10 Things I Love About Resident Evil 2
Damn, I love this game. The tension-ridden gameplay, animation, gore effects, campiness, and bone-chilling survival horror are merely a handful of the aspects that have me under the influence of this masterpiece of a remake. Critically considered a classic for last twenty years, the narrative, clever design, and addicting gameplay remain to be the strong foundation on which the heart of Resident Evil 2 stands in spite of the new gritty coat of paint and quality of life improvements. While I’ve seen much of the original game in action, I shamefully confess I haven’t played it for myself; and, sadly, the majority of Resident Evil games I’ve experienced have been some of the worst in franchise history. Prior to getting my hands on Capcom’s latest, Resident Evil 4 and 7 topped my list. This version of 2 surpasses them all in what I firmly believe to be best Resident Evil game to date. I can’t stop playing it, I can’t stop thinking about it, and now I desperately need to get these cooped-up feelings off my licker-slashed chest. Here are ten things I love about Resident Evil 2.
Even as a young tike in ’98 I’d probably have had a severe crush on polygonal Ada Wong. Thanks to the blessed RE Engine in 2019 I most definitely do now. It’s a funny example, but take a look at how elegant the grizzled truck driver looks while horfing down his bacon cheeseburger at the beginning of the game. Sure, it looks delectable but just get a load of the guy’s face. The textures are practically photorealistic, and the expressions conveyed through the impressive animation are mesmerizing. The same can be said for every character you encounter in the game. Those beautiful character models inhabit some remarkably detailed and enveloping environments as well; not to mention the genuinely terrifying nature of the zombies that populate them.
While I’d grown accustomed to the franchise’s tank-like nature of mobility and combat, I can’t deny the fact it paled in comparison to third-person action mechanics found in many other titles. The over the shoulder perspective paired with the ability to move while shooting is by far one of the most welcome changes. Aiming and firing feel great on console but absolutely exceptional on mouse and keyboard. Never before has a Resident Evil title felt quite this smooth and precise. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a certain charm I imagine many of us admire about the old fixed camera angles and stationary gunplay, but following the leap Capcom’s made with Resident Evil 2, I can’t imagine playing any other way.
Damage & Gore Effects
Call me a morbid psychopath if you must, but I can’t be the only one who appreciates some nasty blood and gore. I’ve certainly had my fill in games like Gears of War, Wolfenstein, Doom, and many more but none do it quite like Resident Evil 2. I mean shit, son, this game is BRUTAL. I don’t believe I’ve ever witnessed gruesome deformation to this degree in an interactive medium. The way gunshots blast gaping holes through zombies and expose bones, guts, and muscle structure is downright gnarly. Violence aside, it’s astonishing to behold. The details are boundless. You can cripple them, blow them in half, pop their skulls like balloons, slash them to pieces; the list goes on. Enemies viscerally reflect the damage you deal, and it’s a bloody good time.
Stellar Sound Design
Considering I possess a passion for audio, I’d be remiss to overlook the game’s tremendously effective sound design. Having mentioned the visual carnage, I equally uplift the audio that coincides with it. Other details that may go unappreciated include flickering lights, the weight of your character’s movements, different sounds of footsteps, distant groans, and the even the act of unholstering, swapping, and firing weapons. Don’t get me started on those plant monsters either. That gurgling sound they emit is unbearably spine-tingling, which reminds me of how good it sounds to fry them to ashes. Another bit of poop inducing audio is the Tyrant’s plosive stomping. Dolph Lundgren certainly has an intimidating presence in Rocky 4, but God as my witness he actually made me scream like a little girl in Resident Evil 2. And who doesn’t love the classic sound of acquiring items?