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If you have ever played a survival horror game growing up in the 90's, you had to come across a series called Resident Evil. In 1996, Capcom released a game in Japan called Biohazard, which eventually made it to the states as Resident Evil. The survival horror genre was born with this original title that was released on the Playstation console. The concept of survival horror is to pit the player against challenges with scarce resources. This game specifically used zombies and other biological weapons as enemies in the game. You were constantly pressed to decide whether to fight or flight, depending upon resources that you gain throughout the game. Furthermore, you are tasked to manage a limited inventory in which you would need to decide on what tools and weapons to carry. As you progress deeper into the story line, the creatures that you encounter become increasingly more difficult to fight. Lastly, your save states in the game were based upon finding ink ribbons to save your game onto sparingly limited typewriters.
While the original Resident Evil was the benchmark for the survival horror genre, its sequel Resident Evil 2 was my favorite in the series. Resident Evil 2, which also premiered on the Playstation console was a considerable upgrade to the original game. I preferred the graphics, sounds, music, and game play over the original game. While in the original Resident Evil, you can choose between Jill Valentine or Chris Redfield, the story plays out very similar either way. In Resident Evil 2, you can start a scenario through either Leon Kennedy or Claire Redfield and then play through a second time as the other character with the previous play throughs puzzles unlocked. Overall, the sequel was an instant classic and solidified my interest in the series to date.
'Resident Evil 2' (1998) vs (2019)
Controls: The original control style for the series was “tank” movement, in which you would spin your character to the direction that you would like to go and then move your character either forward or backward. While this was acceptable in the early installments of the series, it became out dated and gamers sought more fluid movement in games. Starting with Resident Evil 4, Capcom decided to ditch the tank controls in favor of more fluid controls and also a third person perspective while aiming. With the Resident Evil 2 remake, Capcom decided to use this more fluid movement system. One of the main resentments from fans of the survival horror genre was that due to the fluidity of the character movement, it caused the Resident Evil game series to become more of an action game rather than survival horror. Soon you were running paces around enemies, doing jump kicks, and began taking the survival out of the game. While the remake does have more fluid controls, the character is slightly slower and feels heavier to move around. Also, the environment is more tightly built around hallways and obstacles to keep you from completely avoiding danger.
Combat: In Resident Evil (1998), you would simply aim your weapon in the direction of the enemy and fire with the hopes to take them down. In the 2019 remake, the game is set with the third person over the shoulder perspective. The remake made one huge change to the formula to keep it more akin to survival horror, which was its aiming system. When you aim your weapon, you will need to allow your reticle to pull in to take an accurate shot. If you immediately aim and fire your weapon, the shots will fire in a general direction, but no guarantee that they will land on the target. This challenging new feature set me back into the survival horror feel as I would take my time to try and get an accurate shot on a looming zombie approaching me. While I was only able to play 30 minutes into the demo, I am curious to see how the controls will affect battling end game creatures and bosses.
Graphics: The first three Resident Evil titles had pre-rendered rooms and areas, which at the time was an interesting style for games, with only the character, enemies, pickups, and puzzles being animated models. The remake though is absolutely stunning, it is frightening to walk down hallways in this game, as the graphics, lighting, and sound is amazing. Even the cut scenes are incredible and look better than the CG Resident Evil movie (Hollywood quality) that was produced years ago. The atmosphere is dark and dreary and with the game excellent use of lighting really instill fear into the player. The areas that you explore have an attention to detail that allows the game to tell a separate story on how the zombie outbreak affected the world of Raccoon City. Overall the graphics are more in line with Resident Evil 4 rather than Resident Evil 7, if you have played both of those titles. I suggest taking a quick look at the video above to see how great the graphics, sounds, and lighting are for yourself.
My first impressions with this game is that is a must buy for anyone who loves the survival horror genre. This remake, even as just a 30-minute demo, stays true to the original Resident Evil 2, while bringing it to the next generation. I look forward to playing this title on its January 29, 2019 release date!
Make sure to check out my play through of the demo above on my Spyweb Youtube channel and look forward to my live stream play on release.
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