Capcom recreates gaming classic for a new generation
“Resident Evil” has been a mainstay in gaming for years. Originally releasing to critical and commercial acclaim in 1996, the franchise has seen many successes and a few failures over the years. The latest addition to this storied franchise, the remake of “Resident Evil 2″, is one of its biggest success yet.
Using what they learned from their last venture into the survival horror juggernaut, Capcom has created a masterclass of clean gameplay, natural scares and above all else unbelievable tension. This game will have you on the edge of your seat for the majority of its nearly 20 hour runtime, and you’ll love every moment of it.
As this is a remake, it seems fitting to note what has changed between the now and 1999, the original’s release date. First and foremost are the visual and audio aspects. While this is a remake, it is practically a brand new game as the developers had to craft it from the ground up using new technology. The visuals are breathtaking, as you can see things character’s skin pores and detail in their fabric like stitching and threads. In addition, the audio has been remade, which may be the games strongest feature.
If you play with a headset (which I highly recommend for horror games), you can pinpoint where an enemy is. More often than not, you will hear something chasing you (I won’t spoil what, but good god is it scary) and that can cause for some stress levels I personally find simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying.
In other areas, the game was forced to change. 20 years of innovation in gaming as a medium can make this necessary. The camera, for instance, has been moved to a more standard over the shoulder position, which improves gameplay ten-fold.
In addition to this the controls have also been updated from the original’s tank movements, which makes for not only much more satisfying gameplay, but added immersion. As you slowly walk the halls of the Racoon City Police Station, you feel the anxiety and terror with your character in a way that was impossible to back in 1999.
However, my personal favorite addition to this remake is the way zombies react to bullets. The injuries caused by a weapon stay with each zombie for the entire game. So if you shoot off a zombie’s jaw off early on in the game and come back later to the same area, that zombie will still be there with a missing jaw. This level of attention to details is a big reason as to why this game is such a big success. The publishers cared about what they were making, and it shows.
Some things stay the same, however. The story, characters, and locations haven’t changed very much. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the story is okay as far as video games go, it would have been nice to see some updates in the way they play out. In the game, there are two main playable characters, Leon and Claire. You play through both of their stories, but separately.
So while playing as Leon, you won’t ever play as Claire and vice versa. However, as they are both running around the same area at the same time, I personally would have liked to have seen a little bit more interaction between the two. For instance, if I broke a ladder as Leon, I shouldn’t be able to use it as Claire.
Despite this small gripe I have with the game, I found myself completely taken by it. It is,in my opinion, the best game of this franchise, and I’m very excited to see what they come up with next. Hopefully they stick to horror, because nothing in gaming scares like “Resident Evil”.
Feature photo courtesy of Flickr.