PAX West 2018: The Resident Evil 2 Remake is Just as Terrifying as Ever

If there’s one thing to be said about the earliest Resident Evil titles it’s that they truly managed to capture a sense of horror and fear, even if the dialogue was cheesy. Resident Evil led the way for the series, and 2 vastly improved upon it while letting players experience a whole new place to explore and challenging puzzles to solve. Now players are getting to experience it all over again, but unlike the previously released Resident Evil HD, this Resident Evil 2 remake is an entirely different take.

While a lot in Resident Evil 2 will be similar, quite a few changes have been made. Gone is the way of fixed cameras and Leon can now freely explore every area without restraint. The story has also improved and includes brand new cutscenes with some welcome changes to the story that at least in the beginning portion made things feel a bit more natural overall. New voice acting greatly helps with this and makes it almost feel like an entirely new game. The easiest way to look at it is a bit like a third-person recreation inspired by the style of Resident Evil 7. There have been some other big changes to aspects of the story and puzzles which will likely come with mixed reception from old and new fans, but it still makes for something everyone will get to experience for the first time.

One of the most important things that hasn’t changed is the challenge and difficulty. This is no Resident Evil 5 or 6 with enough ammo and weapons to make an outfit out of. Instead players are back to the traditional style of limited resources, making every single one a precious commodity. Leon won’t stand a chance if he uses all his ammo on the first few enemies he meets and it’s important he makes decisions to either fight or run while he has the chance. It’s a little easier to aim this time around in the third-person perspective, but zombies are just as deadly and will quickly wipe Leon out if he doesn’t stay on his toes.

The biggest change by far is the visuals themselves, but this is to be expected for a remake of this level. Character models have seen massive overhauls from their PS1 roots, with Leon looking like the baby-faced officer he was in his debut appearance. On the other hand, zombies manage to look even more horrific and ready to bite into Leon’s shoulder if he should get too close. The atmosphere changes a bit with the loss of an overhead camera, but if anything makes for more tense moments where every turn could be into something unpleasant. It speeds up overall gameplay and adds new details the title hasn’t ever had before with a new angle on the world.

It looks new, feels new and sounds new, but the Resident Evil 2 remake is still very much true to the original in many important ways. It’s a style that marks a hopeful future for the series as a whole, as the return to horror and puzzles is one Resident Evil has managed to hit the mark with the return to form in the previous release of 7. Players have been waiting on this for a while and hopefully all the new changes manage to make an impact in Capcom’s new take on the beloved classic. Those dying to get back into it won’t have to wait terribly long before they make their way through the re-imagined Raccoon City, as the Resident Evil 2 remake is planned to launch on January 25 of 2019.