There’s nothing scary about the familiar. Whether it’s being lurched at by the shuffling zombies, set upon by mutated alligators, or stalked by skinless Lickers, in each subsequent play of Resident Evil 2 its frights are just a little less effective. This makes the challenge Capcom faces in remaking the game all the more tricky.
Resident Evil 2 is a beloved survival horror title and, if you’re anything like us, you’ll have walked the halls of Racoon City’s Police Department enough times to call it home-albeit one overrun with gruesome creatures and an abundance of coloured herbs. Capcom is clearly mindful of this and, in reimagining the game for a modern audience, has made numerous smart changes that will keep returning veterans on their toes.
As a baseline, there is a level of familiarity in the broader layout of the environment that will stoke nostalgia from fans. But Capcom has also remixed item locations, enemy placement, and-most importantly-how it feels to be in RPD. We recently went hands-on with the game and found that there was a pervading sense of tension throughout. Zombies felt like they took more ammo to bring down, so the resource management that’s so vital to Resident Evil was even more critical. Lickers seemed to wait in the shadows for opportune moments to strike, ensuring we never really felt at ease, and the close-up camera seemed to smother us, creating a sense of claustrophobia that we couldn’t shake.
However, undoubtedly the most unnerving part of Resident Evil 2 Remake was the presence of the Tyrant, a seemingly unstoppable force of nature. This towering menace was always bearing down on us, following us throughout the police department in an attempt to corner and crush Claire Redfield. Even when we tried to put some space between us and the Tyrant, the distant stomp of his footsteps served as an ever present reminder that we were never really safe. In all honesty, it was quite overwhelming, and that’s exactly what fans of Resident Evil and survival horror as a genre want from this remake.
In the video above, GameSpot’s Resident Evil superfans Adam Mason and Tamoor Hussain talk through their experiences with the remake, discussing both the similarities to the original title and what Capcom has done to reinvent it. Our demo included sections where we were also able to play as Leon Kennedy and Ada Wong, in addition to Claire Redfield, and we discuss some of the differences in gameplay their sections provide.
Resident Evil 2 Remake is set for release on January 25 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.