I'm trying to find a couple of plugs quickly and solve a puzzle to make my way out of a room. My ammo is very low. The zombies I shot thrice in the head a few seconds ago are back. There are more zombies lurking and the room is infected to a level of decay that is gross and can't really be explained in words. For nearly sixteen hours, I was treated to such scary, gory and gut-wrenching moments while trying to solve different puzzles, killing (avoiding mostly!) zombies and managing my inventory like no game has ever made me do in recent memory.
Resident Evil 2, remake of the 1998 classic, is remarkable in its own way while still retaining a heavy dose of nostalgia. Though a remake, the game has few story changes and is built from scratch using Capcom's in-house RE game engine, similar to the successful Resident Evil 7 launched two years ago.
Resident Evil 2, developed by Capcom R&D Division 1 and published by Capcom was released on January 25 for PS4 (Reviewed here), Xbox One and PC and is priced at Rs 3,999.
Set once again in Raccoon city, players get to choose between rookie cop Leon Kennedy and college student Claire Redfield to play the campaign. Both characters offer a slightly different story arc and the rooms are rearranged to offer more challenges. In fact, I had more fun playing the game again with the second character after finishing the campaign for the first time.
Resident Evil 2 has some of the finest in-game cinematic, storytelling and voiceover experiences for video games. The RE game engine is pushed to max here and can be seen with the in-depth character modelling and life-like facial expressions. When you see a zombie sinking its teeth into a NPC's throat, tear up the body and pull out the guts, you truly feel the tension and make up your mind that you don't want this to happen to you. This definitely feels like a 2019 game.
The UI design of the game is incredible. There is no delay launching menus. The maps are highly detailed and even highlighted items are aren't picked up in already cleared rooms. Inventory management is the heart of the game and the highly detailed maps helps you achieve this. Only limited set of items can be carried, and I ended up spending a lot of time thinking about what to carry and what to leave behind. Since ammo is precious, I also ended up trying to find new ways to avoid enemies rather than trying to be flashy and shoot them. While shooting, the crosshair initially gives a wide range but later narrows down to more accurate shooting when aimed for a longer time and this shooting mechanic works perfectly for the game.
Puzzle solving is also fun. I never got bored with trying to find items and using them to solve a certain puzzle and open new rooms. Some of the puzzles are repeated from previous games but still offer a lot for your brain. This reminded me of the Uncharted series, but Resident Evil 2 does this better as the puzzles are placed in a much tenser environment. However, one big letdown for me was the boss fights. Though I understand the run-away mechanics, I still feel Capcom could have done something different in this part of the game.
As of writing this review, Micro-transactions haven't opened up in the game yet. Until then we'll not know what direction Capcom heads as it changes directive with each game. Capcom's previous game Monster Hunter world had more player-centric micro-transactions but Street-Fighter was more Activision style and drew a lot of flank. I hope it takes the first route here.
Overall, Resident Evil 2 is a major contender of the best gaming experiences and definitely a game of the year (I know we are only in February).
Resident Evil 2, the 1998 original, has a special place in gaming history. Very few gaming sequels, like the GTA Vice City and Batman Arkham City released years later, surpass their predecessor in all aspects. 20 years later, the remake continues this trend as its easily the best game of Resident Evil series in the last two decades.