Resident Evil 2 Review

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Up until this year, I’ve never been a huge fan of horror games, specifically because I’m scared of them. But this January I decided to bite the bullet and try out my first “Resident Evil” game, “Resident Evil 2” remake. I went into this game with high expectations as I had heard it was great, but the game ended up even better than I thought. I must preface this by saying if you are expecting a storytelling masterpiece with deep complex themes, this is the wrong game for you. 

Without further ado, this review is split into four sections: sound design, graphics, gameplay, and story.

First off, the sound design is perfect, which is essential for a horror game. It helps to build a creepy and tense atmosphere that keeps you on your toes. From the subtle creaks on the floor to the loud stomps from the monster, Mr. X, they build tension and anxiety through sound alone. It keeps you vigilant and acutely aware of your surroundings.

The rest of the sound design is great, too. Voice acting is good for the most part, though there are some pretty bad performances here and there, such as Sherry and Chief Irons. It’s not spectacular, but the main performances are charming and charismatic enough that any lackluster performances are largely forgivable. Guns and weapons also sound great, with each one sounding unique and distinct from the others.

Score for sound design: 10/10

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The graphics in the game are incredible due in large part to the excellent lighting. The graphics, textures, and lighting create an eerie and uncomfortable atmosphere throughout the game. The way hallways are designed, along with the fact that you have the worst flashlight in the world, evokes a huge sense of anxiety and claustrophobia. It keeps you anxious, not knowing what to expect next.

All the enemies look incredible, from the regular zombies to the Tyrant, also known among fans as Mr. X. Every new enemy or boss is extremely distinct and memorable because of their gross, yet awesome designs. Even the regular zombies have a lot of diversity in their appearances, so that they still stay visually interesting and feel less like any other video game enemy.

Face models also look great, whether it be from the main characters, Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, or the side characters, such as Marvin and the truck driver dude at the beginning. They all look pristine and their movement and animation are top-notch.

Score for graphics: 10/10

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The gameplay in this game is masterful. Everything feels like it was so well thought out; it’s frankly astonishing. The level design is some of the best I’ve seen in a video game, as the layout of the Raccoon City Police Department, the sewers, and the NEST are all distinctly memorable, and a large part of the game is figuring out how to navigate these areas.

If you aren’t familiar with “Resident Evil,” the game is essentially one big puzzle to solve. So for example, on your first trip to the RCPD, you are tasked with finding three medallions throughout the department. Using clues and your intuition, you find all the medallions in what’s essentially a giant interconnected maze.

To put into perspective how good the level design is, you could take a picture anywhere in the game, and someone who’s beaten both routes A and B would most likely be able to identify the exact room where you are. 

One problem many players have lies in the movement and shooting since they are fairly slow and clunky. For any other game, this would be a massive flaw, but for this, it’s implemented extremely well. By making it difficult to shoot and having fairly slow movement, the game creates an even larger sense of vulnerability and tension, and it makes you think more about your next move. By also having clunky aiming, it forces you have to pick and choose your shots, because this is not like other games where you clear a room of enemies before proceeding; you have to carefully plan how you utilize your ammo.

Score for gameplay: 10/10

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Now, the worst part of the game is actually the story. I wouldn’t exactly call it bad, but I’d be lying if I said it was great. Let me just preface this by saying that “Resident Evil” is known for having stories straight out of a B horror movie. They are always super dumb and schlocky, and since the story and writing aren’t the primary focus, I won’t be too harsh.

The story follows either Claire Redfield or Leon S. Kennedy as they fight through the zombie infestation of Raccoon City to survive. Both have their own separate campaigns that converge at the end, so it’s definitely worth playing multiple times. Each playthrough also yields slightly different puzzles and solutions, so you aren’t playing the same game twice just with a different protagonist.

The story overall is pretty fun and engaging, but it is also very dumb and makes no sense. For one, the two campaigns, which are supposed to intersect, have severe continuity problems and just don’t really add up. This wouldn’t be an issue if the two playthroughs weren’t supposed to line up, but they are. For example, if you do the first playthrough as Leon, then Claire’s playthrough will start at a different point due to events that happen in the game’s opening.

The game also relies on a lot of typical horror tropes, but that personally doesn’t bother me too much because it adds to the game’s charm. At the end of the day, it’s a “Resident Evil” game so a silly story is kind of inevitable, but it’s still a dumb story so I can’t be too generous.

Score for story: 6/10


Overall, “Resident Evil 2” is an incredible game and an excellent remake of the original 1998 game; in many ways it surpasses it. The horror is better than ever, the sound design is top-notch, the graphics are astounding, and the gameplay and level design are some of the best in the gaming industry. The game is only held back by a fairly lackluster but still fun story.

Overall Score: 9/10