Don’t shoot, I’m a human!
Two months after the events of Resident Evil 1, and with Raccoon City almost completely devoid of human life, we join Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield as they enter Raccoon City, and subsequently try to escape. Leon is a rookie cop on his way into his first day of work, while Claire, is looking for her brother Chris, the main protagonist in the first game. With no reason for them to stay, they decide to split up, and find a way out of town. (ED: How did they get into town? In Nemesis there are road blocks)
Told through 2 scenarios, you can choose to play as Leon or Claire first. Meaning the second scenario is played as the alternate character. However, there are subtle differences from the Leon A and Claire A stories (or Leon B and Claire B). The story remains mostly the same, however, subtle differences exist.
Scenario B ramps up the horror with the addition of the T-103 tyrant, and slowly brings the story together. In scenario A, you feel as though something is missing. And this is where the strentgh of the game shines through.
Playing the B scenario shows you what was happening at the same time. Dialogue that mentions events you didn’t see, suddenly make sense. Noises/screams you hear in “A”, are shown in “B”.
The first thing you would notice playing Resident Evil 2 is that the live action sequences from the original have been removed, and replaced with FMVs. As much as I like the game, these FMVs have not stood the test of time well, the animation is a little dodgy, and the character models are somewhat shonkey. Leon looks like a bit of a monster, and before you scream it is a game from 1998, the FMVs in Nemesis are far better.
Resident Evil 2 also balances the survival and action elements of the game. The original Resident Evil had about 5 bullets in the entire game, the Directors Cut and REBirth were more forgiving, but still a little economic on the bullet front. Resident Evil 2 gives you a decent amount, if you are wasteful, or try to fight everything you’ll have issues, but if you’re sensible, you’ll finish the game with a large enough arsenal to take on the Russian Army.
Basically, the best tactic is… Avoid what you can, only fight what you have too. I only used the grenade launcher acid rounds for the end of police station boss, and the Elevator boss. I had such a stock pile of grenade rounds, I ended up using it for the whole of the Lab section.
Despite being relatively good at the game, I still die when I get cocky. So it shows the game has a decent difficulty balance. On scenario B with Leon, I died in the freaking Police Station, so while I don’t use the powerful weapons, it is important to carry them, in case you get stuck in a bad room with low health. There is nothing worse than leaving the Library in the Police Station, to go into the main hallway, and get decapitated by a Licker!
Resident Evil 2 didn’t really push the boat out enemywise. The newest addition, the Licker, is cool and the accompanying FMV still make me a little giddy.
Other than that, nothing apart from bosses are new, and, AND… we’re missing Hunters, and the Chimera.
The bosses however, they’re cool as fuck.
The G Larvae, is the first Scenario main boss, you’ll fight this multiple times in different forms, and just looks like a blob.
William Birkin, the scientist behind the G-Virus, injects himself, and slowly becomes more badass. Each time you “kill” him, he sheds his skin, and becomes more Tyranty, and then more blobby. You will fight him differing amounts depending on your scenario, but he does make up the last boss on Scenario A, and the last boss on Scenario B. Although, the real “final” boss on B, is the evolved T-003 (VINE OF HIM).
The final final boss is a little bit of an anti-climax, it slowly edges towards you, and unless you’re an idiot, you won’t die on it.
The croc boss is also cool, and you do get a choice for this one. One can fight it, and waste shit loads of ammo (NEVER EVEN TRIED IT), or you can do a Jaws 2 and shoot a gas tank in his mouth to quickly and effectively kill the little blighter.
As I have said, the FMVs are pretty poor, for the time, they were alright, I guess, but comparing to Nemesis, they are terrible.
Despite that, the rest of the game looks good. The pre-rendered backgrounds are vibrant, and really add to the atmosphere, the character models still hold up relatively well, and the enemies look ok.
Any thing wrong with the game?
Like REBirth, there isn’t anything “wrong” with the game. The technology they had at the time is a little dated, but the game still plays well. You are missing some features such as a quick turn, but this is understandable. The game was new, and Capcom were still experimenting with the formula.
However, I will complain about the Sherry section… MAN THIS IS ANNOYING. Sherry’s animation for climbing the boxes is so slow, it becomes painful. I know she is small, and a child, but they really needed to speed her climbing animation, or… NOT HAVE HER DO A CLIMBING SECTION. Also, on this section, she has to avoid dogs. As she runs slowly, you’ll take a lot of damage. Thankfully, using a First Aid Spray as Sherry doesn’t prevent you from getting an A.
Resident Evil 2 is a fantastic game.
The zapping system means Capcom were able to get more out of the game than others in the series, however, I think Nemesis SLIGHTLY tops 2 in terms of overall the experience.
Pros: Claire is badass, T-003 is cool as fuck, Birkin and his evolutions are cool. The Croc boss is still fantastic!
Cons: The FMVs are shonkey, no Hunters, sections with Sherry are annoying, no alternate endings