After the release of Resident Evil 7, Capcom had a bit of success and renewed enthusiasm on their hands. Their new engine made the game look great, and the move to first-person was generally a success. While everyone was happy to have an all-new entry in the series, there was apparently enough demand after the Resident Evil 1 remake to do the same for the second game, along with a forthcoming remake of teh third entry. Unlike 1 remake’s traditional third-person perspective and 7’s first-person perspective, for Resident Evil 2 they decided on an over-the-shoulder view, and I think it really works well. I do wish the remake for 1 was in first-person, as that would really immerse the player in the atmosphere of the mansion.
By default the game begins with the player as Leon Kennedy (who more people may know from the fourth game), driving to Raccoon City to begin his new job on their police force. Stopping at a convenience store on the way, shit hits the fan and he escapes with Claire (whose brother happens to be Chris Redfield) and heads to the city.
Split off from Claire, Leon makes his way to the police station, a retrofitted museum. Armed only with a pistol, Leon starts exploring the station, soon finding a shotgun to help fight the enemies. First there are zombies to contend with, and then a “licker” is found crawling the wall and ceiling. While it’s possible to sneak by these blind enemies, if you’re running from other zombies or the Tyrant then the lickers will almost certainly get you.
Oh yeah, the Tyrant, aka “Mr. Stompy-stomp”. He is without doubt the scariest enemy in the game, not only just because he’s basically invincible. I think it really is due to the sound of his footsteps as he gets closer, and the fact he is ALWAYS roaming around. While he moves slightly slower than the player can run, he does speed up if within close distance. Besides running, he will also home in on you when you inevitably have to shoot a zombie in your way.
Eventually Leon makes his way to the parking garage, the sewer, and the Umbrella labs. Along the way are several more fun weapons and enemies, along with another character, Ada Wong. You get to play with her for a short while, armed with a pistol and a handy electronic hacking tool.
After completing Leon’s portion of the game, we start over again, this time as Claire. Split off from Leon, she also makes her way to the police station, this time near the back where the helicopter has already crashed. Early on Claire has 2 pistols: a weak pea-shooter with little ammo and a hip-shot .45 revolver that’s slow to reload. Thankfully it’s not long before she gets a grenade launcher(!) and an uzi(!!). Going through the station, the Tyrant also makes an earlier entrance, which helps to keep the tension going despite Claire’s impressive arsenal.
Eventually Claire makes it out of the police station, also through the parking garage, and makes her way to the orphanage to save Sherry. For a short while you actually play as Sherry, trying to escape the orphanage and avoiding Chief Irons. Before she’s inevitably caught, however, William busts in and kills him. Claire arrives at the orphanage, saving Sherry and takes her through the sewers, to the train car, and finally the lab.
Upon defeating the mutated William and saving Sherry once and for all, Claire meets Leon on the train and escapes the self-destructing lab.
Similar to the first Resident Evil, the best part of RE2 is the initial environment (in this case the police station) and playing as Leon. Exploring this new environment, finding clues about what happened, and those little items and treasure that open new doors and areas never seems to get old.
Everything that comes after isn’t necessarily bad. Claire’s campaign is also fun to play, and the different weapons do help, but I certainly wish Claire was forced away from the police station to a different and unique location to play through, such as an apartment complex, mall, etc.
Overall I had a lot of fun with the Resident Evil 2 remake, and I’m curious to see how well the third one does!