Resident Evil 2 will probably stand as one of the best console games of the 20th century. Too bad I’m not a console player, so imagine my excitement when I heard a remake was being released for the PC.
More than a few people whom I’ve spoken to readily admit that they first fell in love with the horror genre because of the Resident Evil series. However, those same people have probably never played a true horror/adventure game on the PC.
Night of the Living Dead clone
With that said, Resident Evil 2 is going to have trouble competing with all classic horror made-for-PC titles like Sanitarium, Phantasmagoria, Condemned: Criminal Origins, and to an extent, Doom. But Resident Evil 2 is still worth playing, if only for its solid gameplay, its updated features, and its wacky humor.
The game takes place in a world so faithful to the plot of the classic Night of the Living Dead movies that you could almost consider the game an unlicensed adaption. Both are slim on character design, but thick with drama, tension, and funny B-movie type dialogues. Despite never having played a Resident Evil game before, RE2 uses all these techniques to great effect.
Who knew opening and closing doors would be so scary!
Most of the gameplay centers around hunting for keys and solving puzzles with the obligatory zombie slaying along the way. The character models looked great on the consoles and have been improved for the PC as have the animations. When you first see a zombie shuffle and twitch towards you with its decapitated torso slithering across the floor, you’ll get a shiver down your spine that’ll last with you throughout the game.
But zombies aren’t the only ones that can take a beating. Heroes can take damage that hinders their movement often limping or dragging their feet as they absorb increasingly more punishment. While a great concept to help balance the gameplay, it becomes a serious pain in the rear when you find yourself limping clear across a room just to get some health.
The fixed camera angles can be a problem as well as it occasionally gets in the way when you’re confronted by a swarm of the undead from multiple angles. This is a definite negative since RE2 is more focused on combat than the average adventure game where you have time to make adjustments. Luckily, the newly added over the shoulder viewpoint helps alleviate many of those problems.
Without a doubt, one of the neat features that set RE2 apart from most games is the crisscrossing of plot lines. You can play from the perspective of Clair Redfield (sister of Chris Redfield who was one of the main characters from the first game) or Leon Kennedy, a rookie cop from the local Raccoon City Police Department.
After you play through one plot line, you can go through it again with the other character. Some of the choices you’ve made from the first play through will impact what happens when you play the story again with someone else. Although the rooms will be the same, the the puzzles, the item distributions, the zombies, and the side quest will be different. This means you can get a total of four different plot lines if you decide to do them all.
For the RE2 hardcore players out there who wore out their console version, the PC edition has a few additional features to offer, including a new over-the-shoulder camera, improved graphics, more precise and up-to-date controls, along with smoother and more fluid gameplay.
Resident Evil 2 / Biohazard RE: 2 definitely holds its own as far as gameplay is concerned. But next to the latest and greatest PC releases of the last few years, RE2 gets lost in the shuffle. It might not match the overall success it had on the consoles, but for those looking to relive a little nostalgia from their Playstation days, RE2 is definitely worth revisiting again.