Whenever a group of artists get together and come up with
something truly great that's well received and loved by
millions, the natural thing to do is to create a sequel.
This goes for all types of media from movies to music.
The problem is, the follow-up is always extremely hyped,
and few of them live up to the greatness of the original.
In the case of Resident Evil 2, however, it could
easily be said that Capcom has struck gold again. There's
proof enough of that merely in the number of systems this
game has been released under. Everyone wanted a copy,
and Capcom made sure they could get it, regardless of
the console they owned.
This time, the developers decided to try something a little
different. The made the game with two discs, and put a
game for each character on each disc. The first one for
Leon Kennedy, the second for Claire Redfield. Whichever
one you choose to play as first goes through the game,
and decisions you make and paths you take in the first
game, effect the second play-through. This effectively
makes the games replay factor skyrocket.
The story follows that of Resident Evil. This time
taking you to the town near the mansion, Raccoon City.
The town has become overrun with zombies as a new S.T.A.R.S.
recruit and Chris Redfield's sister, Claire head into
town. They meet up right away, but quickly become separated
in the chaos following the outbreak. The game takes you
all through Raccoon City, and introduces you to a world
that feels very real at times. This is a credit to the
game atmosphere, which in a lot of ways is a major improvement
on the first game. Creating tension and fear in a creepy
mansion may be one thing... But to get the same effect
while wandering past ice cream parlors and GAP outlets
using only sound design and graphics is an amazing feat.
Basically, while the classic Resident Evil gave
you fear because you were trapped in an enclosed space
with zombies, the sequel gives you more of the fear that
a zombie flick might... You're trapped, but not confined.
The virus is spreading and there's no hope of escaping
it. You get to tour a city in ruins and experience it
as if it had just happened only a short time ago. And
while the first game had it's share of action for certain,
this one provides what a lot of people were looking for
at the time: A change to put a shotgun under the chin
of a zombie and replace it's brain with a smoldering slug.
It's more of a game for fans of zombie movies than horror
in general, because the emphasis here is mostly on the
action. The scare of being in the middle of a circle of
zombies and less wondering what's around the next corner.
The entire game doesn't take place directly in Raccoon
City, however. The storyline takes you through the overrun
police station and other areas as you uncover even more
of Umbrella's nefarious plot. This time around you meet
up with one of their sinister, troublesome, and annoying
experiments: Tyrant. The puzzles in this game compared
to the rest of the series rate at about a B-. They move
along a lot faster than before, but they tend to make
less sense in the grand scheme of things. It seems that
they just added some of them to make sure they padded
their play through time. But even that can be forgiven
when you play through the game, since it's engaging enough
even with that small flaw.
There really isn't a lot that needs to be said about Resident
Evil 2 because time really is the best critic. It
wasn't really groundbreaking, nor did it really bring
anything new to the infant survival horror genre. But
it's great in it's own right despite that. Games don't
have to be revolutionary to be good. Resident Evil
2 proves that it just needs a solid story, fun game
play, and an attractive atmosphere. Even now, several
years after its release Capcom and gamers alike still
compare the new survival horror releases to this game.
(Out of 5)
The guy in the pawn shop. Don't forget to pick up his shotgun, since he obviously doesn't know how to use it.
ZOMBIE LESSON LEARNED
Never, EVER accept a job in Raccoon City. It isn't
easy being the only law man in Zombie Town.