Resident Evil 2 (2019) Catch-All

You know, back in my day they'd add something to the game title so we know what freaking version we were talking about. Resident Evil 2: Extra Spicy or something.

Anyway, demo was pretty good in a weird old school/what-have-we-learned-since new school kinda way. Reviews are strong, so it's looking like we have our first big title of 2019.

My copy is set to arrive on Friday, so I'll be diving in this weekend. I'm a late RE convert, so I'm pretty excited to discover why RE2 is so beloved in a shiny new package.

Had an Amazon voucher from Xmas that I've used to pre-order RE2, really happy with the RE4 style controls & complete visual overhaul. Can't wait to see how it stacks up from the memories of the original back in the day.

I played the 30 minute demo last night and was super surprised how good it was. I expected it to feel clunky and old, and was surprised to find it didn't.

I suspect I will EVENTUALLY play this, as I loved RE4&5. The question is: buy now for the preorder bonuses? Or wait in anticipation of a price drop?

What are the preorder bonuses?

5 Reasons Resident Evil 2 Is Our Dream Remake (And 2 Ways It Isn’t) | PC Review

It looks like this game is getting some excellent reviews. And I believe if you pre-order through Green Man Gaming you can get 20% off. I must say, this game just looks fantastic. Seeing one if my absolute favorite games on the original PSX come to life on the PS4 has been a very nostalgic experience.

I've enjoyed watching the gameplay and saying out loud "I remember that room!". It's been very awesome to see the care that went into this remake. I'm hoping it does well enough to warrant a similar take on Resident Evil 3.

Balthezor wrote:

What are the preorder bonuses?

PS4 digital or Gamestop:
- Deluxe Weapon: 'Samurai Edge - Chris Model'
- Deluxe Weapon: 'Samurai Edge - Jill Model'

PS4 digital Digital also gets you two themes.

The extra DLC in the deluxe pack includes 'Samurai Edge - Albert Model' so I'm probably not missing much.

Would this be any fun for somebody who never played the original (or, indeed, any entry in the series)?

I'm right there with you, Middcore. I've never played a RE game, but this one looks great. I'm sure it'll be fine to play it not knowing anything about the first game, though. I'll probably get it at some point this year...

Middcore wrote:

Would this be any fun for somebody who never played the original (or, indeed, any entry in the series)?

I jumped into the series with RE4, and it felt like a perfect entry point. I imagine this will be much the same. The story isn't very important.

Middcore wrote:

Would this be any fun for somebody who never played the original (or, indeed, any entry in the series)?

I think it might be the best entry point. You get the experience of classic RE, but without the jank of 3-generations-ago.

Played for about two hours-ish this morning, maybe a little less, and even did some save-scumming. My greatest concern is that I would find the game too difficult or something, so I pansied out and selected Assist Mode. Thus far it... hasn't made much of a difference, I guess, seeing as I turned the Aim Assist off. I just knew the enemies were going to be bullet sponges and was too paranoid I'd screw myself over. Thus far that's not been a real concern, but I've also yet to experience any truly hectic scenarios. In fact, the first zone does a good job of making sure you don't have enough ammo to take all the threats on, and thus teaches you organically that it's a good idea to just run away when you can.

Looking at the differences in difficulty, I might be really, really upset with myself, because I thought you just got minor health regeneration (so let's say after taking 20 points damage, you recover 5). Sounds instead like it's a gradual healing over time, which... yeah, that's WAY too easy, especially considering I've yet to take a bite. I mean, we'll see what happens once I have to encounter a Licker, but dag nabbit I really, really wish we could better customize our difficulty experiences.

Resident Evil 2 was more action-oriented than the first game, so already RE2 feels like they pulled back on that to dissuade the player from fighting if they have to. Nevertheless, encounters also seem inevitable even with zombies.

Spoiler:

I was surprised to be exploring a room only for a zombie to bust on through the door coming after me.

I think I'll stick with Assist Mode for this run and just accept that I'm a big baby scaredy-cat, and as soon as Route B opens up I'll try to knock the difficulty up to Normal. Granted, even with two hours I'm already having enough fun I might actually do the thing where you start as the other character's route A and etc. We'll see.

Between this and DMC5, and then Monster Hunter World last... February? And wasn't RE7 January of 2017? I think Capcom has learned that they can dominate the charts in the first quarter of the year rather than fighting with everyone else to get noticed during the holidays.

