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Resident Evil 2 - Hands on review.

It's been a few days now since Resident Evil 2 was released on Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to have had ample chance to sit down and get hands on with Capcom's latest instalment into the long running Resident Evil franchise.

It's been 13 years since the release of Resident Evil 4, which amongst some fans was considered the best in the franchise. This was despite the concept change from the well-known suspenseful horror series to more of an action based 'shoot em' up' style. The positive response from some fans was clearly noted and prioritised as it was easy to see the influence that Resident Evil 4 had over subsequent releases. This shift in dynamics didn’t go down to well in future releases with the next few games receiving backlash from fans of the series. In 2017, Capcom released Resident Evil 7 which finally saw a return to the classic survival horror genre that the fans of the games were accustomed to and craved. This opened the doorway for present day and the release of Resdent Evil 2 Remake.

Resident Evil 2 Remake has taken what was originally considered by many as the ultimate cult classic and re-imagined the concept in all the HD glory. At the time of this review I have put in over 25 hours of gameplay and have completed both Leon A and Claire B a total of 3 times! For the purpose of this review, I will take you through the Leon A campaign.

After watching some very intense and entertaining cutscenes, the Resident Evil 2 Remake throws you in to a post-apocalyptic hellhole that takes the form of Raccoon City Police Station. Your one goal now is to escape the police station and ensure your survival!

The attention to detail in the police station really does add to the immersion in to the character and surroundings. You really do believe that the G Virus outbreak is an imminent threat. From the blood-stained walls and floorboards, to the dismembered and impaled bodies strewn throughout the entire station; the detail is amazing. The trick is to remember that no matter how dead they look – some in fact are very much not!

The first thing that I noticed about this remake was the graphics. I played with both the HDR enabled and disabled on my PS4 Pro and I came to the conclusion that I actually preferred it disabled. With HDR on, the game seemed brighter than it should be, which means the hallways and tunnels that are purposefully intended to be dark and eerie are no longer that way. I was able to see everything and completely lost the feeling that dark hallways and the unknown create; this is what Resident Evil is about. I can appreciate how some may prefer a lighter option, but it wasn’t for me. With the HDR off these hallways are perfect. Certain parts of the game were so dark that I had no way of seeing something without pointing my flashlight directly at it. This made navigating the hallways a genuinely scary and suspenseful task. Every corner was a breath holding moment where I was wondering what was on the other side! The RE engine is clearly amazing because the graphics in this game are outstanding. The biggest letdown for me, in terms of graphics, is the blood. It just doesn't look like real blood at all and I have definitely seen it done better in other games. Considering how good the rest of the graphics are, that let down is extremely disappointing.

In typical Resident Evil fashion, this game is packed with puzzles which leaves the player traipsing around finding key items in order to proceed within the game. This is a concept very familiar to any Resident Evil player.

If you haven't played this title, I would highly recommend doing so! It’s definitely up there with the best Resident Evil games of all time! With cutscenes worthy of a blockbuster movie, the opening cutscene in particular is just fantastic and really helps set the scene for what is to be a very intense and immersive fight for survival!

If you have already played this game or the original RE2 title, you would know what a formidable foe Tryant a.k.a Mr X is. The constant threat of your impending death is genuinely unnerving with the sound of his heavy footsteps. A constant and terrifying reminder that he is always just a couple of steps behind!

Resident Evil’s action feels better than it has in years, and its smooth controls are incredibly intuitive; unlike previous titles which have sometimes felt quite clunky and heavy. The movement and animation of the zombies whilst sometimes predictable can also be quite random. This allows you the choice to run or fight every time you come across a zombie.

Overall Resident evil is a breath of fresh air for a long time fan of the series taking the game back to its roots whilst giving it a facelift and a much more modern take on a cult classic!

If you haven't played this title I would highly recommend doing so! Its definitely up there with the best Resident Evil games of all time!

Overall Score 9.5/10

Written by Gaming Australia.

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