The original Resident Evil 2 was released in 1998: I was 12 and I did not have a PlayStation. My father was opposed to buying another useless microchip box that would hurt not only academic achievement but also the worsening of my myopic, so the entire fifth generation of consoles gave me an entire era of fantastic games that I began to learn from the time great "Dragon". A little later, I completely gave up reading my favorite magazine, as I could not stand the envy of the writers who wrote about the PS1 covenant games and the readers for whom these articles were written. I was familiar with the series of my good friend, with whom in many ways our passion for video games gathered us. He told amazing stories about how the first Resident Evil went, and then, in 2006, he handed me a PS2 gamepad in my hands and turned on Resident Evil 4. Then I was not ready for what I saw and after the shake of the inexperience I asked CD with SoulCalibur 3.
Perhaps, I'm not the best candidate to write a remake of Resident Evil 2 remake – a game that many people call the best "Resic". In general, the "best Rezik" each has its own. For some, this is the original Old Testament, others for Nemesis, and the third for Resident Evil 4. For me, the best game of the series was a remake of the first part, or rather of its PS4 remaster that passed before a year and a half. Around that time, rumors of the second part began to emerge, so the passing of the first fueled my interest in the whole franchise and fueled my imagination. I do not know why, but then I became confident that releasing Resident Evil 2 remake is not far away. And I was not mistaken. Last year's E3, Capcom showed two long-awaited projects at once – Devil May Cry 5 and … (Mr. X's drums) … Resident Evil 2.
Despite the fact that I did not play the original, I'm familiar with its storyline and key features, thanks to the stories of friends and numerous retrospectives and read texts. After moving the action from Spencer's enclosed space to Raccoon City, Capcom took on the escalating gameplay that required an increase in arsenal, enemy types and numbers. If claustrophobia was a conditional central theme for Resident Evil, then the second part, casting hordes of the living dead against the player, triggered an occult phobia – fear of the crowd.
The key place in Resident Evil 2 and its remake is the police station of the dying Raccoon City. At first glance, it is a copy of the mansion from the first part, but unlike it is packed in the eyes with carnivores, who in remake have become incredibly stubborn. A dead man can deprive a player of five or six rounds of a pistol, and a crowd of three or four will not leave you a single charge. Each encounter with a zombie becomes an exercise with patience, the art of avoiding and shooting. Due to the abandonment of the fixed camera and the introduction of the free movement and guidance system that appeared in the fourth edition, the focus on the latter two skills becomes evident when you first encounter local zombies. Frames on the rotten body only slow down the mindless creatures by throwing them back. To end the walking dead, you have to shoot on the head. If you're lucky, the shot will tear the zombie head like a toasted pumpkin, but critical shots are rare. It is better to use either a rifle or a magnet. There is no music in the world, better than crashing the skull box with a crash of the running brain after the shrapnel's exact stroke with the last string of the rifle recharging. I'm ready to listen to the ensemble's melodies again and again.
Successful shots on the rotting bodies of the dead do not just sound great, but they look like the bloody plumber runs out of the holes of the zombie body, the bullets tear off pieces of meat, uncovering the skull, the knife slicing the loose muscles of the half-dead walkers. If you do not mind the munitions, the zombies can be deprived of the ability to move, shooting all the limbs. But their loss will not deprive the zombies of stupid, primitive stubbornness – they will continue to seek to break the freshness of the character. Zombie movements are instinctively unpredictable and are driven by their inexorable hunger. I have never met a zombie – I hope this will never happen – but I think real living dead will look just like in Resident Evil 2. The measuring, swinging step can suddenly become a purposeful move or a quick jump. I do not know how many man hours it took me to work on animation, but that element is incredible. From such a plausibility you experience a whole range of emotions. And this applies to all enemies without exception, the Emperor is undoubtedly Mitra X. His machine-like step of a recess provokes panic. I want to throw the controller and escape alone. I think that's exactly what James Cameron imagined the T-800 terminator: uncompromised and detached.