EDIT: I don't know how long it takes to regenerate your health, but considering how long I walked around at "Caution" level a couple times in there, I'd say it's not enough to make a difference. So Assist is a completely legit way to play without being too easy. Ammunition management has become a thing, though I am drowning in spare herbs in the item box. But I wouldn't chalk that up to damage received considering I've been taking some hits from the more vicious foes.

Which brings me to right about where I am:

Spoiler:

Mr. X can die in a fire. A foe like this certainly helps keep the game exciting, but it wrecks my nerves a bit too much. Perhaps if I got a better sense of his "rules" that he follows. My best guess is the second you start firing your weapon he knows where you are. However, I'm not sure if there's a sort of "rubber-banding" that keeps him on your side of the police station. He seems to follow me around regardless, even if he doesn't always go directly to where I am.

It introduces a bit of Alien: Isolation to the mix, which... kinda frays my nerves.

I just finished up my first run with Leon on normal in just over 8 hours. It was an absolute blast the whole way through. This is the most tense I have been playing a game since the original Dead Space. It looks and sounds spectacular which made the enemies that much more terrifying.

I considered playing the hardcore difficulty option, but I'm glad I stuck with normal for my first run. So many bullets and grenades were wasted with silly mistakes. I still had just the right amount to make it through on normal, but probably would have been screwed on the tougher difficulty.

I wish was more familiar with the specifics of the original to see how the remake compares. Some of the ways certain mechanics interact seem surprisingly forward-thinking, even for today. In particular, the way you choose to deal with enemies has massive repercussions for your situation later on. I'm going to outline in spoilers below.

Spoiler:

Approach 1: You take the pacifist route. You are ultra conservative with ammunition and run away from as many enemies as possible to amass a stockpile of bullets for later.

Approach 2: You have a penchant for destroying zombie legs. You realize that crippling zombies takes far fewer bullets than killing them. With limited mobility, it's much easier to run around them on return visits. So you use some ammo, but you still amass an nice sized stockpile.

Approach 3: You are a vigilant zombie killer. Ammo is tight, but enemies are finite, so you have little to fear upon return visits.

Approach 1 and 2 seem like the superior options at first glance. But once Mr. X is introduced, karma catches up to you. The more ammo you saved, the tougher things get. You have more ammo to slow Mr. X down or clear out future zombie threats, but return trips to previous areas are now that much more harrowing with your new pursuer. It's a deviously brilliant way to "reward" your earlier choices and balance the scales a bit.

There were a few other small usability touches that I really enjoyed and assume are additions from the original game. The red checkmarks on key items indicate that you can safely discard key items that have no further purpose. Running near a consumable places an icon for it on your map so you can easily see if you've accidentally ran by something important. Similarly, puzzle elements are labeled on your map when you interact with them, so you can very easily tell just from looking at the map where you need to go to use the key item you just acquired. This saves a lot of unnecessary trial and error that would otherwise be necessary to keep track of things.

All in all, it was a great experience. I'm going to dive into 2nd run with Claire this week.

I've heard some people say there really isn't much assistance to Assist mode, so I'm not sure what to make of my playthrough. Zombies were still bullet sponges, the Magnum was super powerful with bullets being scarce, and Lickers could go down in as few as three shotgun shells or as many as six or seven. Sometimes I felt like Leon was invincible with the damage he took, other times I thought he was a porcelain doll. The game was a challenge and I didn't feel like I breezed through it, so it was the right choice for me. In the REmake, I always chose "hiking" instead of "mountain climbing", and yet it never felt like the game was easy. Assist mode feels similar here, though I did have a massive stock of herbs in storage so... I dunno.

So with the exception of difficulty modes, Dyni and I pretty much had parallel experiences. Both played as Leon, both finished in a little over 8 hours, both finished on the same day. I spoke with a friend of mine on Saturday about our experiences, mostly because he is a huge fan of RE2 and felt like REmake 2 is a fantastic game but a so-so remake. I wanted to get his opinion on what this meant, and in the end kind of agree with him so far. What makes REmake work so well is that it is the definitive edition of the first Resident Evil. It adds some quality of life improvements and other additional content, but otherwise you're largely playing the original game but "modernized" for that time frame.

REmake 2, on the other hand, is in a weird in-between where it has enough similarities with the original, yet is modernized and changed enough that it's a different experience. It's not the definitive edition of RE2, it's a different interpretation. It's able to exist as its own thing but will always beg comparisons with the original by its very nature as a recreation.

