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In-Depth Resident Evil 2 Remake Review - MojoPlays

VO: DT WRITTEN BY: DT
Resident Evil 2 Remake is a remake of Resident Evil 2. Here is the MojoPlays review of the Remake of Resident Evil 2 called Resident Evil 2.
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MojoPlays Review - Resident Evil 2 Remake


Ok I’m just going to get this out of the way first: I loved the original Resident Evil 2 back in the day in all its tank control glory. And this remake is something I’ve been wanting for a long while, it even made the list of titles we wanted to see remade on a WatchMojo list in 2014. Now it’s finally here, running on Resident Evil 7’s engine, and at face value it looks radically different from its source material. Does this remake redefine how to do video game remakes? Or does it take one too many liberties? Welcome to MojoPlays and this is our review of the remake of: RESIDENT EVIL 2.


While most recent remakes such as last year’s “Shadow of the Colossus” would redo the graphics but keep mostly everything else the same. Resident Evil 2 rebuilds everything from scratch, though the outline is still the same. The story still revolves around two characters arriving in the zombie infested Raccoon City; Leon Kennedy, A rookie cop having the worst first day ever, and Claire Redfield a young woman who is trying to find her missing brother Chris; one of the protagonists from the first Resident Evil. Just like the original; the two still meet up and make their way to the police station, only to be seperated when a fuel tanker crashes into their car.


What’s different this time around though is how these events are told and the order they’re told in, the original game was notorious for having some really cheesy dialogue. But this time around the cinemates has been given a professional makeover. All the characters now show much more believable emotional traits, thanks to some fantastic performances and great direction across the board. The writing team have also clearly taken inspiration from recent Zombie works such as the “The Last of Us” & “The Walking Dead” as a lot of scenes carry a lot more emotional gravitas as before. Some even where you least expected it, like this versions portrayal of it’s Gun Shop sequence which I won’t spoil here.


The game is split into multiple campaigns between Leon and Claire. When you beat one campaign with one character, A 2nd Run mode will unlock for the other, making for a total of 4 different campaigns, just like the original. With the 2nd runs notably being a lot more difficult with less ammo lying around and keys in more harder to reach locations, though the 2nd character will unlock later sections much faster. Making for less downtime.


However the game does falter with this format in the Final Act of the 2nd campaign. While some of the events of the 1st run are notably felt in the 2nd run during most of the campaign. By the time the players reach the final area, the game kind of abandons this dual perspective setup, with events starting to play out exactly the same as before. This is made even more jarring with the way the game handles the character Annette, as she ends up repeating action almost like there’s two of her. Even the original game was able to work around this dual perspective right until the end so it’s kinda disappointing the remake didn’t follow this plan all the way though.


Doing away with the tank controls, Resident Evil 2 Remake’s gameplay instead follows the likes of Resident Evil’s 4 to 6 with a 3rd person perspective as you explore the zombie infested police station. There’s a lot of tension palpable throughout the game, thanks to very limited ammo lying around, and missing a shot can prove to be a costly mistake. Zombies take a lot of bullets to bring down too, and after awhile they may even get back up if you didn’t pack enough ammo into them. In most cases your best course of action is to attempt to run past or avoid the zombies altogether, though this carries its own risks down the line.


Both characters also get access to different weapons, changing up their playstyles. While they both have a different handgun, Leon will get access to a shotgun & high powered magnum, while Claire gets access to a sub-machine gun and a grenade launcher, which can fire either Incendiary or Acidic rounds. All their weapons can also be upgraded by finding parts scattered throughout the world.


The game may play out as a shooter, but the Raccoon City Police station feels more like its part of a classic point and click adventure game, as you need to look for various trinkets or lock combinations to access new areas, or use certain tools to clear obstacles. If you played the original game there’s a lot of rooms that will be recognizable, but the floorplan has been changed overall that will make the experience still feel fresh to fans of the original. Memorizing your routes is very important too, as you’ll need to revisit a lot of rooms more than once to get the items you need, especially when (Mr.X theme) … oh no, that music … OH CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP.


This is the T-103 Tyrant, better known as Mister X. In the original game he was a recurring mini-boss in the 2nd campaign, but here he’s introduced much sooner and is way WAY more impactful on the game. Similar to Jack Baker in RE7, this thing will constantly roam the Police Station trying to hunt you down. He will be drawn to your location by any loud noises you make; such as firing your weapon, slamming through doors or running in the hallway. Your only indication you have to figure out how close is to you is his loud stomping footsteps. This is where the game makes great use of stereo sound; as his steps drop in and out of volume when he’s nearby. Because on that, if you don’t have a good sound system; I highly recommend playing the game with headphones, as the 3D audio is a vital lifeline here.


This guy is like the freaking Terminator, he just won’t stop until you are dead. Shooting him will only briefly slow him down, but there’s no way to stop him aside from moments in the story, meaning your only options are to run and/or hide while he hunts you. He’s one of the most terrifying enemies I’ve ever come across in a game, and the fact that he has a continuous presence had me constantly terrified whenever his stomping got louder. This is pure horror at its finest, yes the game still has its trademark jump scares which had my wife constantly checking up on me. But Mr. X ends up becoming what is the scariest monster the Resident Evil series has delivered.


Aside from Mister X, there’s a handful of other nasties to deal with. Series staples Cerberus and Lickers make a return here, with the latter being notable more dangerous thanks to the new free aiming perspective and their tendency to jump around the room, though crows and spiders are not to be seen. There’s also a handful of boss fights that are pretty interesting and certainly memorable encounters, although the game’s true final boss, who appears only after beating the campaign with both characters is over way too soon.


Visually the game looks great, even when you can’t see a lot. Many hallways in the game are pitch black requiring the use of a flashlight, creating some great lighting effects all around. Rain when outside is notably rendered with incredible detail, with characters even reacting when stepping into the downpour. Enemies are also very well detailed and visceral, as shooting them will leave very notable flesh wounds and in some cases leave some rather graphic faces with parts of their face missing. The games soundtrack takes a bit more conservative approach, mostly staying ambient for most of the game, while dropping the odd nostalgic tune every once in a while. Though the boss themes are notably bombastic and far more memorable than before.


On top of the main campaigns, the remake offers a handful of unlockables. Bonus modes with Hunk and Tofu both make a return and are available once clearing the main game for both characters. There’s also the option to play through the game with Leon and Claire dressed in their original outfits, and picking up the deluxe version will net you a few extra outfits but most noteworthy is the option to play through the whole game with the classic soundtrack and menu sound effects.


The Resident Evil 2 remake is a fantastic game. It completely redefines how to do a remake, making it incredibly approachable for modern gamers, without alienating its retro fanbase. Even when not considering its source material, it’s a great game in its own right and just as approachable for anyone who hasn’t played a Resident Evil game before. This without question is: The best video game remake to date, and a worthy candidate for Game of the Year. Looks like we’re going to have to break our traditional remake clause for our best games of 2019 list.
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