Resident Evil 2 Remake is an atmospheric tension-filled journey, and a showcase of survival-horror mechanics at its finest.
In this remake of the 1998 classic for the original PlayStation, most of Raccoon City’s population has been turned into mindless flesh-eating zombies after an experimental virus is accidentally released from the research labs of the nefarious pharmaceutical company Umbrella Corp.
You must escape the monster-infested halls of the Raccoon Police Department as either rookie police officer Leon Kennedy or plucky college student Claire Redfield, and work to uncover the conspiracy behind the viral outbreak.
After the previous two action-packed entries in the series that were RE 5 and 6, Resident Evil 2 Remake is a return to the franchise’s survival-horror roots, with a stronger focus on instilling fear and tension. The cramped halls of the maze-like police station are full of danger at every turn, and a general shortage of supplies forces you to treasure every bullet you find.
Like the original, you will need to search for key items and solve puzzles while fighting off various monsters such as zombies, mutated dogs, powerful wall-crawling ‘lickers’ and even a gigantic undead crocodile. However, the biggest (and scariest) addition to the range of enemies you’ll face is Mr X, a powerful, hulking, behemoth that stalks you around the station and is basically invincible. You can shoot him to slow him down for a while, but he will always get back up and track you down again. This new gameplay mechanic infuses a sense of dread into every moment of the game.
Besides adding in new ways to scare you, the visuals also shine. Built using the RE engine from 2017’s Resident Evil 7, zombies look suitably horrifying, while explosion and water effects are pristine. The sound effects also deserve to be commended, and offer clues about enemy location if you are brave enough to turn the volume up.
Resident Evil 2 Remake is a masterpiece of the modern survival-horror genre, nailing the balance between action and cautious exploration perfectly. With unlockable outfits and weapons adding ample replay value (and a hardcore mode where you can play as a block of tofu armed only with knives), RE 2: Remake is the first must-play title of 2019.
Resident Evil 2 Remake is rated M for Mature, and features scenes of blood and gore, intense violence and strong language
Note: This review was written with an advance copy provided by Capcom Asia.