Resident Evil 2 Review
-Eric Lee Lewis
Oh man, Resident Evil 2! No no no, not the cringe-worthy movie with a terrible story and horrendous rubber masks. I mean Resident Evil 2, the game. After all, we are Empty Wallet GAMER and not Empty Wallet Movies. so let’s get down to the gem that is Resident Evil 2.
Resident Evil 2 was released upon America in 1998 and was a direct sequel to Resident Evil. When RE2 starts up, we see a man named Leon S. Kennedy on his way to his first day of work as a Raccoon City police officer. On his way he sees the body of a young woman in the road. As he is checking on her, a horde of flesh-eating undead gather around. Though the player knows what these are, Leon has obviously not seen a Romero movie. Quickly he has to engage the shambling enemies with gunshots to the chest that would drop any man. Figuring out quickly that shots to the chest just aren’t going to do it, Leon backs up through an alleyway where he meets the other main character of the game, Claire Redfield.
While Leon is on his way to work, Claire is in Raccoon City to find her brother, Chris. At this point in the series, the knowledge of the outbreak is out there. Claire, in her lack of understanding, travels to Raccoon City on her motorcycle to go on the hunt. Quickly, she finds herself inside of a diner that has a zombie in it. As she opens the door to get the hell out of there, she is face to face with Leon who simply tells her to get down. Leon takes down the zombie and the duo quickly get into a vacant cop car. As they are rapidly trying to drive to the police station, a zombie pops up in the backseat and goes on the attack. As the zed attacks, Leon grabs his gun and finally learns he has to shoot for the brain. After all of the mayhem, the car spins out of control and hits a wall. When they finally gather themselves, they notice an oil tanker coming at them. As the tanker crashes into the car our 2 main characters get out of the car as it explodes. They exchange “I’m fine” and the story starts from here.
From here, you choose to play as either Leon or Claire. In choosing Leon, you can take more damage, but he has less inventory slots. If you choose to play as Claire, you can take less damage, but have more inventory space. Depending on which character you pick, you get one of two unique stories. While both take place during the same time (obviously), they take two way different paths. Sure, the locations are the same, but both characters end up in the same buildings, albeit different areas of the same buildings, but the same buildings nonetheless.
Resident Evil 2 has the same control scheme as the original game. Also, the graphics are basically the same. The environment looks like a painting with pixilated characters and the fixed-camera is still in play. Where Resident Evil 2 differs from the former in the series, is the pacing. Resident Evil 2 seems to move a little faster in the story. Resident Evil had a tendency to drag in some areas and had larger and more challenging puzzles. RE2’s puzzles were usually as simple as pushing this statue onto that pressure plate or placing this gem or crest here. While the puzzles are lacking in depth, the enemies are much more plenty and more diverse. It’s hard to move around Resident Evil 2 without running into at least 2 or 3 zombies in a room. Luckily, it seems as if ammo is much more plenty.
This game also has a great sound design. Most of the music is still cello and piano based and is completely welcomed and fitting for the tone of the game. Imagine trying to bring yourself into this run-down city with blaring guitars or chip-tune music. It just wouldn’t work. Zombies still sound, for the most part, the same as they did in the previous game, with few added moans and monster sounds. Zombies, chewing on their victims, have a more chewy and wet sound and bring you into the world a bit more.
RE2 isn’t as scary as Resident Evil 1, but it does still have heart-racing moments and a great story to keep the player engaged. In multiple ways Resident Evil 2 is the most superior of the 3 original games in the series. Add in a mix of good characters and improved voice-acting and you have a recipe for a classic game that is worthy of being called a forefather of the horror genre. If you haven’t played this treasure, go buy it now. It can be found for a pretty low price tag on the Playstation Network.
Did you prefer Resident Evil 1 or 2?