To that end, what I think makes REmake 2 interesting is that it's Capcom experimenting with where Resident Evil can go now. I don't know if anyone recalls, but despite its critical success and long tail, the initial sales of Resident Evil 7 were disappointing. Capcom clearly has continued to support the game in their own way and they're not looking to return to the bombastic days of action they had before, but Resident Evil 2 feels like them taking the Revelations series – already an attempt to fuse the action-oriented design for 4 and 5 with the more horror-based elements of the original games – and pull them further away from straight-up action. This, at least, is what my friend and I pondered, though he was less aware of the history of the remake being kicked off by a fan recreation in 2015. Nevertheless, this seems like a potential direction for the franchise to go in, assuming REmake 2 is more successful than RE7.

Anywho, with some of that out of the way, I did have some gripes, but largely because it's a lot easier to pick nits than to effectively praise. Spoiler tag because I'll be discussing some end-of-Route A stuff.

Spoiler:

Some of my issues are simply wanting the Dead Space curb stomp or the ability to dodge like in RE Revelations. In particular, the fight with Mr.X/Tyrant is in such a small space where he swings so wide that I felt like I was supposed to dodge, and even reflexively hit the buttons like I might have in Revelations to try and kick it off. Failed, unfortunately, because I'm pretty sure the game has no such dodge mechanic.

The game seems inconsistent regarding how things respond to LOUD NOISES. The fire alarm going off draws more zombies to the police station as a triggered event. Makes sense. Setting off the C4 immediately alerts a Licker to your position. Makes sense. Mr. X similarly seems drawn to gunfire, which encourages you to avoid combat if you can. At the same time, other certain actions, such as the collapse of the bell in the belltower, seem to draw absolutely nothing, including Mr. X. On one hand this is wonderful, but at the same time I was getting really nervous because that room is practically a trap. The game taught me an in-universe game rule and then broke it. There were some other situations like this, but I don't recall them at the moment.

Not a complaint but advice: screencap all the codes and locker combos you find. The game doesn't change them between playthroughs so you can shorten your journey by getting items ahead of time, many of which are expansions to your inventory. Or, y'know, just look them up online, but that feels less clever and more obviously like cheating.

I'm not sure how I feel about Ada Wong in this one. Something about her seems too soft. At the same time, I'm much more used to her in Resident Evil 4 and 6, where in a lot of ways she's a more down-to-Earth femme fatale Bayonetta. Less sex but still flirtatious, always confident, always teasing and yet you're never quite sure what she's really thinking. In this she seems a lot more soft, and while it's a little thing a line like "Where's Leon when I need him?" seems a lot more vulnerable than is traditionally appropriate for her. It feels like her original personality would have said something more like "Figures the boyscout's not around to be useful" or something. Again, this is all small stuff and I don't recall the original game well enough to know how different Ada was compared to her later interpretations, but this feels like they wanted to soften her character. You can believe she has a deeper fondness for Leon as opposed to finding him amusing but more useful than anything else.

Finally, Mr. X. I realized one of the reasons I'm actually not super fond of him. One of them is that, quite honestly, I kind of hate a perpetually wandering enemy that can appear anywhere. The police station felt extremely claustrophobic with him around. In addition, I am not entirely certain what rules he follows. I know he responds to gunfire, but what else? The way I wandered between the East and West Wing, I have a feeling he has a "rubber band A.I." of his own in order to keep the pressure on the player, which means you can never properly outsmart and avoid him. I find that more irritating than frightening.

What's more, he honestly became more of an antagonist to me than William Berkin did. Mr. X completely stole the show, to the point that a fight with William Berkin seemed more like a relief. This goes against my memories of the original game, where I didn't even remember Mr. X was a thing (largely since he was exclusive to the B-route). In the original RE2 Berkin stood out because there were several fights against him, each becoming more challenging. In this I fought him... twice? Granted I still need to do Claire's campaign, and looking online it seems he is more prominent in Leon's by far.

Nevertheless, that also slightly irritates the completionist in me. Before heading to the NEST I considered heading back to the Police Station (it's tough but I think possible) in order to use the T-Crank and one last roll of film. However, I had no clue if Mr. X would still be there, or if there would be even more Lickers and I was already hurting a bit on ammo. Not worrying about Mr. X would have resulted in me going back, I think.

Anyway, those are my complaints, but it's not like I had a horrible time. If anything I'm tempted to go on a whole Resident Evil kick, replaying REmake and 4 and Revelations again. There's something about this franchise that feels unique, no matter which entry you're playing. I can't do well with first-person horror so I'll probably never play RE7, but REmake 2 has me excited for where they might go with the franchise, even if this is how the future Revelations titles play.

I'll be starting my Claire run through tonight. I already know one minor change, so I'll be ready for it.

