The Resident Evil 2 Remake came out 21 years after the eye watering playstation original that took no time to amass a cult of devoted followers. This is not the first time that Capcom has attempted a remake; their last attempt was graphically astonishing but the actual gameplay was lacklustre and left fans feeling a little out of pocket.
However, this time round Capcom are not making the same mistakes and this release is nothing short of sublime, at least if blowing the heads off zombies in a nightmare city with a shotgun is your idea of sublime.
Its an over-the-shoulder horror survival game which will have you sweating and squirming in your seat as you fight off the zombie hoards. The music and sound effects are extremely intense adding a great dimension to the game and once you hear the zombie snarl you’ll never be able to unhear it!
This remake remains pretty faithful to the original plot line of Resident Evil 2, and as before you are forced out of safety and find yourself in a city that has been over run with zombies and terrifying mutated monsters! The atmosphere of the game is so murky and thick that you could cut it with a knife and a constant gloom seems to drip down on you as you go from pool of light to pool of light.
The plot is by and large linear, however there are optional paths that you can take, and there are also puzzles to solve along the way.
You play as either Claire Redfield, a student searching for her brother who is in the special task force; or you can play as Leon S. Kennedy, a rookie cop in the Racoon City Police Force. The supporting characters that you meet throughout the game, such as the good cop, Marvin Branagh, are done more sensitively and with greater detail than in its predecessor. There have been great improvements as well with the zombies, who have a degree of individuality you rarely see in any game.
You will discover however that throughout the game there is quite a limited supply of ammunition which means when you miss a shot it really counts. Sometimes though it will be worth trying to stay out of a firefight to save on your ammunition, and this kind of calculation that the game forces on you only adds to the tension you’ll be feeling! The game seamlessly weaves you through high intensity fire fights and terrifying zombie action and then through longer periods where you can explore the environment, the police station for the most part, but then just as you are starting to relax or feel safe you get hit with another wave of action.
Capcom has done an excellent job with this remake and have managed to balance the retro-chic zombie appeal with up to date graphics and environments. Overall, this game is a real winner and probably the best offering yet from the studio.The constant sense of unease, the terrifying environment, the dripping atmosphere and great characters to play as all combine with the ultra-violence of slaughtering the zombie hoards to produce a horror survival game that is as near to perfect as Capcom, or anyone for that matter, has managed to create to date.