Resident Evil 2, known in Japan as Biohazard RE:2 (バイオハザード RE:2 Baiohazādo RE:2 ) is a survival horror game developed and published by Capcom. A remake of the original 1998 Resident Evil 2 game, it follows rookie police officer Leon S. Kennedy and student Claire Redfield as they attempt to escape from Raccoon City during a zombie apocalypse. It was released worldwide for the PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One on January 25, 2019. Critics praised the game for its presentation, gameplay, and faithfulness to the original.
Resident Evil 2 is a re-imagination of the original PlayStation console release in 1998, completely rebuilt from the ground up. It uses the same over-the-shoulder view from Resident Evil 4 through Resident Evil 6,, which is dubbed as the "Behind View" in the remake, but mixed all three game's mechanics into one.
For instance, the character control resembles that of Resident Evil 6, with the player being able to move freely toward any direction without needing to face it first. The player can also move while aiming but that will increase the weapon's spread. However, as with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, a lot of the action aspects of RE4-6 have been toned down or completely removed. For example, the player cannot melee zombies after stunning them or putting them on the ground.
The game uses the RE Engine, the same engine that was created and used to develop Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. Not only are the graphics in both games similar, but its UI and even item design have a striking resemblance. For example, the Handgun Ammo icon in the remake uses the same model that was used in RE7.
Both Leon and Claire use a flashlight that behaves similarly to that of Resident Evil: Revelations. It will turn on automatically when the player gets to a darker place and turns off by itself when the player is in a more bright environment. The flashlight can't be manually turned on or off by the player. Both Leon and Claire can physically hold a flashlight similar to that of the scrapped Resident Evil 3.5; additionally, having the flashlight on won't stop the character from aiming their weapon, even if they are using a bigger weapon such as a shotgun or grenade launcher.
Another feature based on an earlier Resident Evil game is the return of defensive items. If either Leon or Claire is grabbed by an enemy and they have a defensive weapon in their inventory, a prompt will show up on-screen and if pressed the item will be used as a defense weapon which takes the enemy off of the player. However, in this game, the knife can always be acquired back by killing the enemy that was stabbed and interacting with it, something that wasn't always possible in the original Resident Evil's 2002 remake.
The combat knife also has a new gameplay mechanic with a durability rate, similar to the non-knife, melee objects used in Resident Evil Outbreak and Resident Evil Outbreak File #2. In the inventory screen, below the knife icon, there is a small gauge that represents how much the current knife has been used. Once the gauge is empty, the knife will break and a new one needs to be acquired. The knife can also be equipped without going into the inventory menu and there are multiple of them in the game.
The health status in the remake only shows up in two ways: while in the inventory screen, or whenever the player takes damage. Additionally, going into the inventory screen pauses the game, but reloading weapons must be done in real time.
Thanks to the RE Engine, features such as photorealistic visuals are possible; enemies react in real time taking instantly visible damage, limbs can be ripped off of enemies and the character shows bite marks when they take damage.
When the character is being grabbed, the camera will zoom into them (this being a key feature of the Behind View) and, similar to Resident Evil 0, more than one enemy can grab the player at a time.
A new gameplay mechanic that wasn't featured in the original Resident Evil 2 but is similar to the one in Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 "Desperate Times" scenario is the inclusion of Wooden Boards. These boards can be used on windows to block enemies from passing through them, and there are several throughout the game that can become quite handy once the player knows which windows spawns zombies when they walk by them.
The layout of the maps have also been changed and even brand new areas have been added while also remixing item locations. Both veterans and newcomers alike will have their share of new challenges and scares.
The zombies are also a bit different from past games. They have more health and are able to get up multiple times after laying on the ground for a while. They don't spawn a small pool of blood when dead anymore and if they detect the player, they are able to chase the character from room to room. When grabbed, Leon doesn't stomp their heads like in the original game, and will just kick them out instead.
A new herb combination is available in the game: Red Herb + Blue Herb. This gives the character invulnerability to poison and makes their defenses stronger until the effect wears off.
There are no loading screens in the game apart from the first build up; it's all in one seamless experience.
The 4th Survivor and The Tofu Survivor are also present in the remake but not as paid DLC. Additionally, one of the features from the Deluxe Edition, Collector's Edition and Premium Edition of the game is a "Soundtrack Swap" option where the game can be played with the original game's soundtrack.