It's amazing how much the rules of the game change when Tirana appears in the walls of the police station. The central hall, which was before the continent of tranquility, became a training ground for deadly cats, the echoes of the giant's heavy footsteps. But the most interesting one begins in narrow, dark corridors, along which carvings of frescoes still crawl and crawling liqueur lizards. The tension is increased many times and the word "panic" can no longer carry the full set of emotions. In one of these moments, trying to hide from the silent colossus and shrink by the accumulation of the dead, I became too smart with my route and, opening another door, I met the pursuer face to face. There was a silent cry in my mind, my body trembling. It took me another moment to recover and continue to run. Another unforgettable moment, the hero of which is also Mr. X, is an episode in the detention center when the plot must open all the cameras. Imagine how a dozen zombies fall behind the bars. Their moans become the cacophony of death. I decide to bypass this meeting of highly rotten classmates. Turning to the corner, I do not believe my eyes and I say, "Capcom, what are you doing with me?" He walks toward me, behind me a crowd of zombies. It's just an incredible game. Ten minutes earlier, I had escaped from a herd of infected Doberman. Overall, the first third of the game is the most remarkable. Yes, there will be more encounters with the mutant generation G, rooting the weeds, and escaping the overcrowded crocodile, and Tyran himself will come back more than once, but I will remember very forever.
All these situations would not be so dramatic if I had not chosen the maximum level of difficulty for the first pass. Maybe I decided to commit self-esteem as a punishment for having for so many years I avoided a more detailed acquaintance with the series. So, I went through Leon's "hardcore" scenario, so my first adventure (rather, an accident) in Raccoon City as much as possible resembled the original, with no auto-rescue, fierce enemies and more accentuated element management due to the constant lack of ammunition and "healing". Just hardcore, the game penetrates the skin and at the climax reaches the spinal cord. Some boss battles have caused hysteria and muscle aches. "I have only one Herb and too few cartridges. How can I do it? – I repeat countless times. Endlessly returning to the boxes, a tough choice between "healers" and extra weapons (and yet you must remember to take a key element!) – all this is not the standard level of complexity, which is very easy to turn into a killing machine or a militant hero. If it was not hardcore, I was thinking about every patron, examining each room in search of ammunition or gunpowder to create them, then amused myself with the amputation of the limbs and a pistol with a scalpel and a hook. What to say! If there are three bites of hardcore, and you are part of the zombie horde, then the "normal" even being treated somehow lazily. It is a pity that Capcom has embarked on a significant simplification of standard levels of difficulty, and most gamers will not experience hardcore. I hope my sketches will convince the player who usually avoids the forcefully complex regimes to experience hardcore in a remake – the game feels quite different.
Games like Resident Evil 2 offer pure, crystallized gameplay that can lead to ecstasy, even catharsis. Continuous change and sharpening of gaming situations, changing rules is overwhelming. The core of the game, despite the introduction of a modern camera and management system, remains unchanged – it is a game of survival despite all: acute lack of resources and inequality of power. Undoubtedly, graphically, the remake looks amazing, especially the lighting systems, the animation, and the separation of zombies with anatomical details. I recently turned my ultra-violet nose into Mortal Kombat 11, calling it unbearable and excessive. In Resident Evil 2, the methodical shooting of the limbs is part of the gameplay, one of the options for removing the obstacles. The level of violence displayed in remake is caused not only by the gameplay, but also by the tone and the atmosphere of the game: depressing and sometimes disgusting. The fact that Mortal Kombat is made for entertainment, Resident Evil 2 needs to be trusted.
Important elements of the game are sound and music. I played Resident Evil 2 with different audio equipment, but mostly I remember playing sessions in headphones. Resident Evil 2's sound and atmosphere design envelops and conveys the mind into the hero's body. The hinges of door hinges, the sound of broken glass, zombie moans, the whispering of liqueurs, and Mr. X's stunning footsteps, seem like falling weight, complement the gameplay, and help understand the environment and the situation in the game.
In remake, Capcom has introduced an excellent system to encourage players to perform different actions: from banal passing the plot to nontrivial gaining the rank S of hardcore. Each attempt provides access to conceptual maps or weapon and hero models. The trophies (or achievements) that repeat these records are just part of the entire list, so lovers of 100% gaming and platinum hunters have to be satisfied. In a remake of the style of the modern games in the series, location research has appeared on the subject of collecting collector's trinkets – statuettes from Mr. Raccoon's amusing raccoon, which can be transformed into a series mascot. As with the original weapon, you can upgrade with the help of modules scattered throughout the game (sometimes hidden behind a sophisticated puzzle). The game includes multiple passes and, I think, will appeal to speedranders – supermen, for example Carcinogen, who have several entries in other games in the series.
I spent a week in Raccoon City and his dungeons, fighting for survival, solving puzzles, exploring places to increase firepower and counteracting the most powerful threats of this challenging game. After completing the review, I will return to the city of darkness and despair by waving with my secrets.