Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Nov 182019
 

The Resident Evil 2 remake (officially titled Resident Evil 2 and affectionately known as RE2make) was one of my most-anticipated games of the year after Capcom convinced me it would actually be survival horror.

Over the weekend, I finally finished it.

And it has all the puzzle-solving, door-unlocking, area-exploring survival horror gameplay I love.

They did it. They really did it!

The over-the-shoulder camera doesn’t detract at all from the survival horror feel, and RE2make is one of the few games I’ve played that successfully adopts classic survival horror gameplay without feeling like an old game.

Playing it brought back so many memories of the original Resident Evil 2, from nostalgia when I saw certain locked doors to anxiety when I remembered dying in a particular area many times. I don’t know if I’d consider it quite as good a remake as the original Resident Evil’s “REmake,” but RE2make is pretty much everything I hoped for it when it was announced.

Now, it’s not perfect. Finishing one campaign unlocks the other character’s 2nd Run, but while it’s set up as though it’s their side of the story, the two runs don’t fit together as cohesively as the original game’s A/B campaigns.

It feels almost more like the first Resident Evil, where the two characters each have a separate story, rather than two halves of the same story. I suspect Capcom didn’t intend to include the 2nd Run at all, only each character’s main scenario, then decided to implement it after seeing how much fans wanted it.

RE2make also really dislikes music for some reason. Most areas have no music, and several themes only play once. My favorite song from any Resident Evil game ever (“The Second Malformation of G”) was also replaced with a less epic version, which disappointed me. The later boss battles had suitably epic music, though, so I’ve forgiven it. Mostly.

(I went months not looking up the soundtrack solely because I wanted to hear that song in all its remade glory for the first time when I played the game, in case you’re wondering why I’m so fixated on this one particular song being gone.)

Anyway, moving on from the lack of my favorite song, let’s talk about the horror itself. I still don’t care about the gore, but RE2make is tense. I’ve seen a lot of people say Lickers are much harder in the remake. I actually died to them less than I did in the original, but I died to regular old zombies so much more. Zombies are a legitimate threat in RE2make, and killing them is difficult enough that I quickly learned it was better to take out their legs and run around them.

Then there’s Mr. X, who is also much more intimidating than in the original. He also demonstrates how great the game’s design is.

Click for RE2make gameplay spoilers
Mr. X is a persistent stalker in the police station this time, but the brilliance is that by the time he shows up, you’ve already unlocked enough rooms that you rarely end up caught at a dead end.

When I heard about Mr. X in the remake, I worried that he might be a constant threat where you couldn’t properly explore and would have to rush.

Instead, it becomes a matter of fleeing through the station while figuring out the best path to take to loop back around to whatever you were trying to do when he found you.

Running panicked circuits of the police station with Mr. X in pursuit was some of the most fun I had with the game besides its core gameplay loop.

I loved the Resident Evil 2 remake. It’s a great game, and it proves that this sort of survival horror is still viable for Resident Evil. It also left me excited for a potential RE3make. I hope Capcom remakes Resident Evil 3 in the same style, and I hope Resident Evil 8 adopts this kind of gameplay as well.

Classic survival horror never died, and now it’s here to stay.

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  9 Responses to “Resident Evil 2 Remake is a True Return to Survival Horror”

  1. I was impressed by it too.

  2. Several outlets and polls are putting up Resident Evil 2 as a game of the year contender.

    Would you consent to that?

    • Well, for me, it would lose to both Kingdom Hearts III and Judgment. I’m not sure what I would do with my rankings after that (for example, I’m still not sure where I’d put Three Houses). I wouldn’t be disappointed if RE2 was named GOTY, though.

  3. […] Monday, when I reviewed the remake of Resident Evil 2, I mentioned being excited for a potential Resident Evil 3 remake in […]

  4. […] “leans more toward action” than Resident Evil 2, which always makes me wary, but after how good the Resident Evil 2 remake was, I’m willing to trust Capcom to do a good job with this remake as […]

  5. […] hard to express how happy I was when I realized the Resident Evil 2 remake was a true survival horror remake of the original just like I’d hoped it would be. Playing the Resident Evil 2 remake filled me […]

  6. […] Evil doing so low on this list? Well, I still have some misgivings about it. After how much I loved the Resident Evil 2 remake, I want to believe Resident Evil Village will be another true survival […]

  7. […] The Resident Evil 2 remake is also on sale for $14.99 (PS4), and that’s one that I loved. […]

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