reviewed Resident Evil 2
Perhaps I'm a little biased towards this remake considering the cut character interactions, a mediocre Alligator setpiece and Ada/Sherry segments but I'm just floored by how elegantly it mixes gameplay mechanics of REmake and RE4 to create such an intense survival horror experience.
Your knife is not only a very effective option for ammo conservation and dealing damage like in RE4, but also a defensive item like in REmake which gets balanced by making the knife breakable so you have to think wisely where and how to apply it.
Zombies are just as deadly and persistent as in REmake, taking huge amounts of resources to kill, but you can shoot off their arms so they can't grab you anymore or shoot off their legs to make them move much slower - locational damage options of RE4 get reinvented to suit a survival horror title. At the same time it streamlines some stuff that I didn't like about the older games in the series - the ability to split stacks of items and marking locked doors on the map showing you what key they require AFTER you've already interacted with them are welcome QoL additions that make perfect sense and don't trivialize the experience.
Even the movement limitations of tank controls are still kind of there because Leon and Claire have a certain weight to them and aren't the most responsive protagonists to control. Also if you completely stop moving while aiming, it allows you to focus your shot for more damage/crit chance. It's genius.
My biggest gripe is pretty much the same as with the original. Even though the original game did a better job of implementing A/B scenarios thanks to the zapping system, I'm still not a fan of the concept. It just feels dissatisfying to beat the game with one character and get an incomplete ending. I heard that initially the RE2make devs didn't want to make A/B scenarios in the first place and honestly I would've liked to see how that would turn out - maybe something closer to RE1's character select.
Also, the beginning of the G2 fight sucks.
Reviewed on Mar 19, 2023