The game can be saved without using Ink Ribbons. However, higher difficulties will behave like the original game where Ink Ribbons must be used in order to save.
A new minigame titled "The Ghost Survivors" was released for free, featuring Robert Kendo, Katherine Warren, and a USS member as playable characters. The mode acts as an "If" side story, showing what could have happened if the three characters had survived. The mode includes randomized scenarios, an enemy unique to the game mode, and a shop where players can purchase items with points they earn in-game.
The remake stays true to the original's plot. However, the "zapping" system is not present in the remake. Both Claire and Leon have their own scenarios that can be played in any order, and what happens in one will affect the other. However, there is only one scenario per character; there is no Leon A/B option for instance. Narrative-wise, the events of both the A/B scenarios of each character in the original game are meshed into a single scenario.
The game is set in Raccoon City in September 1998, two months after the events of Resident Evil. There, most of the city's citizens have been turned into mindless creatures, referred to by survivors as zombies, due to an outbreak of a viral bioweapon known as the T-Virus, manufactured by Umbrella Corporation. The game begins at a gas station outside of the city, where rookie police officer Leon S. Kennedy meets college student Claire Redfield, who is looking for her brother Chris. After being separated following a car accident, Leon and Claire agree to meet up at the city's police department. The building is infested by zombies, and other monsters, including the "Tyrant", who dispatched to hunt down and kill any survivors. The creatures and various obstacles prevent Leon and Claire from actually reuniting as they are forced to find a way to escape the city.
Claire encounters a young girl, Sherry Birkin, who is being pursued by a monstrous creature. The two manage to escape into the police station parking garage. There, corrupt Police Chief Brian Irons abducts Sherry and locks her in an abandoned orphanage. Claire soon receives a call from Irons to trade a pendant which Sherry had dropped during the abduction, in exchange for her, threatening to kill Sherry if Claire does not comply. Reluctantly, Claire agrees to do so. Sherry tries to escape on her own, but is soon cornered by Irons. Before Irons is able to harm her, the creature that had been chasing Sherry earlier returns and implants Irons with a parasite. Claire arrives to save Sherry, and the parasite bursts out of Irons chest, killing him. As Claire and Sherry attempt to leave, the Tyrant arrives and chases the pair into an elevator. Before the Tyrant is able to hurt them, the creature stalking Sherry kills it. The creature then attempts to attack Claire and Sherry, but accidentally causes the elevator they are in to fall into the sewers. The resulting impact knocks Claire unconscious, and Sherry is forced to abandon her to escape.
Claire is found by Annette, Sherry's mother. Annette reveals that the creature after Sherry is William, her husband. The Birkins developed the G-Virus for Umbrella; however, William planned to sell it to the U.S. military. Umbrella sent it's paramilitary force to confiscate his work, leading to William being fatally shot. To avoid death and vowing revenge, William had injected himself with the G-Virus. The infected William hunted down the Umbrella soldiers in the sewers. During the carnage he shattered vials of the T-virus the troops had taken, infecting sewer rats and indirectly causing the Raccoon City outbreak. Now a mindless mutating beast, the G-Virus drives William to infect Sherry, as she is the closest genetic match to William and thus the most suitable host to spread the infection.
Claire finds Sherry trapped in a trash compactor by Annette. Upon reaching her, however, Sherry falls ill. Annette realizes William has already infected Sherry and has Claire bring her to an Umbrella lab called NEST, where a vaccine is stored. Once there, Claire uses Sherry's pendant to unlock the vaccine, but William attacks. Claire sends Annette to administer the vaccine while she fights William. After seemingly killing him, Claire reunites with Annette, who has managed to cure Sherry before dying from internal injuries. Sherry tearfully bids her mother goodbye. As the facility enacts a self-destruct protocol, Claire and Sherry make their way to an evacuation train. William returns yet again, and Claire defeats him just as the train prepares to leave. Upon boarding, Claire discovers Leon there as well.
Leon is saved from an infected dog by FBI agent Ada Wong. They find reporter Ben Bertolucci in the holding cells; imprisoned by Irons for investigating Umbrella. As Ben attempts to convince Leon to release him, the Tyrant kills Ben. As he attempts to escape the police station, Leon is grabbed by the Tyrant, but is again saved by Ada. Leon convinces Ada to let him help retrieve a G-Virus sample to prove Umbrella's corruption.
