Review of Resident Evil 2 PS4

Brining a classic to 2019.


Robert Maggiacomo

Resident Evil 2

Rain pours down from the night sky, splashing across the road. A car pulls up into a seemingly abandoned gas station with no people in sight. You take control of Leon Kennedy, armed with a flashlight and handgun and begin investigating the dark gas station. As you walk further into the gas station, you see a wounded man holding his neck pointing to the supply closet. You enter the dark closet and see a cop wrestling with someone. Your entrance distracts the cop from his fight and he is brought to the ground as the man rips into his neck. Then he slowly raises his head, revealing a pale, eroded face now covered in the blood of his victim. You are confronted with a zombie.


Welcome to Resident Evil 2. This has been my first foray into the Resident Evil franchise, and I found myself adamantly enjoying myself as I played through Leon’s campaign.


The basic plot of the game follows rookie cop Leon Kennedy making his way to the Raccoon City Police station for the first time after a zombie outbreak occurs because of the evil Umbrella Corporations G-virus being let loose in Raccoon City. It mutates and changes whatever is affected which is not only limited to humans but any animal like dogs. On his way through the city, he encounters Claire Redfield who’s in search of her brother, but Leon and Claire get separated before they get to the station by a bunch of zombies, causing Leon to take shelter in the police station. The station is full of zombies and other nasty creatures affected by the G-virus and he must find a safe way to escape the station and stop Umbrella.


  Resident Evil 2, 2019, is a from the ground up remake of the original Capcom classic Resident Evil 2 for PS1 from 1998, which helped pioneer the survival horror genre in games. With its atmospheric music and scares, the original Resident Evil 2 was a beloved but dated classic. With its low polycount, tank controls, and cheesy but quotable dialogue Resi 2 1998 seemed ready for a touch up especially after the original Resident Evil game received a remake in 2002 for the Gamecube.


Ever since then fans of the franchise have eagerly waited for Capcom to remake Resi 2 in the same vain. But as the years went on it never came. That was until 2015. When in a dramatic fashion where Hirabayashi, a producer from Capcom R and D Division , appeared in an announcement video on Youtube where behind him stood a TV with the words “Resident Evil 2 Remake” and he took his jacket off revealing a shirt that says “We Do It!” And so it was finally announced and later released in January of 2019 a whopping 17 years after Resi 1’s remake and 21 years after Resi 2’s original release. But I say with this game it’s better late than never with the quality of this remake fully benefiting from the graphical fluidity of modern gaming consoles.


As for arguably the most important part of a game, the gameplay, it takes cues from Resi 4 with its over the shoulder action and camera, but fuses that with the scary ambiance of the early Resi games.The game does a great job with the atmosphere, as you wander the dark corridors of the station your source of light is your flashlight. This led to some unintentional scare’s on my part and only added to the fun as shadows caused by me moving the flashlight made me think there was something there when there wasn’t.


But not all the game is running away from zombies, as at Leon’s disposal is an increasing number of weapons as the game progresses, including upgrades for his handgun and shotgun, as well as a flamethrower. Other tools that you will find and pick up in the station are knives, grenades, and flash grenades all of these can serve the purpose of a free escape from a zombie if it grabs you by pushing L1 on the controller. But you must be cautious since Leon’s no Rambo and if you try going in gun blazing, you’ll quickly find yourself out of ammo and dead as inventory management is a big part of the game and adds to the overall survival experience. There were a few times I found myself out of ammo and surrounded by zombies leading to some memorable escapes for me as I played.


One minor complaint I have comes with the ease of some of the puzzles as some of them aren’t very mentally engaging, but just grabbing an item and finding a code on it for another puzzle over and over. As you play you will become very familiar with the layout of the police station as you run around solving puzzles to escape. What I found great were some of the other enemies in the game that are more dangerous than the zombies and helped keep the playthrough interesting since I got used to the zombies. I wasn’t scared of them so those extra foes really helped the variety of the combat.


I found overall presentation of the cutscenes good with solid facial animations and acting although the story can be pretty by-the-numbers at times, and I feel when playing this game you’re not playing it for the nuance of its story but for the fun of the game and the 90s B movie kinda feel it has, with some quotable cheesy lines and I wouldn’t have it any other way.


For me, I was really happy to pick this game up and found it a really great time and made me interested in the rest of the Resident Evil franchise and I think it’s a great Resident Evil game to start with as you don’t need any prior knowledge of the other games to understand it as its largely self contained. It’s currently out on PS4, Xbox One, and Pc and I would have to give it 4 out of 5 as I think Capcom did a good job bringing RE2 into 2019 as it didn’t feel dated  to only be enjoyed by people in 1998 but it felt like a fresh and modern experience.