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  • (ominous music)

  • (zombie growls)

  • - [Daemon] Now this is how you remake a classic.

  • Capcom didn't just update 1998's Resident Evil 2

  • with modern graphics and controls.

  • They started from scratch to craft a modern feeling game

  • that expertly reanimates the horrifying atmosphere

  • and moments of extreme tension

  • that made the original so revered.

  • There's not a ton of content here

  • but I've enjoyed nearly every gory minute

  • of my return to Leon and Claire's shoes.

  • (ominous music)

  • 20 years is a long time, long enough that I'd forgotten

  • nearly everything about Resident Evil 2,

  • other than that I'd loved it back in the age

  • of the first Playstation.

  • So I got to experience it much as many of you

  • playing for the first time will.

  • But viewed side by side it's apparent

  • what an enormous improvement this remake is.

  • The horror heightening lighting affects

  • and convincingly terrified facial animations

  • are especially impressive

  • and the satisfyingly dismemberable zombies

  • are the best looking undead I've ever seen in a game,

  • and the juiciest.

  • I love the way they lurch around

  • and I'd venture a guess

  • that the designers were heavily inspired

  • by the tar man from Return of the Living Dead.

  • Some events have been rearranged or expanded upon

  • and there are some surprising twists I didn't remember.

  • But this is a mostly loyal remake

  • of the suitably dark and twisted story of Resident Evil 2.

  • Our heroes meanwhile are likable enough

  • but two-dimensional in their unwavering heroism.

  • That makes 'em a bit dull,

  • whereas a couple of the side characters

  • are more charismatic and interesting.

  • - [Leon] Jesus.

  • - [Daemon] Whether you play as Leon or Claire,

  • exploring dark hallways, solving silly but fun puzzles,

  • and blasting zombies all remains just as enjoyable today.

  • Raccoon City is divided into three large areas

  • which also serve as the stories acts.

  • Charting each area, learning the lay of the land,

  • and eventually overcoming the obstacles in your way

  • really never gets old.

  • (stairs rumble)

  • Capcom clearly doesn't expect us

  • to be running and gunning like superheroes.

  • The bloody beating heart of Resident Evil

  • is in careful inventory and management

  • and challenging, skin of your teeth survival.

  • It always seems like I was just barely scraping by

  • with enough bullets and healing items

  • which created a real feeling that I was in constant danger.

  • That tension has been elevated

  • by the commendable sound design.

  • - [Claire] What the hell is that?

  • - [Daemon] Resident Evil 2 gets horror atmosphere

  • like nobody's business.

  • At the same time, the remake

  • is a little more merciful than the original.

  • We get modern conveniences

  • like being able to save your progress at any typewriter

  • and maps which automatically update

  • to let you know if a room has been cleared of items.

  • (ominous music)

  • The real chiller in the first two thirds of the campaign

  • is the Tyrant super zombie.

  • He appears early on to stalk you

  • and his emotionless face and steady unstoppable gait

  • makes him Resident Evil's worthy counterpart

  • to Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers.

  • Hearing his relentless footsteps getting louder and louder,

  • knowing there is nothing I can do to stop him

  • filled me with a true sense of dread.

  • Eventually though, he becomes

  • more of an obnoxious inconvenience than a fear factor.

  • When you're trying to solve a puzzle and advance the story

  • it would've been nice if the big lug

  • would just take a hint and reside somewhere else.

  • (screaming)

  • I finished Leon's campaign in eight hours

  • that seemed to fly by a little too quickly

  • and eagerly jumped into Claire's

  • for what I expected to be a completely different perspective

  • on that faithful evenings events

  • after the two are separated in the story's opening moments,

  • but I was disappointed to find that she took

  • an extremely similar path, met the same people,

  • solved the same puzzles, and fought the same bosses.

  • You do have to adapt your tactics

  • and learn to use a new set of weaponry

  • and each hero does meet a unique, important person

  • that causes them to deviate from the shared path for a time.

  • It turns out the other perspective does exist,

  • but it's confusingly hidden

  • behind each character's second game mode.

  • You have to play through as Leon once

  • to unlock the second version as Leon

  • and the same for Claire.

  • By the time I figured this out

  • I had already played through the same campaign twice

  • but at least I'm finally seeing some new areas

  • and there is the promise of an alternate ending.

  • The way Capcom laid out these two versions

  • of the campaign is baffling.

  • (ominous music)

  • Capcom did a fantastic job of resurrecting

  • all the best part of the classic Resident Evil 2

  • and making them look, sound, and play like a 2019 game.

  • If you're of the mind

  • that the series had lost its way for awhile there

  • this game is very much a return to form.

  • The zombie combat is satisfying

  • and exploring the dilapidated ruins

  • of Raccoon City is a thrill.

  • The one big letdown is that Capcom

  • unintuitively hides the alternate perspective content.

  • Though whichever character you play as,

  • the experience of playing through

  • the new Resident Evil 2 for the first time

  • establishes a new standard for remaking classic games.

  • For more on Resident Evil

  • check out the first 15 minutes of gameplay,

  • our comparison of the remake and the original,

  • and our favorite moments from the series.

  • And for everything else stick with us right here at IGN.

  • (screams)

  • (ominous music)

(ominous music)

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Resident Evil 2 Review

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