You know a game is good when I don’t want to stop writing about it, you know a game is really good when I want to stop writing about it to keep playing it, but you know a game is truly great when I spend two days attempting to power play through the whole thing and THEN can’t stop writing about it. Resident Evil 2 Remake is one of those games. Now I want to preface this by saying I have not played the original RE 2 (I know, blasphemy!) but I have played the rest of the games in the main franchise so they are all I have to compare to gameplay wise but I am aware of the story of the original so you can put the pitchforks and torches down now. Now into the actual “quick” review.
At a glance Resident Evil 2 Remake is a fantastic return to the fall of Raccoon City and the Resident Evil franchise as a whole. At first, the controls feel drifty and sluggish, but the initial sway almost immediately fades away as the players are thrust into the nightmare that Raccoon City has become. The updated inventory system not only improves on the originals by speeding up gameplay, reducing backtracking and forcing the player to pick and choose what they scavenge but also is the perfect representation of what this game truly is. Not a 100% port and not 100% a remake, it is a beautiful combination of the two. It recognizes where the original game needed improvement especially for a more modern gaming era and fixes it while also remaining a faithful recreation of everything that fans originally knew and loved about the franchise as a whole.
Where the game both shines and missteps is in playing through the games second campaign after completing the first playthrough (And before the question is asked yes, this is the true “Second playthrough” this isn’t an IGN review). While seeing the character that you didn’t initially pick, in my game I played Leon’s campaign first then Claire’s, intersect with your first playthrough is fun, and having to work with puzzles out of order or using different methods to reach similar plot points was challenging that was the problem, so many of puzzles are the same it ruins much of the immersion built up by the rest of the game. For example, without major spoilers, there is a portion of the game where the player is forced to deal with an outbreak of plants that have been infected with the same virus that is turning the local population into mindless flesh-hungry monsters and must synthesize a herbicide to progress, now on my first playthrough I was all for it and absolutely zero problems with this plot point and was excited to see what was in store for my second playthrough as the counterpart to this killer plant scenario, and the answer was…………… nothing. Exactly the same situation was presented in the second playthrough, with the exact same items, in the EXACT same places and all I could feel was severely disappointed in the lack of change, but since that is the only major complaint I have I’ll let it slide.
Overall, Resident Evil 2 Remake is a must play for any fan of the Resident Evil franchise and really any fan of survival horror, now if you’ll excuse me I have a few extra modes to try out and more than likely fail miserably at.