Friday, February 22, 2019


It's a little difficult to find the right term for the new version of Resident Evil 2.  Is it a remake?...a remaster?  It's not a reboot, nor is it a reimagining.  Personally, I kind of like the notion that it's Resident Evil 2.5 since there was an aborted attempt by Capcom to make a sequel to the original that fans have dubbed Resident Evil 1.5 (there's even a nod to it in the new game in the form of one of Claire Redfield's DLC costumes).  Labels aside, I sort of forgot how much RE2 is like the movie Aliens.

Goopy hives, embryo implantation, and monsters bursting out of people chests are some of the more obvious similarities.  In a broader sense there is the transition from a purley horror original (Alien and RE1) to a more action-driven sequel.  The relationship between Ripley and Newt feels mirrored in a lot of ways with Claire and Sherry.  There's also some reworked themes having to do with government institutions falling prey to corporate influences (swap Weyland-Yutani with Umbrella Pharmaceutical and Colonial Marines with Racoon City Police and I'm sure you'll see what I mean.  Heck, in both film and game a lot of time is spent poking around the the ruins of a fortified position.  On top of all that, the finale has a surprise fourth act involving a final showdown right after a self-destruct sequence.

Gameplay-wise, the new RE2 is superior to the old PSX version in almost every way.  Even so, I feels like the dev team missed out on an opportunity to more tightly intertwine the stories of Leon and Claire.  I also miss the ability to head stomp leg-biting zombies.  Ada's high-heel shoes seem really out of place to me too.  I know she's supposed to be a femme fatale and all, but those shoes?...with all the walkway gratings?...and monsters about?...and after that nasty thigh wound?  This might sound like an insane nitpick, but remember she did have much more sensible footwear in the old game.  Nitpicks aside, the game is pretty darn scary in places; zombie ambushes and that T-00 (a.k.a. Mr. X) got me pretty good a couple of times.

I've heard a rumor that the team behind the new RE2 will be doing a similar treatment of Resident Evil 3 next.  If so, I't be interested in playing that game as well.  I have fond memories of playing cat-and-mouse with the Nemesis bioweapon through the streets of Racoon City.  Certain aspects of that game may require a more serious overhaul than what was done to RE2 though.  I can't see the quasi-QTE's of that game being well received these days, nor the anti-climatic showdown with the secondary antagonist Nikolai.  Still, counting spin-offs, I can honestly say RE3 is better than the majority of Resident Evil games and as such I think a RE3.5 has potential.

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