Horror games, especially those that contain vast amounts of blood and gore, are not usually my cup of tea.
For the past twenty years, I’d successfully managed to dodge all forms of horror games and thought I’d never thought I’d play a game in the horror genre. That is, until news of a Resident Evil 2 remake broke.
Now, I’ve never played a Resident Evil game before. I’d only ever watched the films. So I really had no affinity for the franchise or any reason to delve into Resident Evil 2. However, upon watching various teasers and reading reviews, my interest was piqued and I wondered if after twenty years I was ready to take on the challenge of a horror game.
Boy, I was not ready for what I encountered.
Resident Evil 2 was first released on the PlayStation in 1998, the same year that I played my first and last horror game, The House of the Dead. The game was critically acclaimed at the time and had since been ported across numerous platforms. Last week, the title was released for this generation on PC, PS4 and Xbox One as a remake.
Games have been ‘remade’ multiple times over the years with numerous remastered games being released, however, not many managed to truly deliver an experience in keeping with the times. Resident Evil 2, according to those of my friends who’ve played the original, was incredibly well done and felt remade from scratch.
Being new to Resident Evil, I played the game with little expectation but was excited to feel the thrill of being scared, killing zombies and being completely surprised by the story as I’d not read up on the game prior to playing it.
The first thing I noticed about the game is that it was incredibly crisp, with visuals that were so detailed that it made Racoon City look stunningly realistic. The graphics were especially captivating on the Xbox One X that it made the gameplay experience quite immersive.
The level of detail constructed in the game was on another level that it really didn’t feel like the game was a remake and the details in design made the monsters in game truly terrifying, especially those known as Lickers. The level of gore was certainly unexpected as every detail could be seen from the tissues of a zombie’s mouth after it’d been shot in the face through to the digestive system of a human being after being ripped apart. I have to admit, I had to look away from the screen several times.
Gameplay was relatively challenging, even on the easiest difficulty, which was meant to be an ‘Assisted’ mode. I’m not too sure what I was being assisted with as I struggled to figure out what to do next and how to solve certain puzzles. Being able to play the game live on stream and receive the help from viewers was a life saver and really added value to my experience.
Unlike other zombie horror games I’ve played in the past which are typically pure shooter games, Resident Evil 2 is more of a puzzle and problem solving game with some zombie killing involved. This made it a very different experience for me but certainly a welcome one as I found myself enjoying putting the pieces together and working out what to do next alongside my audiences.
For someone who hasn’t played the original game, there were plenty of surprises throughout the game. Many of these surprises became more intense as the game progressed, making me jump. These surprises added entertainment value for my stream and definitely had me on the edge of my seat. Some instances even made my heart race with panicked anticipation, which was a very unusual experience for me when gaming.
Resident Evil 2’s narrative is another factor behind my enjoyment of the game. As soon as the game began, I was intrigued. Having selected Leon to play (the other character I could have played as was Claire) I was curious to see how Leon would fare and to find out just what was going on in Racoon City. Each time I progressed, I wanted to know what would happen next, making pausing the game for the day so difficult as my curiosity levels peaked.
Overall, I never expected to enjoy Resident Evil 2 as much as I did. For beginners and casual gamers who are unaccustomed to puzzle games, the game is certainly challenging, however, with a little guidance from others, it can be overcome. The level of detail in the game is exceptional as is the gameplay and narrative, making Resident Evil 2 an enjoyable and captivating game to play, whether for the first time or as a fan of the original game. It’s definitely an entertaining game to live stream.