Resident Evil 2 (2019 video game)

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Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil 2 Remake.jpg
Developer(s)Capcom
Publisher(s)Capcom
Director(s)
  • Kazunori Kadoi
  • Yasuhiro Anpo
Producer(s)
  • Yoshiaki Hirabayashi
  • Tsuyoshi Kanda
Designer(s)Hidehiro Goda
Programmer(s)Masatoshi Fukazawa
Artist(s)
  • Gez Fry
  • Satoshi Takamatsu
Composer(s)
  • Shusaku Uchiyama
  • Zhenlan Kang
SeriesResident Evil
Platform(s)
ReleaseJanuary 25, 2019
Genre(s)Survival horror
Mode(s)Single-player

Resident Evil 2[a] is a science fiction survival horror game developed and published by Capcom. A remake of the 1998 game of the same name, it was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on January 25, 2019. Players control rookie police officer Leon S. Kennedy and college student Claire Redfield as they attempt to escape Raccoon City during a zombie outbreak.

Capcom first considered remaking Resident Evil 2 following the release of the remake of the first Resident Evil in 2002, but was delayed as series creator Shinji Mikami did not want to divert development from the then-upcoming Resident Evil 4 (2005). Capcom announced the Resident Evil 2 remake in August 2015 and released the first trailer and gameplay footage at E3 2018.

Resident Evil 2 received critical acclaim with praise for its presentation, gameplay, and faithfulness to the original and was nominated for several awards, including for game of the year. By September 2020, the game had sold over 7.5 million copies, outselling the original.

Gameplay[edit]

Claire Redfield is one of the game's two main playable characters.

Resident Evil 2 is a remake of the 1998 game of the same name. Unlike the original, which uses tank controls and fixed camera angles, the remake features "over-the-shoulder" third-person shooter gameplay similar to Resident Evil 4, and allows players the option to move while using their weapons.[1]

The standard difficulty mode deviates from the original by featuring autosaves and allowing players to save as often as they would like inside safe rooms. If the player chooses to play on "Hardcore" difficulty, players will be required to collect and use a finite number of ink ribbons to save the game's progress, much like in the original game.

As with the 1998 game, the remake of Resident Evil 2 offers the option to play through the main campaign as either Leon S. Kennedy, a rookie police officer on his first day, or Claire Redfield, a college student and sister of original protagonist Chris. Depending on the player's choice, the main story will be experienced with variations in subplots, accessible areas, obtainable items, weapons, and final boss battle. Also like the original, both campaigns feature a supporting character who becomes playable for one section of the game. Players control the mysterious Ada Wong in Leon's story, whose segment involves hacking electronic devices, and young girl Sherry Birkin in Claire's story, whose segment centers around stealth.

Similar to the "Scenario B" feature of the original game, beating the main campaign for the first time unlocks the option to play through a "2nd Run" as the other protagonist. 2nd Run is a variation of the main campaign that adds additional content to frame the second playthrough as occurring concurrently with the first playthrough. For example, the protagonist in 2nd Run will enter the police station from a different entrance and find several doors already unlocked by the protagonist from the first playthrough. Completing 2nd Run is also required to experience the true ending of the main campaign. Selecting "New Game" scenario for the selected character allows players to start with the default item loadout with items they had playing the game for the first time.

The remake brings back "The 4th Survivor" and "The Tofu Survivor" minigames present in the 1998 original, which are unlocked after completing the 2nd Run mode. "The 4th Survivor" follows Umbrella Corporation operative Hunk and requires players to travel from the sewers to the outside of the police department while facing a large number of enemies. "The Tofu Survivor" features the same scenario, but replaces Hunk with an anthropomorphic tofu armed only with knives. The remake's version of "The Tofu Survivor" also adds the unlockable characters Konjac, Uirō-Mochi, Flan, and Annin Tofu, who all have a unique item loadout.

Plot[edit]

The game is set in Raccoon City in September 1998, two months after the events of Resident Evil. Most of the citizens have been turned into mindless zombies, due to an outbreak of a viral bioweapon known as the T-Virus, manufactured by Umbrella Corporation.[2][3] The game begins at a gas station outside of the city, where rookie police officer Leon S. Kennedy (Nick Apostolides) meets college student Claire Redfield (Stephanie Panisello), who is looking for her brother Chris.

