Resident Evil 2 Remake – PS4

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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 g…
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Awards

Value For Money

Rating

  • Graphics
  • Multiplayer
  • Story (Career Mode)
  • Originality

You Might Like

  • Compelling story
  • Beautiful graphics
  • Excellent gameplay
  • The RPD!

Might Not Like

  • Micromanagement
  • Backtracking
  • The constant sense of doom as you limp through bloodsoaked corridors, hoping and praying for just one more health spray as you desperately attempt to escape the hell in which you find yourself
  • Difficult trophy/achievement list
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Description

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.

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?

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.

Calling 2019’s Resident Evil 2 a remake feels like an insult. Although it is a glorious recreation of 1998’s survival horror classic, it’s been built from the ground up using Capcom’s RE Engine. The iconic Raccoon City Police Station is as hauntingly beautiful as it ever was. From incredibly detailed character models to how your much-needed torch illuminates gloomy corridors and grotesque human remains, this game looks stunning.

A Perfect RE-imagining

Capcom have cleverly shuffled elements and re-imagined others to create something altogether familiar yet alien. The change from fixed camera angles to third-person over the shoulder is very welcome. At first players may feel lost in the claustrophobic corridors of RPD but, once you find one of the handy maps, things become a little clearer. You’ll definitely want to find a map early as they colour-code rooms. Rooms that need to be searched are red, rooms that don’t are changed to blue. This helps cut down the much-maligned back-tracking from the originals, but doesn’t eliminate it completely. Other useful information is noted on your trusty map, including locked doors and which key is required to open them. However, it doesn’t show locations of important documents and clues, so don’t rely too heavily on your new found friend.

Micromanagement is still as prevalent in Resident Evil 2 now as it was in 1998. You will continually check your map, examine your inventory and shuffling through documents you pick up for passwords and clues. Ensuring that I had enough ammo at all times, before exploring the next area, felt tricky yet rewarding and immersive as I stumbled through corridors, desperately searching for another clip to ensure my survival.

Upon starting a new game you’ll be asked to select a character – rookie cop Leon S. Kennedy or Claire Redfield, sister of Resident Evil 1 protagonist Chris Redfield. Whoever you pick you’ll playthrough a non-stop scarefest, meet different characters and use different weapons giving you a unique and different experience each time. Seeing the events of Resident Evil 2 unfold from a different perspective each time made me fall in love with the characters even more.  Once you complete the campaign you’ll unlock ‘2nd Run’ in which you’ll play as the other character. It’s only by completing the 2nd Run campaign that you’ll receive the ‘true ending’ and fight a final horrific creation. As if that wasn’t enough you’ll then unlock ‘The Fourth Survivor’ mode – a mini speed-run which sees an Umbrella soldier following Arnie’s advice by getting to the chopper.

So, just like the Resident Evil 2 of 1998, you can play four full-length campaigns. The story beats don’t vary greatly between first and second runs with the same character but they are still extremely enjoyable. Combine with various survivor missions, challenge modes, hardcore difficulty, and several rewards for successful speed-runs there really is a huge amount of replayability.

Both Claire and Leon’s scenarios flesh out their individual storyline as they did in the original, but as a new addition to this remake, both Ada Wong and Sherry Birkin are playable for short sections during Leon and Claire’s campaigns respectively. Both are interesting in their own ways and introduce new mechanics even if only for a brief time.

X Gon’ Give It To Ya

As every horror fan knows the only effective way to dispatch of a zombie is with a good old fashioned headshot. But often in Resident Evil 2, one or sometimes two headshots isn’t enough. Which means you may find there are far more enemies than you have bullets and a hasty retreat is your only option. I personally found, even on standard difficulty, I was constantly low on bullets. It didn’t help that I would test each corpse I found by shooting it before walking by.

Of course, with some enemies, running is the only option. The Tyrant T-00 (affectionately known as Mr X) is a hulking beast in a rather dapper hat and trenchcoat. He will stalk you for a large section of Resident Evil 2’s runtime. Be it a random encounter or a fear-inducing set piece, it feels like he’s always behind you… and he knows how door handles work. Although the thought of being constantly chased by Mr X may seem daunting, it doesn’t impede your ability to explore the RPD thoroughly. I did encounter one or two instances where he cornered me forcing me to waste bullets and momentarily stun him. On the brightside, if you knock off his hat, you’ll get a lovely trophy/achievement.

Hunters Beware

Speaking of trophies and achievements, this list is rather exhausting. By completing the campaign and a 2nd Run you’ll come away with roughly 30%. There are trophies/achievements linked to obtaining S Rank on each of the protagonist’s campaigns. To do this you must complete the game within a time limit and with minimal saves and health items. There are also trophies/achievements for not using any health items, and one for not using any of the item storage chests in the game. Ultimately, it’s a rather difficult game to get 100% on, but will bring several bragging rights to those that manage it.

Final Thoughts

Part of Resident Evil 2’s challenge is weighing up the risk versus reward. Do you go back for that weapon or inventory upgrade through a zombie infested area that may cost you a healing item or more bullets than you can afford? But that is part of the game’s long-lasting appeal. Although this Resident Evil 2 is a beautiful and modern-feeling game, beneath its new and sumptuous graphics is the beating heart of the original.

But that is exactly what made the original Resident Evil 2 such a console-selling classic, though some story beats have been streamlined and some gameplay mechanics have been modernised, this is a re-imagining that stands by the source material. It walks the line between schlock-horror and utterly terrifying that the older Resident Evil games managed so well, and does so in one of the most atmospheric and iconic buildings to ever grace a survival horror game – the RPD.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Graphics
  • Multiplayer
  • Story (Career Mode)
  • Originality

You might like

  • Compelling story
  • Beautiful graphics
  • Excellent gameplay
  • The RPD!

Might not like

  • Micromanagement
  • Backtracking
  • The constant sense of doom as you limp through bloodsoaked corridors, hoping and praying for just one more health spray as you desperately attempt to escape the hell in which you find yourself
  • Difficult trophy/achievement list