Resident Evil 2 (2019) is the kind of standard that you hope for when a developer announces that they are releasing a remake. You won’t be getting any of this ‘Remastered’ nonsense that every developer seems to be churning out these days. Resident Evil 2 is the real deal: a complete recreation of the original game built from the ground up in Capcom’s impressive RE engine.
Despite being based on a game from 1998, this game feels worthy of its 2019 release date. The 1998 version of Resident Evil 2 managed to achieve a lot given the technical limitations of the time, but to a lot of modern gamers, there are a number of aspects of the game that do not hold up today. Gone are the fixed camera angles, the annoying loading times and the restricted control scheme. Capcom could’ve gone the route of Resident Evil 7 by making the game first person but instead decided to switch back to the third person perspective from Resident Evil 4-6.
There’s no doubt that this remake looks and feels like a current gen game, while retaining a number of the memorable and quirky features seen in the original such as saving at Typewriters and forcing you to manage a small inventory. In keeping with the original, you’ll also play as both Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield. Each character has a main A playthrough as well as a custom B playthrough. As you’d expect, large chunks of each story overlap, and this is obviously very noticeable once you begin your second playthrough. That said, without spoiling it, it’s worth mentioning that you will meet different characters, that will impact the story, unlock different areas of the Police Station and use different weapons by embarking on that second playthrough. For this reason, it’s definitely worth checking Part 2 out, even if you have to take a small break before returning.
Capcom has nailed the survival horror aspect of Resident Evil 2, though at points it does feel as if the horror elements come at the detriment of the gameplay. Every item in the game has a set place instead of being tailored to the player’s inventory. While this does make the game feel extremely tense as you know you cannot waste a single bullet, there are moments when this can be frustrating. For instance, we both had situations in the game where we constantly found ammo for a gun that we didn’t have, yet were stuck with next to nothing for our equipped weapons.
You might think that in a game where ammo is scarce, playing on PC would make the game significantly easier as you can take your time to line up headshots against slow zombies. This couldn’t be further from the truth as it’ll take a large amount of bullets to get a zombie to stop attacking you, and even this solution isn’t permanent as the zombies will continue to rise if their head is still intact.
As we mentioned earlier, we played the game on PC and we are happy to report that Resident Evil 2 ran perfectly on our machines. This doesn’t come as too much of a surprise considering the only other RE Engine game to be released at this point is Resident Evil 7, and that also ran smoothly. We had the option of running the game at 4K/60 and 1080p/240, both of which performed very well (albeit with a few tweaks to get a smooth frame rate, specifically at 4K). The environments and character models look crisp and realistic, which makes creeping around the Police Station and surrounding area all the more disconcerting. While Resident Evil 2 doesn’t have as many action packed moments as a high-paced action game, this certainly does bode well for the PC port of Devil May Cry 5 which should run just as smooth as this game does.
Whether you’re a hardcore Resident Evil fan or someone who has never bothered with the franchise before, this remake is definitely worth your time. We never played Resident Evil 2 the first time around (because we were four years old), but we’ve recently played some of Resident Evil HD Remaster and we are so thankful that Capcom put the effort into remaking this rather than simply remastering it. While the older titles are interesting to play through in their original form, this remake demonstrates how classic games can be revived and updated, making them more accessible for everyone.
Back in 1998, Resident Evil 2 defined the survival horror genre and twenty years later, it has successfully continued that legacy.