After being separated following a car accident, Leon and Claire agree to meet up at the city's police department. The building is infested by zombies, and other monsters, including the "Tyrant",[b] who is dispatched to hunt down and kill any survivors. The creatures and various obstacles prevent Leon and Claire from actually reuniting as they are forced to find a way to escape the city.

Claire scenario[edit]

In the Machinery, Claire encounters Sherry Birkin (Eliza Pryor), a young girl being pursued by a monstrous creature. In the police station parking garage, corrupt Police Chief Brian Irons (Sid Carton) abducts Sherry, and locks her in an abandoned orphanage. Claire soon receives a call from Irons to trade Sherry for a pendant she had dropped during the abduction, threatening to kill the little girl if Claire does not comply. Reluctantly, Claire agrees to do so.

Sherry tries to escape on her own, but is soon cornered by Irons. Before Irons can harm her, the creature that had been chasing Sherry returns and implants Irons with a G-Larva. Claire arrives to save Sherry, and the larva bursts out of Irons' chest, killing him. As Claire and Sherry attempt to leave, the Tyrant arrives and chases the pair into an elevator, but is killed by the creature stalking Sherry. The creature then tries to attack Claire and Sherry as it mutates, but accidentally causes the elevator to fall into the sewers. Claire is knocked unconscious, and Sherry is forced to abandon her to escape.

Claire is found by Annette (Karen Strassman), Sherry's mother, who reveals that the creature after Sherry is William (Terence J. Rotolo), her husband and Sherry's father. The Birkins developed the G-Virus for Umbrella; however, William planned to sell it to the U.S. military. Umbrella sent its paramilitary force to confiscate his work, leading to William being fatally shot. To avoid death, William had injected himself with the G-Virus. As William takes his revenge on the Umbrella soldiers, sewer rats infected by shattered vials of the T-virus carry their infection to Raccoon City. Now a mindless mutating beast, the G-Virus drives William to infect Sherry, as she is the closest genetic match to William and thus the most suitable host to spread the infection.

Claire finds Sherry trapped in a trash compactor by Annette. Upon reaching her, however, Sherry falls ill. Annette realizes William has already infected Sherry and has Claire bring her to an Umbrella lab called NEST, where a vaccine is stored. Once there, Claire uses Sherry's pendant to unlock the vaccine, but William attacks after mutating again. Claire sends Annette to administer the vaccine while she fights William. After seemingly killing him, Claire reunites with Annette, who has managed to cure Sherry before dying from internal injuries. Sherry tearfully bids her mother goodbye. As the facility enacts a self-destruct protocol, Claire and Sherry make their way to an evacuation train. William returns yet again, now mutated into a much larger monster, and Claire defeats him just as the train prepares to leave. Upon boarding, Claire discovers Leon there as well.

Leon scenario[edit]

Leon is saved from an infected dog by FBI agent, Ada Wong (Jolene Andersen) in the Parking Garage. They find reporter Ben Bertolucci in the holding cells; imprisoned by Irons for investigating Umbrella. As Ben tries to convince Leon to release him, the Tyrant kills Ben. While attempting to escape the police station, Leon is intercepted by the Tyrant but is again saved by Ada. Leon pledges to help Ada retrieve a G-Virus sample to prove Umbrella's corruption.

In the sewers, Annette Birkin ambushes the pair and shoots at Ada; Leon takes the bullet and passes out. Ada pursues Annette but is knocked into a trash compactor. Leon rescues her, and they descend to NEST via cable car, where Ada kisses Leon.

Ada, injured, requests that Leon obtain the G sample. In Birkin's lab, Leon obtains a sample but is attacked by a now much more deadly William. Annette tries to kill him, but is mortally wounded. Leon defeats William and tends to Annette, who claims that Ada is a mercenary and will sell the virus to the highest bidder.

Leon confronts Ada as the lab's self-destruct protocol begins, where she admits to being a mercenary. Ada demands the G-Virus sample from Leon at gunpoint, but Annette shoots Ada before succumbing to her injuries. As Ada falls off the bridge; Leon catches her, letting the virus sample fall into the abyss. Leon loses his grip and Ada falls.

As Leon attempts to escape the lab, he is ambushed by the Tyrant, now transformed into the larger and more powerful Super Tyrant and engages it in a final battle. Ada, having survived the fall, tosses a rocket launcher to him, which Leon uses to finally destroy the Super Tyrant. Leon boards the evacuation train, discovering Claire and Sherry already aboard.

