PC Gamer

Resident Evil 2 review

Andy Kelly
 

One of the most remarkable things about this Resident Evil 2 remake is that it makes zombies—the slow, shambling, groaning kind—exciting again. The undead in this game are incredible, horrible things: shuffling lumps of bloody meat who batter down doors, tumble through broken windows, and lunge hungrily from the shadows. They're physical and clumsy and an absolute joy to kill—if you have the ammunition to spare. Shoot a leg off and they keep coming, dragging themselves along the floor, reaching at you with pale, clawing hands.

Turn a corner, and as your flashlight beam catches their glassy white eyes they screech and trudge towards you, arms outstretched, jaws slung with glistening blood. They don't sprint or explode or sprout thrashing parasites like they do in newer Resident Evil games. They just moan and lurch and grab, and there's something enjoyably back-to-basics about that—a feeling that echoes through every claustrophobic hallway of this confident remake. After the subversive, rule-breaking Resident Evil 7, with its grimy Southern Gothic aesthetic and intimate first-person horror, Resident Evil 2 is a return to a more familiar style of game.

It's a remake, but it's never a slave to the source material, adding or cleverly remixing enough elements to make it feel brand new. You can still play as two characters—Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield—and a few fan favourite bosses and locations have been recreated. But even moments of fan service are given some kind of interesting twist or fresh angle, which is, honestly, not what I expected from this remake at all.

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