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, to universal acclaim with praise directed at its presentation, gameplay, and faithfulness to the original. After the first month of release, the game had shipped four million copies worldwide.
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.
On September 29, 1998, two months after the events of the first Resident Evil, most citizens of the Midwestern American mountain community Raccoon City have been transformed into zombies by the T-Virus, a biological weapon secretly developed by the pharmaceutical company Umbrella.
At a gas station outside of town, Leon S. Kennedy, a rookie police officer meets Claire Redfield, a college student looking for her brother Chris. The gas station is overrun with zombies and the two narrowly escape in a police car.
After being separated in Raccoon City, Leon and Claire agree to meet up at the Raccoon Police Department, which is infested by zombies and other monsters including the T-00[b], the latest model of Umbrella's Tyrant line of bio-weapons, 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 stay on the move to survive and find a way to escape Raccoon City.
While exploring the police station, Claire discovers that Chris left the country before the outbreak. Claire also finds a little girl, Sherry Birkin, hiding from a monster. After saving Sherry from the monster, Claire promises to reunite her with her mother.
The two are discovered by the corrupt Chief of Police Brian Irons. Irons abducts Sherry and takes her to an orphanage across town. Claire learns that Umbrella bribed Irons for years in exchange for enabling illegal activities that included using orphans as test subjects, and building a secret research lab under the city. Irons abducted Sherry to obtain a pendant she wears, but discovers that Claire possesses it. Irons calls Claire and offers to trade Sherry for the pendant. As Claire makes her way to the orphanage, Sherry tries to escape on her own, but the monster stalking her appears and fatally wounds Irons. Claire arrives in time to see Irons die from a creature implanted inside him, and finds Sherry in a passageway under the orphanage. While being pursued under the city by the T-00, the two are cornered in an elevator. The T-00 is killed by the monster stalking Sherry, who then disables the wires to the elevator. The elevator crashes, rendering Claire unconscious.
Claire is awoken by Annette Birkin, Sherry's mother. Annette reveals that the monster chasing Sherry is William Birkin, her husband and Sherry's father. William and Annette developed the G-Virus for Umbrella in their secret lab underneath Raccoon City. Umbrella discovered that William intended to sell the G-Virus to the U.S. military, and dispatched private commandos to confiscate his work. William injected himself with the G-Virus to survive being shot during the raid and get revenge. The mutated William attacked the commandos in the sewers, causing vials of the virus to break, and the contents to be consumed by rats, who carried it to the city. William is now a constantly mutating creature obsessed with infecting Sherry as a method of reproducing itself.
While Claire was unconscious, Annette locked Sherry in a vault, believing it to be the safest place for her. Sherry falls ill though, and Claire is forced to rescue her. Annette realizes William already infected Sherry and has Claire bring Sherry to the Umbrella lab, where a vaccine for the G-Virus is stored.
Inside the underground facility, Claire uses Sherry's pendant to unlock a case holding the anti-virus. While returning to Sherry, William attacks her again. Annette arrives to assist Claire, but Claire sends her to administer the anti-virus while she holds off William by herself. After defeating William, Claire reunites with a mortally wounded Annette, who managed to cure Sherry before succumbing to her wounds. The Umbrella facility initiates a self-destruct protocol, and Claire and Sherry make their way to an evacuation train. Along the way, Claire discovers that Leon also found his way into the facility. After initiating the train's launch, William reappears on the train platform, forcing Claire to defeat him once again. Inside the moving train, Claire and Sherry are joined by Leon who made it aboard.
While exploring the police station, Leon is saved from an infected dog by a woman named Ada Wong. Ada identifies herself as an FBI agent investigating the outbreak and advises Leon to not get in her way. In the station's holding cells, Leon finds Ben Bertolucci, a reporter imprisoned by Chief Irons for investigating Umbrella's illegal activities. As Ben explains Umbrella's involvement in the outbreak, the T-00 bursts into the cell and kills Ben. While attempting to escape the station, Leon is grabbed by the T-00, but is saved again by Ada. Leon convinces Ada to let him help with her mission to retrieve a G-Virus sample to prove Umbrella's guilt. Ada accepts and leads Leon into the city sewers, towards Umbrella's underground lab.
In the sewers they find Annette Birkin who opens fire on Ada. Leon pushes Ada out of the way and falls unconscious after taking a bullet for her. Ada patches up Leon and pursues Annette deeper into the sewers, but is eventually caught off guard and knocked into a waste storage vault, with Ada's leg being injured by shrapnel. Leon eventually wakes up and rescues Ada from the vault. Using a security wristband that Ada obtained, the two ride a cable car to Umbrella's lab.
During the ride, Ada kisses Leon and they express feelings for each other. Due to Ada's injuries, she entrusts Leon to obtain the G sample; Leon makes his way to Birkin's lab and obtains a sample, but is attacked by William. Annette tries to kill William, but is mortally wounded by him. Leon defeats William and tends to Annette, who warns him that Ada is lying to him about her occupation, being a mercenary who will sell the virus to the highest bidder.
Leon confronts Ada on a bridge as the lab's self-destruct protocol is initiated and she confirms her deceit. Leon refuses to give up the virus sample and Ada is unwilling to shoot him for it. While they are distracted, Annette appears and shoots Ada before dying. Ada falls off the bridge and Leon catches her by the wrist, letting the virus sample fall into the abyss below. As Leon loses his grip, Ada tells him to take care of himself before falling as well.
Making his way to the lab's escape train, Leon discovers that Claire is already there. Leon is ambushed by the T-00 on his way and becomes trapped on a moving elevator platform with it. Leon is forced into combat with the T-00 and survives long enough for Ada (having survived her fall from the bridge) to toss a rocket launcher onto the platform, which Leon uses to finish T-00 for good. Once the elevator arrives, Leon jumps onto the already moving evacuation train, reuniting with Claire and Sherry.
The survivors' reunion is cut short when they find out that William is still alive, now mutated into a gigantic unrecognizable mass; depending on the Scenario Leon/Claire fights the monster. Leon and Claire both work together to decouple the train car occupied by William, leaving him to perish in the explosion of the lab. In the aftermath, Sherry inquires if Leon and Claire are in a relationship, which they deny, confessing that they only met last night. After being rudely rebuffed by a passing motorist, the three survivors walk away together into the sunrise after vowing 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, Capcom announced that the remake was in development. No further details were released until E3 2018, when Capcom revealed a 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. Producer Yoshiaki 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 attempted to make the remake more realistic; for example, Leon no longer wears large shoulder pads, which were added to distinguish his original, low-polygon model. 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 new game mode, known as Ghost Survivors, was released via DLC download worldwide on February 15, 2019. The playable characters are Robert Kendo (No Time to Mourn), Katherine Warren (Runaway), Ghost (The Forgotten Soldier) and Sheriff Daniel Cortini (No Way Out) with the latter fourth chapter having to be unlocked.
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 units worldwide in its first week of sales, rising to four million within a month. It became Capcom's second biggest launch on Steam after Monster Hunter: World in the previous year. Resident Evil 2 debuted at number two on the Japanese charts with 252,848 retail sales, after Kingdom Hearts III. As of March 10, the game was still among the top 20 best selling video games in Japan with more than 352,000 sold copies.
Resident Evil 2 topped the UK charts, becoming Capcom's biggest UK launch since Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017) in physical retail sales. Resident Evil 2 was the UK's best-selling game in January 2019, despite being available for only two days. It was number two in its second week, below new release Kingdom Hearts III. The game has sold over one million copies on PC.
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