Resident Evil 2 (2019 video game)
|Resident Evil 2|
|Developer(s)||Capcom R&D Division 1|
|Release||January 25, 2019|
Resident Evil 2[a] is a survival horror game developed and published by Capcom. Players control police officer Leon S. Kennedy and college student Claire Redfield as they attempt to escape from Raccoon City during a zombie apocalypse. It is a remake of the 1998 game Resident Evil 2.
Capcom first expressed interest in making a remake of Resident Evil 2 in 2002, following a successful release of the remake of the first Resident Evil, but production never started since series creator Shinji Mikami did not want to divert development away from Resident Evil 4. In August 2015, Capcom announced that the remake was in development, and the first trailer and gameplay footage was revealed during E3 2018. The game was released worldwide for PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One on January 25, 2019. It was acclaimed by critics, with praise directed at its presentation, gameplay, and faithfulness to the original. By March 2019, the game had sold over 4.2 million copies.
Resident Evil 2 is a remake of the 1998 game Resident Evil 2 released for the PlayStation. 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.
Additionally, the standard difficulty mode allows players to save as often as they'd 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 original game, the remake of Resident Evil 2 offers the option to play through the main campaign with one of two protagonists, the rookie cop Leon S. Kennedy or the college student Claire Redfield. Depending on the player's choice, the main story will be experienced with variations in subplots, accessible areas, and obtainable items.
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.
Two months after Resident Evil, most of Raccoon City citizens have been turned into zombies by a leak of Umbrella's T-Virus. At a gas station outside town, rookie police officer Leon S. Kennedy meets college student Claire Redfield, who is looking for her brother Chris.
After being separated in Raccoon City, Leon and Claire agree to meet up at the Raccoon police department. The building is infested by zombies, and other monsters including the T-00,[b] or "Tyrant", 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 Raccoon City.
Claire learns Chris left on vacation and rescues young Sherry Birkin from a monster. Corrupt police chief Irons, abducts Sherry and locks her in the orphanage. He later calls Claire to trade a pendant Sherry dropped in exchange for her. Sherry tries to escape on her own, but the monster returns and kills Irons. Claire and Sherry are cornered by Mr. X, who is killed by the monster stalking Sherry; as a result, their elevator crashes and knocks Claire out.
She is awoken by Annette, Sherry's mother. Annette reveals the monster is William, her husband. The Birkins developed the G-Virus for Umbrella; however, William planned to sell it to the U.S. military. Umbrella sent commandos to confiscate his work; William injected himself with the G-Virus and attacked, shattering vials of the T-virus, contaminating the sewer system. Now a mindless mutating beast, William is trying to infect Sherry to spread the virus.
Claire finds Sherry locked away in a vault by Annette; however, Sherry falls ill. Annette realizes William already infected Sherry and has Claire bring Sherry to the Umbrella lab, where a vaccine is stored.
Once there, Claire uses Sherry's pendant to unlock the vaccine, but William attacks. Claire sends Annette to administer the vaccine while she defeats William. Afterward, Claire reunites with Anette, who has managed to cure Sherry before dying from internal injuries. The facility inacts a self-destruct protocol, and Claire and Sherry make their way to an evacuation train. Along the way, Claire discovers Leon is also there. After initiating the train's launch, William reappears, forcing Claire to defeat him again.
Leon is saved from an infected dog by FBI agent Ada Wong. They find reporter Ben Bertolucci in the holding cells; imprisoned by Irons for investigating Umbrella. As Ben explains, Mr.X kills him. Leon is grabbed by Mr.X, but is saved again by Ada. Leon convinces Ada to let him help retrieve a G-Virus sample to prove Umbrella's corruption.
In the sewers, Annette Birkin 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 Umbrella's lab in a cable car, where Ada kisses Leon.
Ada, injured, entrusts Leon to obtain the G sample. In Birkin's lab, Leon obtains a sample, but is attacked by William. Annette tries to kill him, but is mortally wounded. Leon defeats William and tends to Annette, who warns Ada is a mercenary who will sell the virus to the highest bidder.
Leon confronts Ada as the lab's self-destruct protocol begins. Annette shoots Ada and dies. Ada falls off the bridge; Leon catches her, letting the virus sample fall into the abyss. Leon loses his grip and Ada falls.
Leon is ambushed by Mr.X; Ada, having survived the fall, tosses a rocket launcher to him, which Leon uses to destroy Mr.X. Leon jumps onto the train, reuniting with Claire and Sherry.
Claire, Leon and Sherry are attacked by William, who has mutated again. Leon and Claire decouple the train, leaving William to perish in the lab explosion. Leon, Claire and Sherry vow to continue the fight against Umbrella.
The original Resident Evil 2 was released for the PlayStation in 1998. Following the release of the 2002 remake of the first Resident Evil for the GameCube, 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. 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". No further details were released until Sony’s E3 2018 press conference, when Capcom released the debut trailer and gameplay footage. Hideki Kamiya, director of the original Resident Evil 2, said that he had pushed Capcom to create the remake for years. 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.
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. The game uses the RE Engine, the same game engine used for Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, which allowed for Capcom to modernize the gameplay. Producer Tsuyoshi Kanda acknowledged the difficulty of making zombies seem scary and threatening, as they had became ubiquitous in entertainment media since the release of the original Resident Evil in 1996. 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. The new camera system also affected the sound design, as it no longer made sense for sound to come from a fixed source. 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.
Resident Evil 2 was released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows worldwide on January 25, 2019. The game supports enhancements on the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X, offering either 4K resolution or 60 frames per second. 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. A downloadable content game mode, known as Ghost Survivors, was released on February 15, 2019.
Game Informer said 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." The Guardian wrote that it was "a reminder of how beautifully crafted survival horror games were in their heyday." The Daily Telegraph described it as a "thrilling return to the legacy of the 1998 original".
IGN 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."
Destructoid called it "A hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage." Eurogamer described it as "a masterly reimagining of a modern classic". Polygon said Resident Evil 2 showcases "the very best of survival horror", while Kotaku also gave it similar praise, saying it "provides some of the best moments in the franchise". GameSpot said that with Resident Evil 2, "the classic survival horror franchise embraces its past in a new, exciting way".
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. It became Capcom's second biggest launch on Steam after Monster Hunter: World from 2018. Resident Evil 2 debuted at number two on the Japanese charts with 252,848 retail sales, after Kingdom Hearts III. As of March, the game was still among the top 20 best selling video games in Japan with more than 352,000 sold copies. 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. By March 2019, the game had sold over 4.2 million copies worldwide.
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