Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Resident Evil 2 - Zombie Videogame Review (Playstation)

Resident Evil 2 is still a fantastic game. One of the best game sequels, and with the exception of Silent Hill 2 one of the best Survival Horror sequels.

Leon Kennedy a rookie cop, and Claire Redfield both arrive in Raccoon City at the same time. They discover too late the City has been the centre of a zombie outbreak. Thinking the Police Station would be the most safe place they head there. The rest of the game sees them try to escape the City, learning on their journey the origin of the outbreak.

The game is novel in that the choice of character you play as determines the route through the game you take. Completing the game once opens up B mission which takes place the same time as the original playthough, but from the 2nd characters perspective. Items are in different places, there are new enemies, and the real ending is revealed.

A lot of the same enemies from the Resident Evil reappear as well as a lot more. Zombies obviously, as well as Zombie Dogs, and crows return while the fantastic Hunter enemy is sadly missing. In it's place is the iconic Licker enemy which was a brilliant addition to the series. Boss enemies are less numerous this time around, most centring around William Birkin; a scientist key to the plot of the game who had turned into a ever changing monster. Each encounter with him is different due to his morphing, both A and B missions feature him in various different forms. B mission sees you pursued by a giant trench coated humanoid at various points, the basis for the Nemesis character in Resident Evil 3. The humanoid 'Mr X' is truly scary, with him bursting through walls in his pursuit to get you, and has a suitably epic final encounter.

Weapons are more varied this time around, and can be upgraded, the upgraded Colt Magnum in particular is awesome, so powerful the recoil makes your character fly backwards. The files you find (which provide story) are probably the best in the series, especially the ones detailing the losing battle the Police have as their positions are gradually over run by the attacking hordes. The story as a whole is more interesting, and there are a lot more characters you meet, and even get to control for small portions of the game (such as the mysterious Ada Wong, and the little girl Cheyl Birkin). The locations are cool, and each one follows logically on from the last, giving a feel of accomplishment as you get nearer to your goal of fleeing the City.

The violence is at it's best in this game. Zombies can be blown in half both vertically and horizontally, the character you play as shows damage when injured, limping when nearer death, and the cutscenes are fantastic, and well worth repeated watching. The CGI cutscenes in Resident Evil were near non existent, while here there around 3 or 4 quite lengthy ones throughout the course of the 3 hour game. 3 hours may not seem a lot, but the game has to be completed twice to get the proper ending, and also there are lots of unlockables. These include costumes and weapons for the playable characters, as well as 2 mini games where you have a set time limit to escape the Police Station (one mode sees you play as Hunk; a special Umbrella Swat team member, while the other sees you play as a giant lump of Tofu armed with just a knife!).

This is one fantastic game, I really want to play it again to see if it is still as good as I remember it being!


Update 26/01/2019: I recently played through this again in anticipation of the Resident Evil 2 remake. The game still holds up today with it looking just as good as I remember. However nowadays I am spoilt, so things like the tank controls in particular quite grated on me. This is a damn good game though, while not as good as Resident Evil it is one of the better sequels in the series.

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