In the sewers, Annette Birkin ambushes the pair and shoots at Ada; Leon takes the bullet and passes out. Ada pursues Annette, but is knocked into a trash compactor. Leon rescues her, and they descend to NEST via cable car, where Ada kisses Leon. Ada, injured, requests that Leon obtain the G sample. In Birkin's lab, Leon obtains a sample, but is attacked by William. Annette tries to kill him, but is mortally wounded. Leon defeats William and tends to Annette, who claims that Ada is a mercenary and will sell the virus to the highest bidder.
Leon confronts Ada as the lab's self-destruct protocol begins, where she admits to being a mercenary. Ada demands the G-Virus sample from Leon at gunpoint, but Annette shoots Ada before succumbing to her injuries. As Ada falls off the bridge; Leon catches her, letting the virus sample fall into the abyss. Leon loses his grip and Ada falls.
As Leon attempts to escape the lab, he is ambushed by the Tyrant and engages it in a final battle. Ada, having survived the fall, secretly tosses a rocket launcher to him, which Leon uses to finally destroy the Tyrant. Leon boards the evacuation train, discovering Claire and Sherry already aboard.
After Leon, Claire, and Sherry reunite, what remains of William attacks the train. Claire and Leon are almost killed in the fight, but manage to uncouple the carriage William is on. The broken carriage falls behind and is consumed by the exploding lab and what was once William is destroyed once and for all while Leon, Claire, and Sherry watch. As the three finally escape Raccoon City, they vow to continue the fight against Umbrella.
The original Resident Evil 2 was released for the PlayStation in 1998. Following the release of the 2002 remake of the first Resident Evil for the GameCube, Capcom considered a similar remake of Resident Evil 2, but series creator Shinji Mikami did not want to divert development away from Resident Evil 4. Development of the remake began in 2015 and in August the same year, Capcom "soft announced" that the remake was in development.
No further details were released until E3 2018 when Capcom revealed a trailer and gameplay footage. Hideki Kamiya, director of the original Resident Evil 2, said that he had pushed Capcom to create the remake for years. Producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi said the team was striving to capture the spirit of the original game, and that the team incorporated feedback received about Resident Evil 6, a game he also produced. The team were surprised and equally delighted by the fans' response, because managing fan expectations and keeping the game 'fresh' was a "tough juggling act".
The game's development team consists of over 800 people. Capcom sees the game as a new entry in the series rather than a simple remake. The remake uses the RE Engine, the same game engine developed and used for Resident Evil 7, which allowed for Capcom to modernize the gameplay. When it came to developing the remake, the team had to decide between the first person view utilized in Resident Evil 7, or the over-the-shoulder view first used in Resident Evil 4. The fixed camera angle approach of earlier games was not chosen as the developers wanted to be able to see the zombies in greater detail than fixed camera angles would allow. Ultimately, the over-the-shoulder camera was chosen, with the intent of conveying a sense of claustrophobia, and not turning the game into a shooter like Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6 was. Furthermore, the over the shoulder angle could allow the implementation of puzzles that wouldn't be possible with fixed camera angles. Another point of discussion was how much of the remake should be known, and how much of it should be recreated based on the original. The decision was to keep the "key beats" of the original, but fill the space in-between them with new materials.
On July 5, 2018, Famitsu released a magazine that covered the development of Resident Evil 2, it was stated in it that the game was 80% completed.
The game has more replayability than Resident Evil 7 and less randomized mechanics to help speed-running, additionally, it's intentially less realistic than RE7, the developers re-did the graphics until they could achieve a Hollywood look; a "stylized reality". A few story elements were changed in order to have better pacing or make it feel more dramatic, one example of this is Brian Irons arriving after Claire battles William Birkin for the first time. This same battle with William in the Gamescom 2018 demo was also built with the short play time in mind, in the full game, the player won't have as many resources when reaching that point of the game. As a whole, the story is designed to be more grounded and believable, feeling less like a B-movie. However, there are a few Easter eggs to reference the tone of the original game.
