Resident Evil 2 (2019): The Esquire Review
While the original Resident Evil pretty much made the horror videogame genre, it was the sequel that made the franchise what it is today. But during a bumper year for HD re-makes (such as Shadow of the Colossus and Shenmue), does Capcom do enough here to warrant another trip to Raccoon City?
This remake was announced way back in 2015, but it has only just appeared on digital store shelves this past month. Now we understand why. The game hasn’t just been given a graphical overhaul, but re-made from the ground up. That means while the story and overall gist remains true to the original, the gaming experience is right up there with the best Triple-A titles of today.
As you’d expect, the storyline remains totally true to the original. Leon S. Kennedy returns to Raccoon City – which by now has been overrun by zombies – for a thrilling and gore-soaked encounter. Even if you know the story back-to-front, there’s still loads of fun to be had here – not least when it comes to the graphics.
Resi-2 was built using the same engine as Resident Evil 7 – released two years ago. That means it does look stunning. Raccoon City Police station is that much darker, brooding and atmospheric than the original, topped off with some of the most realistic zombies and licker’s this side of The Walking Dead.
Of course, given the twenty plus year gap between the original and the re-make, you’d expect a few more updates than just the graphics. Fortunately, Capcom has delivered. You now get to control the over-the-shoulder camera, navigation and inventory interfaces have been vastly improved, and weapons have been improved also. The game also borrows from previous iterations, including the ability to board-up windows and craft ammo.
Ultimately, while the game was already a series favourite – thanks to the story and the characters – the jaw-dropping presentation and polished gameplay make Resident Evil 2 one of the best games of the year so far.