first introduced until Resident Evil 3).
As usual one of the best things about any Resident Evil game are the monsters that you have to face along the way, and this game doesn't disappoint. All of the favourites are there, from the ubiquitous zombie (no more mutated Spanish or African villagers!), dogs, and lickers, and you will also find yourself stalked by returning key characters such as the monstrous William Birkin and mysterious Mr X.
Combat has become more detailed than ever before. I recall my shock and excitement in the first version of this game when I blew a zombie in twain with a shotgun, and the top half continued to crawl towards me. In this new game however you can blow all sorts of parts off zombies. Of course the best way to put a zombie down for good is a head shot, but you can shoot their arms off, or knee cap them to send them sprawling to the floor - and yes - blow them in half with a shotgun if you like!
Combat is not without it's problems however.
The main frustration I have with it - in fact probably the main frustration with the entire game - is just how difficult it is to put down the average zombie and make sure it stays down for good. One would think that a good single shot from a pistol to the centre of the forehead should be enough, but I have had zombies that have literally taken seven or eight shots to the cranium to permanently kill, which is just ridiculous!
It is the case that a hit to a superficial part of a zombies head such as the jaw will result in quite realistic cosmetic, non-fatal damage (I've had zombie with their entire faces blow off still shuffling towards me), but I've frequently seen zombies take a couple of hits to the brain pan, fall down, get back up, take a couple more hits, fall down, and get back up again! A lot of the time they will lay there seemingly dead (again) and not react at all to your presence when you walk over them, but then be back on their feet when you exit and return to the room a couple of minutes later! My advice: If you see a corpse lying on the floor, give it a poke with your knife to make sure it really is just a corpse!
Ammunition is never in plentiful supply and you'll always want to make your shots count because of it's scarcity, so it's extremely frustrating to time and time again hit a zombie right in the sweet spot only to see it shrug it off or get back up for another go at you! Other weapons such as the Magnum, Shotgun, and Grenade Launcher seem as deadly as ever, but the standard pistol is VERY under powered, and sadly it's this weapon that you're going to find yourself relying on for the vast majority of your killing.
Zombies are also very, very difficult to hit at all, despite their generally slow movement, as they sway and loll back and forth, and even more difficult to lay a head shot on - let alone half a dozen head shots - so my recommendation for non-hardcore gamers who are looking to enjoy rather than be frustrated by the experience of playing is to go with the 'assisted' game mode that offers a degree of auto-targeting.
Camera angles can also make it very tricky fighting off enemies. This is partly by design as the game creators needed a way to make the standard, slow moving zombie more scary and intimidating and thus designed it so that they will attack when, and from a direction that made them scarier and more difficult to anticipate. It's not uncommon however to find yourself backed into a dark corner and hopelessly spinning your cross hair around, trying to properly focus on an enemy without success, especially in darker areas and especially against faster moving enemies like dogs and lickers. The key to success then is positioning and to always try to ensure you have safety at your back, a long, clear line of fire to your front, and a way out if you need it.
Despite these frustrations, Resident Evil 2 is still a terrific gaming experience that will be as exciting for new people who have come to the franchise as it will be for those like myself who are revisiting this game after a two decades long period of absence. It's great to see the franchise return to Raccoon City and it's traditional roots, and there's nothing here that's so bad it would force me to offer the game anything less than the maximum five star review.
- Looks gorgeous and the visuals are there, making Raccoon City and it’s locations look better than they ever have before
- Some interesting reimagining on original release. Mr X’s constant stalking works well..
- Virtually no difference between Leon A/Claire B & Claire A/Leon B scenarios, despite being vastly different in the original
- Removed enemy types and scenes that were key to original
- VERY SHORT, by today’s gaming standards, a playthrough of each character can be completed within 3/4 hours once you know where you’re going and what to do...
- Bullets and healing items are far too sparse even on Standard Mode, causing some bosses etc to be more irritating than enjoyable
- Character designs are fairly flat, Ada seems to have been reduced to more of a cameo role and Leon and Claire seem more ‘wooden’
I never invisaged myself as writing a mediocre review for this game, but it feels honestly as if Capcom has keyed into people’s desire for nostalgia and the love and success of the original game to churn out a sub standard remake. The continuity and storytelling is tampered with and interfered too much and damages the memory rather than improves it. A very short adventure, sadly not nearly as amazing as I remembered...