Resident Evil 2 Remaster Review: A Gorgeous Return to Roots

A lot of classics are getting remasters these days. Sega’s Yakuza franchise got one, Tales of Vesperia also saw a release on modern consoles and now Capcom has finally released the much-anticipated remaster of the 90s classic, Resident Evil 2/Biohazard 2. This is where it all began- the infamous Racoon City incident, Umbrella Corp’s stringent response, and a city-wide zombie apocalypse.

Resident Evil 2 Remaster Review

Resident Evil 2 features all the iconic characters of the franchise in their early years- Leon Kennedy, Ada Wong, Chris, and Claire Redfield as they fight through hordes of undead with limited firepower and the barest idea of what caused the gruesome outbreak.

Resident Evil 2 Remaster: Gameplay

The gameplay is similar to the initial games in the Resident Evil franchise. Ammo and weapons are scarce, enemies are bullet sponges and fighting isn’t always the best idea. You get a very strict inventory capacity and all the precious loot is locked behind tedious codes and puzzles. The path isn’t linear but instead encourages the player to explore the zombie-infested surroundings in search of clues and resources.

Resident Evil 2 Remaster Review

Between all this, there are abundant sequences to give you a mild scare or two- unstable floors, dead falling out of the ceilings and one who you thought dead randomly jerks awake in an attempt to grab your unmentionables. It’s a really refreshing change from your average zombie apocalypse game where all you do is shoot, shoot and well that’s it.

In Resident Evil 2, there are no objectives as such other than surviving. The game makes it a point to make the player uneasy, by withholding the details. You aren’t pointed in the direction of your objective or implored to perform a specific task. The game is hardcore- explore, scavenge and use your resources judiciously or get eaten!

Resident Evil 2 Remaster Review

There are tons and tons of puzzles with their solutions sometimes hiding in plain sight, while at other times it takes more than a stroll around the place to figure it out.

Resident Evil 2 Remaster: Story

The story isn’t all that different from the other entries in the franchise. It’s the staple Resident Evil recipe- Umbrella Corp conducted some nasty experiments and it all went south, wiping out an entire city. You’re not exactly a hero or chosen one, and the only goal is survival and eventually a way out from Racoon City, amidst prowling zombies and Umbrella’s hired assassins.

Resident Evil 2 Remaster Review

There are of course a bunch of surprises here and there involving some unexpected characters, but I’ll leave you to explore them on your own.

Visuals and Remaster Quality

Now, moving onto the quality of the remaster itself, I’ve got to say, Capcom has outdone themselves. A pre-2000s game has been re-built from scratch to parallel any other title released in recent years. The visuals are quite detailed, with advanced soft-shadows, anisotropic filtering, anti-aliasing options consisting of the traditional shader-based FXAA, SMAA as well as the much used TAA.

Resident Evil 2 Remaster Review

The Ambient Occlusion techniques are quite varied from the vanilla SSAO to both NVIDIA as well as AMD’s refined HBAO+ and HDAO versions. There’s also the option to enable godrays or volumetric lighting and screen-space reflections. Overall, there’s very little scope for improvement when it comes to the quality of the remaster. It’s a job well-done.

Conclusion: Would visit a zombie-infested City Again

In the end, there’s the question of whether the game is worth the asking price of $59. In short, yes. It’s practically a new game with just some basic ideas derived from the original.

Resident Evil 2 Remaster Review

If you are a fan of the genre or the franchise and enjoy exploring the gloomy environments hunting for weapons and ammo all the while solving some frustrating puzzles and avoiding rather stubborn dead people, then don’t even think. Just buy it, you’ll love the game. On the other hand, if you are used to modern games where basically all you have to do is follow the objective pointer and shoot things without much figuring out to do, I’d say yeah, you probably won’t appreciate it all that much.

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Computer hardware enthusiast, PC gamer, and almost an engineer. Former co-founder of Techquila (2017-2019), a fairly successful tech outlet. Been working on Hardware Times since 2019, an outlet dedicated to computer hardware and its applications.
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