Saturday, September 5

Resident Evil 2 Remake Review

I played on: PS4
I paid: £49.99
Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Notes: N/A

Resident Evil 2 Remake (REmake 2) came out in 2019 after years of fan interest in such a project. 20 years of high expectations are hard to accomplish but I’ll be damned if it didn’t just reach them and even exceed them. So, let’s look at how and why this remake is so good…

I know it may sound shallow to talk about the presentation before we mention story or gameplay, but the fantastic visuals here really do tie into the gameplay. Firstly, the voice acting is amazing across the board which is a huge improvement from the classic game. Unlike that 1998 original everything here looks and feels so real and based in reality. This is partly due to the technique used, it’s called ‘photogrammetry’. Which involves getting full 3D scans of props, actors, and even raw meat to create the disturbingly realistic textures and models found throughout the game. 

As well as the beautifully detailed faces, clothing, and general environments the new RPD feels so much more real due to its new layout. Most rooms remain the same in location and/or design. What changes however are small details that just make sense. The main RPD lobby now has stairs to the second level instead of the previous emergency fire ladder. Raccoon City police officers and civilian visitors now even have access to toilets, unlike the old RPD layout. I said in my review for the original RE2 that the locations were the game's biggest weakness but that’s far from the case with this remake. The RPD, Sewers, and underground lab all feel great and are a pleasure, albeit a tense and unnerving one, to explore.

Gameplay-wise, this is a very different beast from the original. As much as I would have loved a return to the classic fixed camera perspective, I do think this over-the-shoulder view works well here. Leon moves very similarly to how he does in Resident Evil 4. The shooting is much more precise than it was in the classic RE2 and as such takes much more of a focus here. Zombies feel like nearly unstoppable monsters never really dying unless you destroy their heads completely. Enough damage will slow them down allowing you to run past but even when they fall to the floor it’s not uncommon for them to get up later. REmake 2 just makes everything more streamlined than it used to be. This goes for the movement, shooting, and puzzles which all feel much tighter than they used to.

Sadly, this quality begins to wain when we look at the monsters of REmake 2. The zombies and Lickers remain fantastic and I love them. In fact, the introduction to the zombies here rivals the classic introduction from the first game and its remake. The issues begin when you realize how many monsters from the original game are missing. No more giant spiders, evolved Lickers, giant moth boss, and even the classic crows are gone. I’d love to say the canon was updated to include Crimson heads from the remake of the first game but they’re also absent. The omission of Crimson heads feels like a real wasted opportunity since we could have seen more of the evolution from zombie to Licker. Crows as well would have been a great chance to put the refined shooting to the test. The Ivy monsters from the underground lab are here but their origins and look have changed. In the classic RE2, the Ivy was based on Plant 42 from the mansion. These new plants, known as Plant 43, were made smaller and able to walk making it easier for them to find organic food. Now in REmake 2, these are humans that have been captured and taken over by Plant 43. Unlike the original game Plant, 43 is now a massive plant similar to Plant 42 and the Ivy are separate beings made by it. These undead-plant hybrids now guard the area around its host seemingly protecting it. I understand that it’s all personal taste, but I prefer the classic Ivy because of its independence and overall inhuman appearance. 

Overall, this is a fantastic remake. The areas you spend most of your time in are much better and more enjoyable than they used to be. I’d say the RPD now matches the Spencer mansion in terms of quality. Sadly, the strongest quality of the original is now the weakest aspect of the remake and that’s the monsters. Much less variety in general and some very major missed opportunities. As much as I love this remake, I do feel the absence of some classic monsters. Still, if you’re a fan of the series then this is a must-play. A remake of an absolute masterpiece that does justice to its origins while feeling fresh and modern!

Recommendation Rating: 9 out of 10

No comments:

Post a Comment