Capcom’s Resident Evil 2 is one of the biggest releases in the New Year. Standing out among long-awaited sequels like Ace Combat 7 and Kingdom Hearts 3, Resident Evil 2 is both a return to a PS One classic and a brand new game that carries the franchise forward. Let’s take a look at 15 things you should know before picking it up on January 25th 2019.
Not A Remake
One thing that Capcom wanted to make very clear from the outset is that Resident Evil 2 isn’t a remake of the PS One classic. As Capcom brand manager Mike Lunn stated to GamingBolt during E3 2018, “It won’t be faithful one to one. For someone that’s played the game, some people played it once and some people played it a thousand times because it’s their favourite game. For the people that have even played it a thousand times, we wanted it to feel fresh. That’s why we don’t call it Resident Evil 2 Remake. It’s a new game built on top of the foundation.” While the main arcs of the story are very similar, players will see changes to enemy placements, puzzles and much more.
Fourth Survivor and Tofu Modes Confirmed
That doesn’t mean it won’t feel like the old version though. Producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi confirmed to Trusted Reviews that the Fourth Survivor and Tofu modes would be included in the new game. The former was unlocked by beating the game with A rankings for Leon and Claire. It offered a new character, Hunk, to play as he attempted to escape the Racoon City Police Station. Tofu mode could only be unlocked by beating Fourth Survivor six times in a row in less than two and a half hours. It would then replace Hunk with – you guessed it – a large piece of tofu. Will the unlock conditions be the same in the new game? Time will tell.
If you’re worried about Resident Evil 2 feeling too easy or even too hard, then there’s good news. In an interview with VG247 from E3 2018, producers Yoshiaki Hirabayashi and Tsuyoshi Kanda confirmed some kind of adaptive difficulty for the game. So if you’re doing good, the game will become harder and vice versa. However, Hirabayashi wants to ensure that there’s always a “sense of dread and tension” regardless of how well the player is doing.
PS4 Pro, Xbox One X Enhancements
Resident Evil 2 will be enhanced for the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro. As Capcom’s Mike Lunn explained to GamingBolt, you’ll have a choice between 4K resolution (though whether this is native 4K is unconfirmed) and 30 frames per second or 60 frames per second at a lower resolution. Sadly, we don’t yet know what resolution and frame rate the Xbox One and PS4 versions will run at.
The writing for Resident Evil games, especially the old-school PS One titles, wasn’t the best. Most dialogue was laughable as opposed to scary. Resident Evil 2 for the current gen will attempt to fix that, offering intentionally light-hearted moments instead of accidentally hilarious ones. Furthermore, the narrative is being enhanced – encounters like Claire meeting Sherry for the first time feel more organic and real. Overall, there will be more fleshing out of the various characters inhabiting the world as opposed to making their existence arbitrary.
More Realistic Characters
When it was announced that the characters’ old outfits had been changed, there was some kind of skepticism from die-hard fans. However, given that Resident Evil 2 is going for a more grounded and realistic look, it made sense for Capcom to remove Leon’s shoulder pads and provide Ada with more of a mysterious look via her new trench coat. Don’t worry – the classic costumes are still available to unlock though we’re yet to find out how.
Room Layout, Enemies and Sound Design Changes
Perhaps the biggest change for Resident Evil 2 is the new camera angle. We have an over-the-shoulder camera perspective as opposed to fixed angles. Obviously the gun play and pacing changes as a result. Capcom thus had to rethink enemy placement, sound design and room layout to ensure a better fit for the new camera system. Things may look familiar but the new perspective makes it all feel different.
Boss Fight Changes
Of course, the camera system means that boss fights have undergone significant changes as well. Encounters with William Birkin and The Tyrant feel much faster and more visceral, encouraging the player to read their movements and look for opportunities to run away (or fight back). The more responsive controls should help in that endeavour, especially since you’re not locked to the tank-like scheme of the original game.
Available at GameStop in North America for $199.99, the Collector’s Edition features quite a lot of goodies. Along with the base game, Special Deluxe packaging and an extra DLC pack card, players get a variety of alternate outfits for Leon and Claire. An additional weapon is included with the Samurai Edge – Albert Model and you can also swap to the old-school soundtrack in-game. Other extras include a 12 inch figure of Leon, a 32 page art book by journalist Ben Bertolucci, the original soundtrack and an RPD Renovation Design Poster which showcases how the building was changed from a museum to a police station.
Though many areas will be familiar to hardcore fans, there will be some new puzzle solving opportunities throughout. Area layouts have been changed significantly and you might come across some unfamiliar puzzles. For instance, when heading into the weapons locker room after meeting Marvin (who totally survives, for sure), you’ll need two numpad buttons to open some of the lockers and garner the required items. How you get them is ultimately up to you.
No VR Support
If you were hoping for a terrifying VR experience for Resident Evil 2 akin to Resident Evil 7, you’ll have to keep hoping. Capcom already confirmed back in June that there’s no VR support. This was mainly due to the current over-the-shoulder camera angle. As producer Tsuyoshi Kanda explained to The Daily Star, “We’re not thinking about VR support currently, given that the camera perspective and the over-the-shoulder choice would mean that VR is not the best way to present the game. VR doesn’t match the vision for us.” Which makes sense – Resident Evil 7 would have allowed for easier VR implementation since it was consistently first person. And before you ask, no, there isn’t any VR mode from the perspective of the E3 trailer’s rat (who totally doesn’t survive).
800 Devs (At One Point)
The game had at least 800 developers working on the project at one point from programmers to photogrammetry models. Given the sheer amount of fidelity and the effort that’s gone into making the game, it’s probably not all that surprising.
Resident Evil 2’s progression hasn’t been changed too much from the original but there’s definitely more freedom than before. Secrets and hidden paths can be discovered at one’s own pace, even as you’re tracking down different items and keys to progress forward. It’s a lot more liberating than before, which provides way more incentive to admire the sheer detail in one’s surroundings.
As if changing area layouts and introducing new puzzles wasn’t enough, Resident Evil 2 will have brand new areas like the Orphanage to explore as well. The extent of the Orphanage hasn’t been revealed but we have seen some gameplay of Sherry Birkin attempting to escape the area. Will there be zombies in it, lending to some potentially scarring moments? We’re not sure we want to find out.
No Zapping System
Remember the zapping system from the original game? Essentially, this allowed you to have several different options for exploring campaign scenarios like Leon A/Claire B or Claire A/Leon B. This system has been eliminated in the new Resident Evil 2 though and there will only be separate campaigns for Leon and Claire. You can still expect both characters to meet at certain points and for some decisions to impact playthroughs. But for the most part, there are only two campaign routes for our heroes.