Survival Horror RE:Invented

Published in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 25, 2019 by Tim Marner™

Let’s set the scene. It’s 1998. THAT Celine Dion song is topping the charts and film classics Saving Private Ryan and The Truman Show are about to hit the big screen. Capcom releases the second instalment of its critically acclaimed survival horror franchise Resident Evil (or Biohazard if you’re Japanese). We still have anxiety riddled flash backs of making our way around a zombie infested Racoon City playing as a rookie cop Leon S Kennedy on his first day in the force and college student Claire Redfield in search of her brother Chris. 

Supplies were short to come by forcing you to strategise to survive rather than fighting their way through hordes and hordes of enemies like typical action packed games of the time. Containing puzzles throughout, Resident Evil forced players to think outside the box and learn the environment, immersing you in the fictional setting of Racoon City to successfully progress through the game. There’s no doubt the game was huge success, laying a marker in the gaming industry, defining the ‘Survival Horror’ genre that many studios would try to replicate in the coming years. 21 years (almost to the day) later and today we finally get our hands on the eagerly anticipated Resident Evil 2 remake. Redesigned from the ground up to include an over the shoulder camera, 4K HDR graphics and a redesigned campaign, the Resident Evil 2 remake stays true to RE roots but keeps even the most faithful RE fans guessing. 

Although the original RE2 was without doubt a classic, it hasn’t stood the test of time well at all. The first and most obvious flaw was the games awful voice acting that was frankly, comically bad. The 3 tier aiming system and awkward tank controls made traversing areas and dispatching enemies difficult to say the least with the fixed angle camera and pre rendered backdrops serving more as a clever technical trick rather than a tension building device.

What's great for us to see is the way Capcom have evolved their product, redefining survival horror and bringing Resident Evil into 2019 whilst remaining faithful to the games roots, giving new fans a contemporary way to access the Resident Evil franchise and offering a whole new challenge to RE veterans.

Will you be getting your hands on the Resident Evil 2 remake this weekend?

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