Capcom’s survival horror series returns this month in the form of an ambitious remake of 1998’s classic title, Resident Evil 2. Though widely considered a landmark release at the time, the game’s shortcomings are scarily clear when judged against today’s standards. Clunky, obtuse controls; muddy, distracting graphics; and a static camera that serves only to frustrate - Resident Evil 2 has become as ugly and disjointed as the rotting corpses it’s renowned for.
But thankfully, that’s all about to change. Capcom’s long-demanded remake looks set to inject new life into one of their finest creations, with plenty of quality of life improvements to boot. Here are five big changes you can look forward to when Resident Evil 2 shuffles out of the darkness on January 25th, 2019.
Easily the most noticeable and potentially controversial change, Resident Evil 2 remake opts for an over-the-shoulder camera. Popularised by the critically acclaimed Resident Evil 4, it’s a decisive decision that’s sure to rile a few purists but one that creates new opportunities for the developers to play with. The new camera angle helps to deliver a more claustrophobic atmosphere, putting you closer to the action and the jaws of gnashing zombies, of course. It also allows for darkness to have a far greater role than in the original game. At times, you’ll be at the mercy of your flashlight, making each tentative step down an abandoned corridor feel like it’s the last one you’ll ever take.
The flesh-eating fiends may seem almost comical when we look back at the blocky, polygonal depictions we encountered in 1998, but at the time they were truly terrifying. With Capcom’s impressive RE Engine powering the game, the undead hordes are now unnervingly real once again. It’s unsettling news, then, that zombies can also break through doors and take more bullets than ever to kill. Oh, and remember how a pool of blood would signify a zombie was definitely dead when it hit the ground? Yeah, that’s gone now, so you’re never quite sure if your ankles will get bitten off when you walk by.
Think you know Raccoon City like the back of your trembling hand? Think again. Resident Evil 2 remake features new enemy placements, head-scratching puzzles, and a number of different rooms that simply weren’t there in the original. You’ll also come across more types of zombie on your journey to survive, including the bigger-boned variety, making the world and its deadly inhabitants more believable.
That little black dress may be the perfect head-turner at a party, but is it appropriate clothing to tackle a ravenous crowd of decaying nasties? The answer is no. It’s no surprise that Capcom has changed Ada Wong’s outfit from the saucy red cocktail dress and high heels ensemble that she used to wear, for something far more practical. Claire’s outfit has also benefited from a more grounded approach, too, fitting with the game’s push for greater realism this time around.
Playing with the lights off and curtains closed is a must before starting any horror game. But to really submerge yourself into the unknown terror that awaits your audio sensory experience needs to be just right. Those who are brave enough to wear headphones during their playthrough will be rewarded (read: scared out of their wits) thanks to the game’s new 360-degree binaural audio. Hear every zombie groan the way nature intended: ominously somewhere in the distance, only to realise it’s too late...
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