Resident Evil 2 REmake Review

Leon & Claire at it again
Not just a pair of pretty faces. Leon & Claire are more than capable of zombie slaying


The Resident Evil 2 Remake is a return to form for this horror franchise with a greater emphasis on creating atmospheric tension and building suspense rather than the action-heavy gameplay that was present in RE's 4, 5, and 6. In this review, I will be delving into how and why this is the best direction for the series to go back to while exploring the pros and cons of the game. All the games in the series have their positives and negatives so it is time to investigate why this one works so well as we get to the source of the Resident Evil.

About Resident Evil 2 Remake

A survival horror game much like the majority of the other entries in the series, the RE2 remake was released by Capcom on January 25, 2019. Within its first month of release, the game sold over 4 million copies and to date has reached over 5 million, beating out the original. Greeted with universal acclaim among critics and fans alike, the game was nominated for several awards including Game of the Year and won a Game Critics Award. Though interest in an RE2 remake dates back to 2002, the development was not officially announced until August 2015. It took over 800 developers to bring this decaying franchise back to life.

Resident Evil 2 Remake Story

Leon & Claire are in for a rough night.  If fear doesn't kill them, something else will...

Set in the fictional mid-western town of Raccoon City, RE2 takes place 6 months after the events of the original game. The story is your classic RE template. Mysterious monsters start popping up all over as you search for clues and uncover that the fault lies with mad scientists at the world's worst pharmaceutical company Umbrella. The simplicity of the plot is what makes it work so well and though it shares a lot of similarities to the first, it isn't bogged down by overcomplicated storylines, bizarre twists and unnecessary retcons that plagued the later entries. The game makes you want to learn more about its secretive characters and their true intentions.

Resident Evil 2 Remake Gameplay

Keep a sub-weapon equipped at all times for those foes who want to get a little too close for comfort

New characters Leon and Claire make their way through the monster-infested, puzzle-filled city, trying desperately to escape. Claire is the sister of one of RE1's main protagonists Chris Redfield and Leon is a rookie cop reporting for his first day on the job. The amount of the city you'll be exploring is quite limited, as you only have access to a few side streets before arriving at the police station where the majority of the game takes place. Each character has their storyline complete with unique side characters they meet and interact with along the way. You choose one of them for their main campaign and upon completion, the game unlocks the ability to choose the other character for their second run. Choices made during the main story can effect items, subplots and accessible areas in the second. Although this is meant to create variation within the game itself, you'll find yourself repeating the same puzzles, killing the same enemies and exploring familiar areas in both campaigns. Completing both runs gives you the entire story as do the numerous bonus features which are unlocked after beating the game.

Watch your back because Mr. X will be hunting you down

Much more than just a reboot of an old game with a fresh coat of paint, the RE2 remake overhauls both its perspective and controls. Long gone are the “tank” controls found in the original entries. They are replaced with an over-the-shoulder camera angle which allows you to aim for different areas of your enemies, allowing for smoother more accurate gunshots. These controls are a vast improvement over the previous titles. The majority of your combat is experienced with various firearms found throughout the numerous locations, though you will find the occasional hand grenade or combat knife that can be set as a sub-weapon. Sub-weapons come in handy when an enemy gets too close, as you can use them for the defense before they get a chance to bite. Head-shots do the most damage but these can be difficult to land as enemies often sway erratically and emerge from the shadows. Physical signs of damage will appear on the character when they are injured, but unlike the original, they do not move at half-speed when their health gets too low. This allows the player a better chance to escape an area to collect an herb or first aid spray to re-energize.

Resident Evil 2 Remake Quest/Mission System

Told mostly through a linear storyline, there's not an overabundance of non-playable characters that you'll come across, which adds to the games feeling of isolation and dread. You'll spend most of your time searching for items to add to your limited inventory, solving puzzles and gunning down the dead. As the majority of the game is spent in a few locations you'll find yourself backtracking through these areas quite frequently to find various keys, emblems, and crests to unlock other areas to explore.

Resident Evil 2 Remake Graphics

RE2 REmake Trailer

Ada is a familiar face, but which side is she on?

Ada ditches her signature little red dress for a more functional highly- detailed trench coat, fit for any super-spy

Quite possibly the most visually stunning entry to date, the RE2 remake features gorgeously rendered 3-D environments, highly detailed enemies and characters, and dramatic lighting from one's flashlight that illuminates the darkened corridors found throughout. Cutscene animations are fluid and action-packed while combating enemies results in blood spraying, flesh flying and limbs shattering, which creates a highly gruesome, realistic look. The over-the-shoulder perspective allows you to explore these environments much more easily than the static pre-rendered backgrounds of games passed. Complementing these visuals are the sound effects. Zombies' painful moans and footsteps echoing in the hallowed halls bring a level of realism to the game and although the soundtrack is creepy enough, it is at times forgettable, and can never quite match the original's. Luckily the original score is available for download and can be swapped in the game.

Resident Evil 2 Developer

It's not often that a developer listens to the complaints and criticisms of its audience but it is clear Capcom went above and beyond to make a game that would please the fans of the original's fear factor while still bringing new and exciting elements to the gameplay. They took what worked from each entry to create a brilliant, cohesive videogame that has pleased millions across the world. Additional costumes, soundtracks, and weapons can be found in it's DLC's.

Resident Evil 2 Price

Originally priced at $59.99 the game has dropped to just $19.79 throughout its year on the market with a Deluxe Edition available for $23.09 that includes extra DLC's. RE2 is available on PC, PS4 and XBOX ONE.


  • Highly detailed graphics, characters, and environments
  • Over-the-shoulder third-person perspective makes exploration and combat fluid
  • A return to the series' horror roots


  • Repeating many of the same puzzles and locations in both character's scenarios
  • Limited locations leave a lot of the city unexplored
  • You'll find yourself backtracking in familiar areas frequently

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Creative Columnist
Gamer Since: 1994
Favorite Genre: RTS
Currently Playing: Resident Evil 2 Remake
Top 3 Favorite Games:Resident Evil HD Remaster, Mortal Kombat X, Devil May Cry DMC