Redesigning the characters was a difficult task. Tsuyoshi Kanda stated that the development team are all fans of the series, and when it came to discussing any change to the character design, it was if they had "a hundred different Resident Evil fans all saying ‘I think this is the right way, and this looks best, and this is the most important thing to focus on’". Claire's design was modernized while keeping the original idea that she is a biker and student. Ada, however, took a long time to get right for the team. Kanda-san playfully joked at her design in Resident Evil 4 stating that she appears in a "red Chinese dress, being like ‘I’m a spy, by the way…’ You’re going to stand out in Spain wearing that!". In the end, they decided to make her look like a more classic spy - someone who is trying to blend in. However, Kanda stated that the "ultimate goal isn’t realism at all costs". Kanda-san also stated that the Plant 43 enemies were almost "skipped" because the team told him that "it’s really hard to make a plant monster in a more realistic atmosphere". He and the rest of the team kept discussing Plant 43 for about a year - "them saying it couldn’t be done and me as producer saying I wanted it in there."
The Lickers in the game are able to get back to walls and ceilings,. Director Kazunori Kadoi comments on how a junior programmer made that possible, commenting on how a veteran worker would have thought that the Licker is what it was in the original game. He also mentioned that the "not knowing what you can't do" approach of younger developers fit this situation perfectly.
To meet modern expectations, the team attempted to make the remake more realistic; for example, Leon no longer wears large shoulder pads, which were added to distinguish his original, low-polygon model. Though they strove to make a "modern, accessible" game, they focused on horror over action, hoping to preserve a claustrophobic feel. Producer Tsuyoshi Kanda acknowledged the difficulty of making zombies seem scary and threatening, as they had became ubiquitous in entertainment media since the release of the original Resident Evil in 1996. By removing the fixed camera angles, the team had to use different ways to conceal enemies, using elements such as room layout, lighting, and smoke. The new camera system also affected the sound design, as it no longer made sense for sound to come from a fixed source.
The faces of several character models are based on scans of real people. Leon S. Kennedy is based on model Eduard Badaluta, Claire Redfield is based on model Jordan McEwen, and Marvin Branagh is based on music producer Patrick Levar.
Resident Evil 2 was released on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows worldwide on January 25, 2019. The game supports enhancements on the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X, offering either 4K resolution or 60 frames per second. A demo known as the 1-Shot Demo was released on January 11, 2019. It ends after 30 minutes and does not allow repeat playthroughs.
Resident Evil 2 received "universal acclaim" for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions, while the Windows version received "generally favorable" reviews according to review aggregator Metacritic.
Game Informer said that "Resident Evil 2 not only looks great, it plays well, and it forces you into a series of dark encounters that are a total rush." The Guardian wrote that it was "a reminder of how beautifully crafted survival horror games were in their heyday." The Daily Telegraph described it as a "thrilling return to the legacy of the 1998 original".
Eurogamer described it as "a masterly reimagining of a modern classic". Destructoid called it "A hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage."
Polygon said Resident Evil 2 showcases "the very best of survival horror", while Kotaku also gave it similar praise, saying it "provides some of the best moments in the franchise". GameSpot said that with Resident Evil 2, "the classic survival horror franchise embraces its past in a new, exciting way". US Gamer also gave it similar praise, writing "Resident Evil 2 is the best Resident Evil game in the franchise and represents a series and developer at its peak."
The game shipped 3 million units worldwide in its first week of sales. It became Capcom's second biggest launch on Steam, after Monster Hunter: World (2018). It topped the UK charts, and was Capcom's biggest UK launch since Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017) in physical retail sales. It debuted at number two on the Japanese charts with 252,848 retail sales, after Kingdom Hearts III. As of March 2019, the game was still among the top 20 best selling video games in Japan with more than 352,000 sold copies. Resident Evil 2 also topped the UK charts, becoming Capcom's biggest UK launch since Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017) in physical retail sale, and was the UK's best-selling game in January 2019, despite being available for only two days. By September 2019, the game had sold over 4.7 million copies worldwide. In December 2019, Capcom announced that the game has surpassed five million units in sales, outselling the original Resident Evil 2.
- Capcom: Resident Evil 2 Official Site "The Survival Horror Classic Reimagined"
- E3 2018: ‘Resident Evil 2’ Remake Trailer Announcement - Pop Horror Capcom’s press release: "[...]Resident Evil 2 brings its reimagined brand of horror to the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One and the Xbox One X and Windows PC on January 25, 2019."
