Resident Evil 2 PS4 Review
Posted on: 2019-01-28
Resident Evil 2 is a superb remake, I usually don’t like remakes or remasters but this is an exception that respects the source material where it brings survival horror to the modern era.
The gaming industry seems to be banking on 90’s nostalgia at the moment, with the Spyro and Crash trilogy remakes where we now move onto the more mature stuff with Resident Evil 2. Originally released in 1998, Resident Evil 2 is one of the best in the series alongside Resident Evil 4. In 2015 Capcom announced they were working on a full remake of the fan favourite title, but after that things went dark with no word about it until E3 2018. Now it is here, is it worth the wait and anticipation? Absolutely, let’s get into it.
Resident Evil 2 takes place in the fictional city of Racoon City in the year 1998, you either play as rookie police officer Leon S. Kennedy where it is his first day on the job or Claire Redfield who is looking for her brother Chris. However everything has gone wrong as a viral outbreak has gripped the city, which has turned its inhabitants into flesh eating zombies as well as other monstrosities. To be honest when Resident Evil 2 was released in the 90’s the voice acting was like someone trying to act out a Shakespeare production with a lobotomy, but with this remake the production values are high and the performances are excellent.
Resident Evil 2 goes back to a third person perspective unlike the experimental first person mode from 7; however it does share features and user interface systems from Resident Evil 7. For example you are no long bound to a static inventory like in the original game; you can gradually upgrade your inventory which will allow you to carry more items, weapons and ammunition. Just because the game is now third person do not mistake it for being more action focused like Resident Evil 4, no this is not the case it is a survival horror first and foremost where you have to manage ammo and recovery items so don’t be too trigger happy.
Enemies are mostly zombies roaming the corridors of the Racoon City police department, you can take them down but headshots do not kill them in one hit. This is an intentional choice from the developers, because in the old Resident Evil games the zombies acted as obstacles instead of cannon fodder, the best option is to runaway instead of engaging. In most situations you have to evaluate how you are going to get around monsters, as ammo is finite so you can shoot a zombie in the head to stagger them to walk past them. These situations get especially tense when you are surrounded by a small horde as they slowly shuffle towards you. It gets more tense and difficult in the later stages of the game when the game throws different and tougher enemies at you, so make sure you stock up on ammo.
You don’t only try to survive the clutches of flesh eating zombies; you have to solve puzzles to proceed. The puzzles aren’t brain taxing, they are your basic find an item and put it into a slot, or memorise a code and punch it in, they are not annoying levels of frustrating like in older Resident Evil titles but they are there to add variety.
After you have finished the game you are presented with a B scenario like in the original game, what this entails is that puzzles will be different and items will be swapped around. What I like about this is that it gives the game instant replay value; it makes you think on your toes as you have use to logic and not go straight to an area where an item was initially.
Visually the game looks amazing they have done an excellent job translating the original game into the current generation of hardware; it is staggering how far we have come with graphics technology the past 20 years. Leon and Claire look like actual people now instead of one polygon, with excellent detail on their character models with superb facial animation. Zombies and monsters look terrifying, with decaying flesh and body parts falling off them, the detail of the graphic violence in this game almost made me a bit queasy with how over the top and horrendous it is.
Is there anything wrong with Resident Evil 2? There are a couple of things, for one the framerate got on my nerves. The game desperately tries to run at 60 frames per second, but it’s all over the place on the base PS4 it really tanks when there are a lot of zombies on screen. The other issue I had are the boss fights, they are not that fun this due to the controls not being designed for such encounters as I wish there was a dodge button, but no I died several times in the Tyrant and Birkin fights. They feel a bit unnecessary because all the tension is sucked out with these boss fights, and I found myself getting a bit angry with them due their attacks having questionable hit detection.
Resident Evil 2 is a superb remake, I usually don’t like remakes or remasters but this is an exception that respects the source material where it brings survival horror to the modern era. What a fantastic way to kick off 2019, this is one of the first game of the year contenders.
Sam has lived in Bristol all his life. A keen cyclist he speeds around the city but video games are his bread and butter. Whether the old Nes and Snes games or the XBox One and Playstation releases he loves them all. Sam runs his own gaming blog called Bristolian Gamer where he had been reviewing indie games, doing retro reviews and venting his anger at the industry when it does wrong since 2010. Sam joined the 365Bristol team in December 2014.