No other series in the history of video games has a more convoluted story than the Resident Evil series.

You may be familiar with the franchise and its zombie-infested track record but to have a clear understanding of the storyline and plot throughout its 10+ games in the series might be a bit too much for us simpletons. A remake is exactly what we needed to awaken our zombie love and to get us familiar with the series again. We’re happy to report that Resident Evil 2 firmly holds the mantle of what made the older game so good and builds better on the same formula with a 2019 flavour to it.

This is a remake from the ground up of the older Resident Evil 2 game and we reckon it's the first time many gamers will be playing the RE:2 game. So while you can find a lot of references to how it compares to the original title, I want to address this game as a 2019 title and how it feels to play a survival horror in an era where one could consider it a rarity.


A second run

The premise is simple on the surface. There’s a breakout in Racoon City and everyone’s munching on brains and flesh. Our heroes are on their way to the ill-fated city when they meet for the first time. You can play as the rookie cop Leon S. Kennedy or Claire Redfield. Both of them have slightly different playthroughs and story arcs. The story itself is very well written and perfectly paced, leading the characters to discover the truth about the virus causing the widespread violent hunger pangs in now turned zombie people.

We played the first round with Leon and to be honest, we cannot wait to jump back for our second serving of the zombie fest with Claire. Returning fans will be very pleased to know that the game stays very true to the source material of the first game and could almost entirely be reminiscent of the sentiments that made the older one so good.

Oh, B-positive

One of the most striking features that makes Resident Evil 2 immediately encapsulating is the attention to detail and the graphical grandeur complimenting it. Every level is meticulously detailed and the zombies themselves are near-perfect.

These brain-munchers are so compelling in behaviour that every encounter with the most basic zombie feels terrifying and nerve-racking. Their ‘zombie-walk’ and grotesque bodies make you terrified no matter how many time you see it. Dark and spookier corridors are rundown and splattered with blood. Meanwhile, the shadows and lights induce tension through its atmospheric vibe along with stellar audio and great level design.

Scare me stupid

The series is long stated to have complex web-like levels and that holds true in this game as well. The Racoon City Police Station, where you take your first steps in the right direction, is intriguingly puzzling. These metroidvania-ish levels will often require you to track back and forth to collect weird puzzle objects which makes you question the nature of this once museum but now said police station. It’s something very few games manage to achieve and Resident Evil 2 has some of the best level designs.

Aside from the puzzle challenges themselves, the zombies and a certain boss make for a very, very challenging atmosphere. The zombies are ridiculously persistent and shooting frantically at them will only delay your eventual doom. Even taking headshots is not easy because the zombies keep moving in indecisive ‘zombie’ ways. So you really need to focus in-between the building tension to make every bullet count.

Tension Management

The added layer of survival mechanics like the lack of resources drive anxiety and tension at its best. Game saving typewriters are few and far between so you really need to figure out your strategy before taking the next step.

Many times we would visit the pause menu and flit between the inventory page and the map to figure out my next destination and plan the route accordingly. By the end of it, we had the map at the back of our heads and not many games induce this level of involvement. It’s different. It’s needed.

Both health and ammo are sparsely available, so you need to pick and choose your fights. Either shoot the zombies in the head to incapacitate them momentarily or avoid and run past them and live to fight another day. We felt a little cheated by the shift in the balance of power but quickly realised that it was us that brought that upon ourselves. Shooting impulsively in the face of danger is definitely not a good strategy. Once you understand the survival aspect, the game feels well balanced.

Obviously, with the inclusion of more than one gun, grenades, knives (they have limited use) and ammo/health crafting, there are many ways to permanently splatter the wall with zombie insides but we’ll keep this review as spoiler-free as possible. Resident Evil 2 relies heavily on the little things that add up to its moment-to-moment gameplay effectively. Let's not ruin that for you.

Stuff says... 

Resident Evil 2 review

Much more than a remake, Resident Evil 2 is the series' best entry yet
Good Stuff 
Amazing story
A visual stunner
Immersive audio
One of the best level designs
Scary as hell
Bad Stuff 
Your future nightmares