- GameSpot - E3 2018: Resident Evil 2 Remake Is Familiar But Terrifying In New Ways
- CAPCOM：バイオハザード RE:2 公式サイト (CAPCOM：RESIDENT EVIL 2 Official Site)
- Resident Evil 2 Remake Is Terrifying In New Ways, But It's Still Familiar
- 『バイオハザード RE：2』シェリーのデザインやシナリオのアレンジを質問。ブルーハーブに新要素が追加!? | DengekiOnline
- Exclusive: Tofu and Hunk are back in Resident Evil 2, Capcom confirms | Trusted Reviews Hiarabayashi: "Of course! Yes! Both the Fourth Survivor and Tofu modes will be included in the game."
- Resident Evil 2’s Tofu and mutant gator will return for the remake - Polygon Yoshiaki Hirabayashi: "They will be on the disc,"
- RESIDENT EVIL 2 Demo - Capcom Presentation - E3 2018
- 『バイオハザード RE：2』実機プレイやゲストトークで盛り上がった発売直前イベントをリポート - ファミ通.com
- Resident Evil 2 add-on content will star three new survivors
- Capcom Unity: TGS shines new light on Resident Evil 2's story
- E3 2018 Interview: Resident Evil 2 Producers Yoshiaki Hirabayashi and Tsuyoshi Kanda Explain How THEY DO IT
- cite journal |script-title=ja:三並達也×三上真司 独占対談 |journal=ハイパーカプコンスペシャル |date=June 11, 2002 |publisher=Sony Magazines Inc. |language=Japanese
- The Challenges Of Remaking A Classic Like Resident Evil 2
- Polygon - Resident Evil 2 remake revealed, coming January 2019
- Gematsu - Resident Evil 2 announced for PS4, Xbox One, and PC
- Polygon - Original Resident Evil 2 director says he pestered Capcom for a remake
- VideoGamer.com: Resident Evil 2 Remake 'progressing'; Resi 6 feedback being 'taken on board', says producer
- It Takes Lots Of People To Remake Resident Evil 2 - Kotaku
- CAPCOM: RESIDENT EVIL 2 IS NOT JUST A REMAKE, IT'S A BRAND NEW ENTRY IN THE SERIES - TGS 2018
- IGN - E3 2018: Resident Evil 2 Remake Release Date Announced
- E3 2018: RESIDENT EVIL 2 PRODUCERS ON THE CLASSIC SCENES YOU'LL SEE IN THE REMAKE
- Weekly Famitsu July 5, 2018 (1542)
- 『バイオハザード RE：2』開発陣インタビュー！ “ナイフクリアー”は本作でも可能？【先出し週刊ファミ通】
- 『バイオハザード RE：2』シェリーのデザインやシナリオのアレンジを質問。ブルーハーブに新要素が追加!? | DengekiOnline
- Game Informer #108
- Capcom 2018 Annual Report - "The Heart of Value Creation"
- Japan’s Capcom chooses The Ones - Genelc.com
- VG24/7 interview with Tsuyoshi Kanda (October 2018)
- TUDO SOBRE RESIDENT EVIL 2 REMAKE (PS4, XBOX ONE, PC) | IGN na BGS 2018
- EDGE magazine, December 2018, page 36
- https://www.polygon.com/interviews/2018/10/8/17911258/resident-evil-2-remakes-changes-additions-new-interview%7Ctitle=Polygon: How Capcom updated Resident Evil 2 for 2019]
- Kotaku: The Faces Behind Resident Evil 2's Remake Characters
- USGamer - Resident Evil 2 Remake Release Date, Gameplay Footage, 4K/60FPS, PC System Specs - Everything we Know
- GameSpot - Resident Evil 2 1-Shot Demo Out Now For Some
- Techspot - How to play the Resident Evil 2 One-Shot demo more than once
- Gematsu - Resident Evil 2 first week shipments top three million
- PCGamesN - Resident Evil 2 is Capcom’s second-best Steam launch ever
- MCV - Resident Evil 2 impresses at retail, biggest Capcom launch since Resi VII
- Gematsu - Media Create Sales: 1/21/19 – 1/27/19
- 4Gamer.net -「KINGDOM HEARTS III」61万本，「バイオハザード RE:2」25万2000本の「週間販売ランキング＋」