Ending[edit]

After Leon, Claire, and Sherry reunite, William attacks the train, having mutated into a gigantic horrifying mass of fangs and flesh. Claire and Leon are almost killed in the fight, but manage to uncouple the carriage occupied by William. The carriage falls behind and is consumed by the exploding lab, destroying William once and for all. As the three survivors finally escape Raccoon City, they vow to continue the fight against Umbrella. Hunk (Keith Silverstein), one of the surviving special agents sent by Umbrella completes his G-Virus retrieval mission.

Development[edit]

Promotional booth at E3 2018

The original Resident Evil 2 was released for the PlayStation in 1998, followed by releases for Microsoft Windows and Nintendo 64 in 1999, Sega Dreamcast in 2000, and Nintendo GameCube in 2003. Following the release of the 2002 remake of the first Resident Evil for the GameCube,[4][5][6] Capcom considered a similar remake of Resident Evil 2, but series creator Shinji Mikami did not want to divert development away from Resident Evil 4.[7] In August 2015, producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi announced in a video that the remake had been approved and was in active development, ending the video with the phrase "We Do It".[8] No further details were released until Sony's E3 2018 press conference, when Capcom released the debut trailer and gameplay footage and removed "Remake" from the title.[9][10] Hideki Kamiya, director of the original Resident Evil 2, said that he had pushed Capcom to create a remake for years.[11] Hirabayashi said the team was striving to capture the spirit of the original game, and that the team incorporated feedback received about Resident Evil 6, a game he also produced.[12]

To meet modern expectations, the team decided to alter some character designs to better match the more photorealistic setting; for example, Leon no longer wears large shoulder pads, which were added to distinguish his original, low-polygon model. Ada Wong's red dress was dropped in favor of a trenchcoat with sunglasses for similar reasons. Though they strove to make a "modern, accessible" game, they focused on horror over action, hoping to preserve a claustrophobic feel.[13] The game uses the RE Engine, the same game engine used for Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, which allowed for Capcom to modernize the gameplay.[14] Producer Tsuyoshi Kanda acknowledged the difficulty of making zombies seem scary and threatening, as they had become ubiquitous in entertainment media since the release of the original Resident Evil in 1996.[13] By removing the fixed camera angles, the team had to use different ways to conceal enemies, using elements such as room layout, lighting, and smoke.[13] The new camera system also affected the sound design, as it no longer made sense for sound to come from a fixed source.[13] The faces of several character models are based on scans of real people. Leon S. Kennedy is based on model Eduard Badaluta, Claire Redfield is based on model Jordan McEwen, and Marvin Branagh is based on music producer Patrick Levar.[15]

The game features a Dolby Atmos soundtrack.[16] Due to Capcom's decision to use non-union voice actors, the original game's actors did not reprise their roles.[17]

Release[edit]

Resident Evil 2 was released on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One worldwide on January 25, 2019.[14] The game supports enhancements on the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X, offering either 4K resolution or 60 frames per second.[18] A demo known as the 1-Shot Demo was released on January 11, 2019. It ends after 30 minutes and does not allow repeat playthroughs, however the same demo was later rereleased as the "R.P.D. Demo" and does allow repeat playthroughs.[19][20] A collector's edition was made available for the console versions and features a Leon S. Kennedy figure, hardcover art book, R.P.D. renovation blueprints, and a digital soundtrack.[citation needed]

On December 12, 2019, a final update was introduced to the Resident Evil 2 remake where the protagonist of Resident Evil 3, Jill Valentine has written a letter to Kendo. This letter can be found at Kendo's Gunshop right after Leon S. Kennedy and Ada Wong leave the police station. Reading this letter also unlocks an achievement called "Chasing Jill".[21]

Downloadable content[edit]

A downloadable content game mode called The Ghost Survivors was released on February 15, 2019, and features four missions entitled "No Time to Mourn", "Runaway", "Forgotten Soldier", and "No Way Out".[22][23] The mode centers around the characters Robert Kendo, Katherine Warren, Ghost, and Sheriff Daniel Cortini, who all die in the main story, and depicts alternate scenarios where they survive. "No Time to Mourn", "Runaway", and "Forgotten Soldier" require the player to reach a destination as they make their way through enemies, while "No Way Out", which is unlocked after completing the other three missions, requires the player to defeat a wave of 100 zombies inside the gas station at the beginning of the game.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic(PC) 89/100[24]
(PS4) 91/100[25]
(XONE) 93/100[26]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Destructoid9/10[27]
EGM9.5/10[28]
Famitsu37/40[29]
Game Informer9.5/10[30]
GameRevolution5/5 stars[31]
GameSpot9/10[32]
IGN9.0/10[33]
USgamer4.5/5[34]

