The Resident Evil 2 remake nearly succeeded in giving me a panic attack. I was killed roughly twenty times, and I was only playing on what would be considered the “Normal” difficulty. It’s difficult, there’s no other way I can put it.
So let’s start from the beginning. Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield are the primary protagonists of Resident Evil 2, and both would go on to be staples in the Resident Evil series. At the time, I’ve only been able to complete Leon’s campaign, which took roughly six and a half hours to complete.
Leon is fresh-faced and naive in comparison to his older incarnations because he’s yet to cross paths with Ada Wong, who also makes her first appearance. He is a beta through and through, especially when his storyline crosses paths with Ada, who possess some alluring power of Leon for the duration of the game and even later into the series.
It plays much like Resident Evil 4 did, with the third-person camera angles and a more refined style of shooting. I found myself frustrated with the controls sometimes, mostly about the speed of the characters, who only ever move at a rate just slightly faster than a brisk walk, which makes it almost impossible to maneuver around the faster enemies that are sometimes placed in your path. There’s also a lack of a block or dodge function, which was frustrating some of the boss fights taking place in more small, enclosed areas.
With that being said, it utilizes its horror in a way that I found unparalleled by anything else I’ve witnessed. The constant sounds of zombies walking and bumping into walls as they mindlessly wander the hallways creates a tense atmosphere, and then the Tyrant shows up. He’s unstoppable but what’s even more terrifying is his blatant disregard for safe zones and his heavy steps that can be heard throughout almost the entire level, and he’s a fairly consistent menace throughout the whole game.
The puzzles are in classic Resident Evil fashion, not overly complex but usually resulting in a lot of running around. The few times I got stuck with a puzzle usually was the result of me running past the missing puzzle piece as it was just tucked away in a corner somewhere. With that being said, I’ve been a long time fan of Resident Evil and am familiar with the format, so new players may have a bit more of a difficult time maneuvering the unique form in which they present themselves.
All in all, I would give it a 9/10. It’s a solid zombie game that mixes well with horror roots and is close to a masterpiece I believe it can be. While I can’t reliably compare it to the original, I think it successfully pulls off the remake style and any fan of Resident Evil or horror games, in general, will find some enjoyment in both the scares and the puzzles.