I finished Claire's side on Hardcore. Aside from one really infuriating boss fight, I loved it. The parts where Mr X is stalking you had me burning through resources and desperate, I seriously thought I'd have to start over. And the feeling when I finally made it through the corner I was painted into was just amazing.

I started Leon's part of the same run, and it's just pedal to the metal straight away. It makes me curious about how a fresh run with him would play out.

Welcome To RACCOON CITY - Part 1 - Resident Evil 2 Remake Full Playthrough - Let's Play Walkthrough

ccesarano wrote:

Some of my issues are simply wanting the Dead Space curb stomp or the ability to dodge like in RE Revelations. In particular, the fight with [REDACTED] is in such a small space where he swings so wide that I felt like I was supposed to dodge, and even reflexively hit the buttons like I might have in Revelations to try and kick it off. Failed, unfortunately, because I'm pretty sure the game has no such dodge mechanic.

I had those same thoughts at first, but I think they made the right choice here in not including those options.

It's pretty easy to blow off limbs or knock enemies to the ground, so adding a stomp would greatly reduce the amount of ammunition needed to kill enemies. This would require a total rebalancing of available ammunition which is already quite limited. Otherwise, the game would become far too easy.

A stomp would also allow you to have a risk-free tool to make sure enemies are completely dead. You can still check as is, but you need to trade combat knife durability or bullets. Is it better to waste those resources, or should you run for now and cross your fingers that it doesn't come back to bite you later?

Likewise, having no dodge means you're forced to take some hits. This is clear not just in the small arenas for certain boss battles, but also in the INSANE lunging range of basic enemies. It is very difficult to just run around enemies unless you have an open space to work with. The game knows you're going to take some hits and gives you enough grenades, knives, and heals to counteract this fact.

Frankly, I think adding a stomp or dodge would only serve to reduce tension. You'd have a clear right answer for many scenarios, so execution would be the focus. Without those tools, there is no right answer, and that's a hell of a lot scarier.

Also, it seems like this is selling very well already. That probably means R3make: Nemesis is next. Fat chance, but I desperately want them to give this treatment to Dino Crisis at some point.

I'd much rather a Dino Crisis remake than Nemesis, but that's because I've at least played some of Dino Crisis. Never played any of Nemesis, and if they make it an entire game of [REDACTED] then I, uh... I dunno if I can deal with that.

You're right when it comes to dodge and stomp, of course. In the end I always carried knives around anyway, and despite liberal slashing of zombies I only ran out maybe once. Perhaps it's because I'm playing on Assist, as stated previously, but even then I slashed those zombies a lot. They have so many fake death animations. Could really use some kind of obvious tell they're dead, like the massive pool of blood in prior games, but, when you're talking choices and maintaining a creepy atmosphere...

I'm happy that this is doing well, but the better it does, the less likely we are to see another RE VR game, which is really unfortunate. 7 Was such an amazing experience.

ccesarano wrote:

and if they make it an entire game of [REDACTED] then I, uh... I dunno if I can deal with that.

They did. It was called Alien: Isolation. And it was amazing.

And I never finished it because my nerves were so constantly frayed the whole time.

EDIT: Started Claire's 2nd story route tonight... yep...

Spoiler:

Just wasting no time throwin' Mr. X in my face, there, Capcom. No time wasted at all.

Hit a good stopping point, but I'm wondering what gets swapped around if you start out with Claire as A route.

Also, they've announced free DLC releasing February 15th called Ghost Survivors. Three separate, presumably short campaigns of three folks that didn't make it out of Raccoon City alive.

IMAGE(https://preview.redd.it/j99sg7s0vdd21.jpg?width=960&crop=smart&auto=webp&s=02d89546525a9b8e48e1a7769adcd8412c5a948d)

So I beat Claire's B-Route last night. Given what I've read and looked up regarding the original Resident Evil 2 release and how things go here, it seems that the game was semi-intended to be Claire-A and Leon-B, but overall it doesn't really matter and that's all just preference and yatta yatta.

After 14 hours and getting the true ending I'm satisfied, but still eager for the free DLC coming up. I don't have it in me to try the 4th Survivor mode yet, but quite frankly I'm kind of stunned at how content-rich the game is. Sure, it's a "smaller" game and the A/B variants aren't as different as the original RE2 (you don't make choices over which gear to pick up and which to leave behind and other minor details), but Capcom managed to put as much in there in a span of three years development time. It's not only a game that's replayable on a base level, it has additional modes to challenge you.

It's something that I hope gets people's attention, because smaller games with additional modes and content that encourage you to come back and replay is far more interesting than one endless world of copy-paste tasks.

