Resident Evil is a franchise that’s engraved in the horror genera of gaming, as a pioneer in mastering survival horror as we know it today. True, not without some ups and downs and with some less than desirable entries on the saga. That being said, the first three titles creeped a whole generation of gamers and show them what true horror was and how great it could be in gaming.
The original Resident Evil cemented the path for what became one of the best games of the whole franchise, Resident Evil 2. The atmosphere and the puzzles were amazing at the time and mostly and more importantly, groundbreaking for horror in gaming.
All this talk can’t take place without the nostalgia factor, and Capcom has made their best remake to date by taking advantage of that. Resident Evil 2 takes the best out the atmospheric elements of it’s original and utilizes today’s graphical technology to flash all those gruesome details that were present in the original, but not fully developed due to technical limitations.
The cinematic introduction of the game, the police station, those evil dogs and everything that marked your memory as a younger gamer is present here, albeit with some changes, but even those are there to elevate the masterpiece the original RE2 was back in its glory and days.
Back in the days of the original PlayStation, much of the gore and visceral elements of horror in gaming were left to our imagination or simply showed us a watered-down scene of what could have been without hardware restrictions at the time.
Resident Evil 2 masterfully takes this same moments and brings all those feelings up to date with what to date is the best implementation of their RE Engine. The gruesomeness is just as you imagined it to be, the sense of isolation and desperation is as present as it was more than a decade ago when the original release took place.
There are some changes in regards puzzles and some moments and story had to be conceded, but all of these changes do not water down the core madness and desperation that the game introduced to the genera. These aren’t an exact carbon copy of each other and that is something that can’t be considered entirely negative. The changes in plot and storyline do not take the game in a new direction but add tension and transmit emotions through dialogue that were not possible back then.
Sound design takes a spotlight here and play a tremendous role in expanding the great environmental design of game, as this title doesn’t rely on cheap jump scares to keep you anxious on every move you make. It utilizes the psychological fear of constantly being hunted down and hearing the heavy steps of the Tyrant to keep you on edge regardless of the area you’re in.
No place is safe, everything is there to get you. All the sounds that surround you, the creaks of the floor, the tap of an enraged zombie on a glass window and the ominous steps of Tyrant getting closer, all of those are sharp and outstandingly mixed in its binaural audio presentation, allowing up to Dolby Atmos levels of quality.
Returning to RE2 feels both nostalgic and rewarding. Everything from the incredible character models to the superb ambience work together to create a loyal rendition of what he cherished so much of it’s original.
Capcom has managed to create a visually stunning title, that not only looks great but creates an atmosphere so dense and oppressive that few games in the genera can brag about having. Resident Evil 2 comes back, yet again mastering horror in gaming.