Following its E3 2018 showing, Resident Evil 2 won the "Best of Show" award at the 2018 Game Critics Awards.[35] The 1-Shot Demo received over 4.7 million downloads worldwide.[36]

Resident Evil 2 received "universal acclaim" for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions, and "generally favorable reviews" for the PC according to review aggregator Metacritic.[24][25][26]

Ben Reeves of Game Informer wrote that "Resident Evil 2 not only looks great, it plays well, and it forces you into a series of dark encounters that are a total rush."[30] Keith Stuart of The Guardian wrote that it was "a reminder of how beautifully crafted survival horror games were in their heyday."[37] The Daily Telegraph's Tom Hoggins described the game as a "thrilling return to the legacy of the 1998 original".[38]

IGN's Daemon Hatfield originally gave the game an 8.8 in their review, only to increase it to a 9.0 after being made aware of the unlockable second playthrough that presents the story from another point of view. They stated in their review that "Capcom did a fantastic job of resurrecting all the best parts of the classic Resident Evil 2 and making it look, sound, and play like a 2019 game."[39]

Chris Carter of Destructoid called the game "A hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage."[27] Aoife Wilson of Eurogamer described it as "a masterly reimagining of a modern classic".[40] Polygon's Michael McWhertor wrote that Resident Evil 2 showcases "the very best of survival horror";[41] similar praise was expressed by Heather Alexandra of Kotaku, who wrote that the game "provides some of the best moments in the franchise".[42] Alessandro Fillari of GameSpot said that with Resident Evil 2, "the classic survival horror franchise embraces its past in a new, exciting way".[32]

Sales[edit]

The game shipped three million copies worldwide in its first week of sales, rising to four million within a month with over one million on PC.[36][43][44][45] It became Capcom's second biggest launch on Steam after Monster Hunter: World from 2018.[46] Resident Evil 2 debuted at number two on the Japanese charts with 252,848 retail sales, after Kingdom Hearts III.[47][48] As of March, the game was still among the top 20 best selling video games in Japan with more than 352,000 sold copies.[49] Resident Evil 2 also topped the UK charts, becoming Capcom's biggest UK launch since Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017) in physical retail sale, and was the UK's best-selling game in January 2019, despite being available for only two days.[50] By December 2019, the game had sold over 5.8 million copies, which was more than the original game.[51][52] As of March 2020, the game has sold over 7.2 million copies worldwide.[53][54]

Awards[edit]

Year Award Category Result Ref
2018 Game Critics Awards Best of Show Won [55]
Best Console Game Nominated
Best Action/Adventure Game Nominated
2019 Japan Game Awards Award for Excellence Won [56]
Golden Joystick Awards Best Audio Won [57][58][59]
Ultimate Game of the Year Won
Hollywood Music in Media Awards Original Song - Video Game ("Saudade") Won [60][61]
The Game Awards 2019 Game of the Year Nominated [62]
Best Game Direction Nominated
Best Audio Design Nominated
Best Action/Adventure Game Nominated
2020 New York Game Awards Big Apple Award for Best Game of the Year Nominated [63][64]
Freedom Tower Award for Best Remake Won
23rd Annual D.I.C.E. Awards Adventure Game of the Year Nominated [65]
Outstanding Achievement in Audio Design Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction Nominated
NAVGTR Awards Game of the Year Nominated [66][67]
Direction in a Game Cinema Nominated
Game, Classic Revival Won
Sound Editing in a Game Cinema Nominated
SXSW Gaming Awards Excellence in SFX Nominated [68]
Famitsu Dengeki Game Awards 2019 Best Action Adventure Game Nominated [69]
18th Annual G.A.N.G. Awards Best Original Song ("Saudade") Nominated [70]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Known in Japan as Biohazard RE:2 (Japanese: バイオハザード RE:2, Hepburn: Baiohazādo Āru Ī Tsū) and commonly referred to as Resident Evil 2 Remake.
  2. ^ Officially known as T-00, but commonly referred to as "Mr. X".

References[edit]

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External links[edit]