Last year, at around the middle of February, I had to make a choice between buying Resident Evil 2 (REmake 2 going forward), the remake, or waiting two weeks to buy Devil May Cry 5 on release date. I chose Devil May Cry 5 and had a great time with the game, I’ll probably write about it in the future. One year later, I finally got to play REmake 2, had an amazing time with it and I’m going to tell you all about it with the hope that you buy it because I wish CAPCOM did this with a bunch of other franchises (Megaman, DMC while we’re at it, a decent Street Fighter, you get the idea) that deserve it as well.
In case you live under a rock and have never actually played a Resident Evil game, I’m sorry for you and I’ll try to explain what they are. RE games are horror games that emphasize in resource management and killing zombies. You had a limited number of saves in the first three games and on the hardest difficulties of the more recent games; you have a limited number of ammunitions, so you must pick your fights carefully; and recovery items are a rare luxury. With all that said, what makes, in my opinion, a good Resident Evil game? First, atmosphere; second, a coherent enough plot with likeable characters. I’ll focus on these aspects because we don’t want this article to drag on forever.
Atmosphere is the most important aspect of horror games and, at its core, the RE series is a survival horror game with action elements. As such, visuals, music and gameplay are the most important aspects to set the right mood. Much like the original, you begin by choosing which character you want to play as. Leon, a police officer on his first unofficial day on the job, or Claire, a college student who came to Raccoon City in search of her brother. The choice impacts your playthrough in a very important way. Leon can take one more hit than Claire before dying but Claire gets the better late game weapons. What does this translate to in gameplay? It means that while playing as Leon you can be more aggressive all throughout the game, which gives more of that action feel even in the gameplay segments. On the other hand, if you play as Claire, you’re struggling to survive until you get decent weapons since her first two suck, giving the game a more survival oriented feel, which is a great mix up if you play the stories back to back. To complement both of these base gameplay basics, there are amazing locales to visit, all interconnected with each other. You visit the police station first, which happened to be a museum, filled with secret passageways and tight corridors to make your escapes as narrow as possible. If you survive the station, you’re rewarded with the sewers section, which isn’t as long but has the same claustrophobic design of the ex-museum and introduces new mutations from the T and G viruses we’ve all come to know and love from our favorite pharmaceutical giant, Umbrella. You don’t feel safe anywhere. At last, you visit the laboratory where the G virus was created, now crawling with scientists turned zombies. In here you make your daring escape to freedom and to tell the world about the horrors that Umbrella is creating. All throughout the game there are three options, you hear no background music, which helps enhance the isolation and dread of loneliness exploring these giant places; you hear amazing tunes that fit amazingly well with zombie combat or you hear footsteps and zombie screaming as a reminder that while there are no other survivors, there are a ton a flesh eating creatures coming after you. As a whole, this makes for an amazing survival horror where you never feel truly safe and you have to plan every fight and move carefully, hell, I used up everything I had on Claire’s second run final boss and I consider myself a very good RE player.
Let us be real for a moment, video games can have amazing settings constantly but there are very few of them that have a great story to tell. CAPCOM games have never been concerned with telling an amazing story, but they know that you must be entertained to keep going and they nailed it with some things and screwed up with some other in REmake 2. If you’ve played the original, there is one scene in Leon’s side that will make you mad and the true ending is kind of cringy. While neither Claire nor Leon have time to get really fleshed out, they have enough personality to be charmed by them for the short time you spend with them. Leon is a skilled combatant and knows it so he’s cocky and sassy when fighting against the zombies. While Claire doesn’t have as much experience as Leon, she has received training from her lost brother who happens to be a member of the elite S.T.A.R.S. response team in Raccoon City; in her case, confidence is what I’d use to describe her attitude. While she’s the fish out of the water, her survival skills are there and are enough to give you the feeling that, yes, she should survive by herself. If you’ve played other games in the series you’ll notice immediately that their personalities are a little different since CAPCOM is kind of using these remakes as a reboot but that’s ok as long as they grow as well as they did before, it should be fine in the long run. In broad terms, Leon’s story revolves around him trying to figure out what the cause of the infection is and try to prevent it from spreading any more. Claire’s story is all about surviving, both the zombies and some human remnants. The DLC also touches on some of the characters you encounter during both stories and are entertaining.
In the end, I wish I could have talked some more about the RE series before writing about this game, but it IS the most recent one (although REmake 3 is just around the corner) and relevance is a factor for publishing. I hope that after reading this you’ll be compelled to try this very good game and support CAPCOM, who have been doing a very decent job of fan service. I’m still undecided on what I’ll be writing next, but it’ll certainly be more video games. I’m on the verge of starting Nier Automata and if I can be done with it quick enough that’ll be a good choice, the other option is more CAPCOM fellating with Megaman ZX collection. Until then, stay safe and take care of yourselves.
Featured image taken from APKpure