Published on June 28th, 2018 | by voxx0
Resident Evil 2 is getting a remake
Released in 1998, Resident Evil 2 is considered by many as the game that solidified the long lasting appeal for the franchise as a whole, with the Resident Evil series so far having 24 entries, which have in total over the years sold 83 million copies worldwide. On a personal note, I have long been a fan myself of this series, loving it for all these reasons.
Being a game of the horror survival genre, Resident Evil 2 carefully balanced horror with action, placing the player into horrific situations with all manner of zombies and monsters in all different shapes and sizes, yet giving them just enough weapons and ammo with which to defend themselves. Whereas most horror games would have you running away from some form of evil creature, Resident Evil is a series unique in the way that it allows you to actually fight back, but not to the point that you feel you’re always in control. Your ammo and healing items are limited, so careful management of whether or not you should fight or run away is required. With these factors in mind, combined with the atmospheric setting and music that was found within the game that gave it a very distinctive look and feel, Resident Evil 2 became a huge success, and set the template for which all other future entries to the series were held up to.
However, in recent years the series has been falling into decline in critical reception and sales, with the key issues being the fact the games were becoming less about horror survival, and more about being action orientated, explosive and over the top thrilling experiences. Horror survival had become less and less important to the series with each new entry, but fortunes for the franchise looked set to change with the arrival of Resident Evil 7 last year. Many praised the game for bringing the franchise back to its roots, with horror survival being a key-driving component once more. However, whilst Resident Evil 7 was a step in the right direction, much of the fan base for the franchise was split in their opinions of it. For some, it just didn’t feel enough like an actual Resident Evil game, but rather something else entirely. Simply put, the series appeared to have lost its unique identity, unsure as to what it wanted to be, and indeed what it used to be so well known for.
Enter then, Resident Evil 2 Remake, a re-imagining of the game that started it all. First announced as being in development in 2015, all word of the progress on this game remained silent until finally, during the Sony Presentation at the E3 2018 games conference, Resident Evil 2 Remake was unveiled, along with a short demo.
Much has been done to make this game stand out from the original. For one, gone are the tank controls and fixed camera angles, a key staple for the series in its early years but now viewed as out-dated in today’s gaming world. This remake instead makes use of an over the shoulder camera angle. The environments of the original game have also been made from scratch, keeping close to the look and feel of the original and yet different, more realistic. Unlike in the original game, where most of the lights in each room were working perfectly, in the remake most of the environments are in pitch black darkness, making it hard to see anything in front of you without the torchlight your character is equipped with from the beginning. This makes the horror and tension within the game feel amplified, as monsters coming towards you could easily be hidden in the darkness, waiting to strike when you least expect it.
The creatures themselves have been given a major makeover too, with the zombies looking frighteningly realistic and gory, proving also to be much tougher to kill as they seem to take whatever shot you fire at them with ease before finally getting put down for good. The atmospheric music of the original game has also made a return, but is now softer and more sombre in tone, matching well with the rest of this remake, which seems to be taking the story and character elements of the original into a much more grounded and altogether more serious direction.
Despite all these major changes however, the remake shows all signs of retaining everything that fans both new and old love the franchise for, being it’s unique ability in presenting a great sense of atmosphere within a game that that walks the tight rope between pure horror and action orientated gameplay. Management of your ammo and healing items is still present and key to playing the game, with resources being sparse to find.
The Resident Evil franchise has strayed far from its roots in recent years for sure, and even though Resident Evil 7 showed good signs in rectifying this, it seems fitting that the series has appeared to have recaptured that special appeal it had lost by returning to the game that started it all.
As for me, I’ll be delighted to see the series truly return to its roots, but in a modern re-imagining, truly bringing Resident Evil into the modern age of gaming, all the while still retaining what gives the franchise its long lasting appeal.
Welcome back old friend, we’ve missed you.
- By Joshua Robinson