Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 2

I’m glad it’s now all but universally accepted that “classic” Resident Evil gameplay is kind of shit. The best games in the series, 4 and 7, were the ones that reinvented the formula, and now with this remake, 2 can join them, possibly at the very top. That’s not to say it completely abandons its roots – it’s still about escalating dread and resource management – but it no longer needs to use artificial movement and saving restrictions as a horror crutch. Instead, the presentation is gruesome and claustrophobic, jump scares (both natural and scripted) are skillfully executed, and there are multiple features that exist solely to prevent players from ever feeling truly safe.

The vital ingredient here is that even if this wasn’t a horror game, it would still be entertaining. There are no incidental enemy encounters; even the basic zombies have complex and organic behaviours and interactions. Furthermore, as nonsensical as the puzzles may be, they’re never annoying. There was a cost to all of this enhancement, however. The remake omits several enemy types and the beloved interweaving of its two campaigns. The narrative also largely failed to modernize; its plot and writing are serviceable, but its premise is distractingly stupid even by series standards. Finally, the music and sound effects are great, as is the voice acting…for everyone except the protagonists, strangely.

7/10
7/10

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