Coming right out of the gate, Resident Evil 2 has set a high bar for other games to compare to. It's so weird to start the year off with a game that makes you think "Whelp, I might already have a #1 Game of the Year", but here it is.

There's only one, minor, tiny, itty-bitty nitpick to make regarding the true ending.

Spoiler:

It's a bit weird to have just seen Sherry crying over her mom's corpse, struggling to say good-bye, and then to watch the mutation that was once her dad explode, only to then cheerfully say Leon and Claire should adopt her. Like... mourn, kid. I know your parents were barely there and all, but mourn 'em first.

Even so, I still couldn't help but laugh and chuckle at how just perfectly saccharine it was. Just the right amount of sugar. And Lord help me but I hope people give the actress that played Sherry as many accolades as the kid that played Atreus, if not more. She is so sweet and adorable and everything about her made me want to protect that smile.

Great game, won't be jumping back in for a proper replay yet (and we'll see what the three FREE DLC campaigns offer), but I might just squeeze time around Halloween to revisit it on Normal difficulty.

Boy howdy, 2019 just came out swingin', didn't it?

Finally got to dig in last night, and I'm having lots of fun. It's got the Dead Space feel that I've missed for so long. Those "Oh sh*t!" moments when I jump and blast away half a clip of precious, precious ammo. One quick story. I'll spoiler warn it in case you haven't met our old pal The Licker

Spoiler:

Okay, so I see the Licker on the ceiling and nope away into the STARS office. When I come out I see he's gone but I'm sure he's not gone far. Just as I get to the next corner in the hallway I hear a noise and his head comes around the corner. I jump, my fingers jerk on both triggers, and he gets a flame grenade, point-blank in the face. I shot the burned body with my pistol, twice, just to make sure before I moved on.

Fun times!

And Claire B down. That was fun stuff. I knew there were going to be some differences between routes, but there were more than I was expecting. I certainly didn't anticipate completely new areas. I also didn't know that the weapons Leon and Claire use are completely different. That was plenty to keep me on my toes for the entire second run. Some story beats and puzzles don't make any sense if you think of the two routes occurring in tandem, but *shrug*. It doesn't really bother me. Sure, it would have been cool to have different scenarios for the entirety of each route, but I'd rather they polish the existing content to a sheen as they have rather than potentially spreading themselves too thin. Plus, this is truer to the original in that way.

As a remake of a 20 year old game, I can't find much to complain about. The only thing that bums me out a little is that they completely removed the Zapping system from the original RE2 where items picked up on one character weren't there for the other. That's such a cool idea that would have added just one more layer of interesting decisions to the mix. I would have loved to have the option of Zapping runs vs. Normal runs.

I gave the 4th Survivor about an hour of attempts, but no luck. That thing is hard.

ccesarano wrote:

It's something that I hope gets people's attention, because smaller games with additional modes and content that encourage you to come back and replay is far more interesting than one endless world of copy-paste tasks.

I enjoy both, but the balance is totally off right now. We're spoiled for choices with open world games. I'd love if some of that big budget development power focused more on compact experiences. Sadly, I don't think the market is ever going to be big enough to justify that for most developers. I'm sure all of EA's failure talk about Dead Space didn't entice any more devs to pursue that route.

You guys have done a great job of selling this game. I might get it with my next paycheck.

One of the other major design decisions that helps to maintain tension throughout is the incredibly unreliable zombie movement. I was reminded of this fact when one of my 4th Survivor attempts was quashed by whiffing a zombie with my shotgun, a weapon with a reticle that takes up nearly half the screen, because the zombie in front of my decided to trip violently to the side at the perfect moment. She bit me, other enemies surrounded me, and I died.

These jerks aren't trying to dodge. They just always stumble around like they've taken 15 tequila shots in the span of an hour. I much preferred using semi-auto to full-auto weapons for that reason. No matter how many I killed, it was only a matter of time before i emptied 2/3 of a clip into a wall.

This unreliability was likely added as a way to counterbalance the increased control and awareness the player has with a 3rd person controllable camera vs. the fixed camera angles of the original. It's just one more design decision that shows how much thought was put into this remake.

Truthfully, I'm a little surprised by how few participants we have in this thread so far. Maybe I overestimated Resident Evil's popularity here. I hope more start to trickle in over time. This game good ya'll. I think I'll wait for the free DLC to release in a couple weeks and then try my hand at a hardcore Claire A/Leon B run.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

You guys have done a great job of selling this game. I might get it with my next paycheck.

Glad to hear it I look forward to your thoughts.