After yesterday’s look at the first CG film that starred Leon and Claire, it’s time to pop back over to the games that started it all and look at Resident Evil 2, the game that gave us the same duo in the first place. While it still suffers from a lot of the same problems that playing the first game in 2017 did, it does have some additions and little tweaks to talk about… so let’s get to it!
With all those guns still in his shop, why did he choose the crossbow?
Resident Evil 2 was first released in the US on January 21st 1998, followed shortly by Japan (as Biohazard 2) on the 29th of the same month. Us here in the UK (and rest of Europe) got it a few months later on April 29th 1998.
It was later ported to the PC, the Nintendo 64 (believe it or not…), Dreamcast and even as late as the GameCube. A remake in the same vein as the first game’s REmake is apparently in development…
Sorry for the blurry pic, any slight movement made the screenshots go this way… that’s why so many of these Resi screens are from cutscenes…
Nothing really new to add here in terms of stuff like the clumsy tank controls or the limited guns, ammo and ink ribbons for saving. There is a lot more enemies to kill, including an increase to how many zombies can appear on the screen at once, as well as a great variety in weapons. The same puzzles and bosses system is place as well, though the story is a bit more cinematic. It is noticeably easier as well. I never completed the original Resi back in the 90s, but I completed this on release with very little trouble, and I can’t image I’d gotten that good in less than two years…
The biggest change in Resident Evil 2 is how the story mode works. If you complete the game as Claire you unlock the “Leon B” scenario, where you control Leon and see what he does while Claire is doing all the things you did as her in her “A” scenario. Likewise you play as Leon you get the “Clare B” scenario. It’s still a really fun system, when you cross paths or receive a radio call from the other character and then see what that character was doing right before or during those incidents from their perspective.
There is also two mini-games, for the lack of a better term. “The 4th Survivor” lets you take control of an Umbrella soldier named Hunk and escape the Police Station despite overwhelming odds. “The Tofu Survivor” is the same mode but you play as a giant chunk of Tofu armed only with a knife… yep. That was a thing.
Graphics and Sound:
Marvin! … Marvin noooooo!
The graphics remain mainly the same, with pre-rendered backgrounds and pixelated models for characters and enemies. The models look a bit sharper and are more detailed, so even in just two years there is definite improvement. There are some CG cutscenes rather than a live action opening and then nothing but in-game dialogue, though it goes without saying that these are not pretty to look at, though the Licker reveal cutscene still looks nice and creepy (that croaky moaning sound it makes still unnerves me to this day…)
The sound is once again excellent, from the background music to the sound effects, you’ll get no complaints from me. The voice acting, however, is now improved enough that it’s just bad, rather than being so bad it’s funny… which is sort of an improvement, but also makes it far less amusing… which I guess is a good thing? … I’m confused.
It wouldn’t be Resident Evil if a lab didn’t countdown to self destruct… also, giant horrible creature.
After fellow police officers at Raccoon City failed to believe the surviving S.T.A.R.S. members accounts of zombies and monsters after the Spencer Mansion incident, a second T-Virus outbreak strikes, this time at the heart of the city itself. Umbrella researcher William Birkin is nearly killed by agents from Umbrella themselves who wanted his new virus, which he soon injects himself with, turning into an unstoppable beast. During this chaos, Claire Redfield, sister of Chris, turns up in the city to find her brother, only to find the walking dead, and a new rookie police officer named Leon. The two end up at the police station and go through hell, from mutants and other human survivors, until their big escape with Birkin’s daughter Sherry in tow.
It’s a really fun story, actually, dodgy acting aside. The accepted “canon” is Claire A/Leon B, and it not only introduced Claire and Leon, but also Ada, the sneaky spy who has since been an ally and a thorn in the side of Leon throughout further games (and the second CG film! See the review tomorrow!) Birkin’s slow transformation over the course of the game is also some great bodyshock horror… well, as much as you can get with the undetailed graphics of the time…
Final Thoughts (Then):
At the time, I loved it. It was more of the same but bigger and louder, with multiple paths and, possibly most importantly, I could beat it! Again, not knowing any better, I was used to the tank controls and obviously at the time the graphics looked great. I played through all scenarios, plus down the line, played through them again!
Final Thoughts (Now):
Pretty much the same as the first game, although the fact that this doesn’t have a fancy remake (yet!) means it does feel less … wrong to play it, if you know what I mean. The controls are still terrible and voice acting dull or just bad, plus as I said last time, first gen 3D graphics date far worse than 8 or 16 bit 2D graphics. As a Resi die hard, it’s still fun to play due to the significance of the story, but I wouldn’t recommend it for new comers nowadays…