Raccoon City is a dangerous and scary place- these tips and tricks will make your visit a little easier.
Resident Evil 2 is out now, and in case you hadn’t heard, it’s pretty damn good. As a remake of a survival horror classic that makes a litany of changes to bring it to modern audiences, it is a game that will compel millions to play it, and doubtless, millions probably will. Here, we’re going to talk about fifteen basic tips that you should keep in mind as you being playing Resident Evil 2, which should make your nightmarish romp through the horrors of Raccoon City a little more manageable.
THERE IS NO NEED TO KILL ALL ZOMBIES
As Resident Evil fans (and survival horror fans in general) know, ammo conservation in this game should be one of your top priorities. As such, fighting the urge to kill every last zombie you come across is very important in Resident Evil 2. While in some situations it’s ideal to clear out rooms to make return treks through them easier, in many situations, it’s best to just find room to weave between oncoming zombies and make a run for it.
This also extends to the lickers- do not engage them unless you have the firepower to do so, and even then, if you come up on more than one at the same time, just… just don’t. Lickers are blind, and they sense your presence by hearing, so just walk as slowly as possible and make your way past them.
MAKE THEM BUCKLE
If you find that there is no room to make a run for it, you still don’t have to waste multiple precious bullets on killing zombies, which can often take as many as three to four headshots (and more than that on several occasions) to go down. What you want to do in such situations is aim for their knees. Shooting their limbs off will make them buckle and fall to the ground, which will give you ample time and room to run past them.
CONFIRM YOUR KILL
If and when you do kill zombies – and in certain situations that will be unavoidable – don’t trust the ones that go down and stay still. Often, even zombies you think are dead might shamble back to their feet again for surprise attacks- so confirm your kill. Slash at their heads with your knife, or if you’re feeling wasteful and/or want to be doubly sure, pop another bullet in their heads.
BOARD UP WINDOWS
Zombies in Resident Evil 2 can be quite persistent, as you may have probably guessed by now. Often, they’ll break through windows to repopulate corridors you thought you had cleared already. To save yourself from the surprise of running into one of them in a room or corridor you thought was safe, make sure you pick up any wooden boards you can find in the environment, and then use them to board up broken windows to prevent further reinforcements of the undead variety.
IF YOU SEE MR. X, JUST RUN
The one enemy type that you absolutely shouldn’t engage under any circumstance (unless it’s in a scripted sequence, of course), is the Tyrant, Mr. X. In certain portions of both campaigns, Mr. X will stalk you throughout the building, constantly and incessantly. If you see him coming, or hear his footsteps getting closer (we’ll get to this in just a bit)- just run. He’s not invincible, and after taking certain damage, he does get temporarily stunned. But that takes far too many bullets, and it’s just a waste. Unlike in the original Resident Evil 2, temporarily downing Mr. X also doesn’t yield any ammo or resource drops, so if you ever see him, the best course of action is to turn around and nope your way out of there.
ALWAYS KEEP A KNIFE/GRENADE/FLASHBANG ON YOUR PERSON
Always, always, always have at least one of these three close quarter weapons in your inventory- a knife, a grenade, a flashbang, any of them will work. Zombies can often come up on you and grab you, going in for a chomp to knock down your health, something that becomes even more of a possibility (and even more of a danger) when they swarm you in larger numbers. If you have one of these three weapons equipped, Claire or Leon (whomever you’re playing as) will use them to get out of their grasp as a one-time get-out-of-jail free card.
DEICDE WHICH WEAPONS TO CARRY WITH YOU
At the beginning of their campaigns, both Claire and Leon start out with a single handgun, but as the game progresses, depending on how much you’ve explored your environments (we’ll get to this in a bit as well), their arsenal will grow bigger. That said, don’t always carry around each and every one of their weapons all the time- you’ll be strapped for inventory space in Resident Evil 2, so pick any two weapons, and keep them with you, and switch them out if need be. Leon’s handgun and shotgun combo is pretty good in most situations (but you’ll need to swap in the flamethrower in later sections), as is Claire’s handgun and machine gun combo (though it’s advisable to have her grenade launcher for tougher encounters or boss fights).
FIND WEAPONS UPGRADES
Following on from our previous point, you’re going to want to find find all the weapon mods and upgrades you can. Especially for weapons like Leon’s handgun and Claire’s grenade launcher, these mods come in very handy, and for other weapons, increased clip sizes or faster reload speeds can be very useful in a pinch. Do note, though, that some of these mods will make your weapons bigger, and they will need more inventory space as a result.
FIND HIP POUCHES
A good way out counteracting that is by increasing your inventory space, of course. That’s actually just something you should do either way- it should be one of your top priorities. Look for hip pouches by solving puzzles that might seem ancillary, or exploring thoroughly, to make sure you have the maximum inventory space possible. Oh, and speaking of exploring thoroughly…
YEAH- EXPLORE THOROUGHLY
Weapon mods, new weapons, hip pouches are, of course, things that you will find by exploring, but it’s worth noting that several of these are all too easy to miss, and don’t necessarily fall in the critical path. Additionally, changing upon resources like herbs and gunpowder, or ammunition or even wooden boards, can be a huge advantage in most situations. Of course, there are also some sections where you’ll have to explore to advance the story, but it’s recommended that you do so either way.
THE MAP IS YOUR BEST FRIEND
Like most classic Resident Evil titles, the locations you visit and explore in Resident Evil 2 are places you’ll become very familiar and intimate with the more time you spent with the game, but the map is a tool that will never stop being useful. Often, it’s a great idea to pause and use your map to figure out which route to take to get from point A to point B while avoiding any dangers along the way. Additionally, the map in Resident Evil 2 also makes several QoL improvements over the original- for instance, rooms that still have things left for you to discover will be highlighted red, while spots such as unopened doors, lockers, and safes will also be marked. Additionally, if you ever come across items that you cannot pick up due to limited inventory space, you don’t need to forget about forgetting where they were- the game will automatically mark these items on your map.
Often, Resident Evil 2 will hand you objects that it’ll describe as “key objects”, but when you try using them to open up areas, they won’t work- or maybe you just won’t understand what to do with them. As such, it’s a good idea to always go into your inventory and manually examine each item you find, and turn them around to see if you get prompts to fiddle around with any of them. These might be switches to turn off potable safes, buttons to release a key item from its useless frame, or any number of similar things.
DON’T IGNORE CRAFTING
Crafting is an important mechanic in Resident Evil 2 that you absolutely shouldn’t ignore. You’ll find various kinds of gunpowders and herbs in the game, and mixing and matching them in different combinations will yield different kinds of ammo and medicines. Use these. Not only do you not have to rely on resource or ammo drops that the game hands you itself, you can also craft things you need in situations to fit your particular needs. But then again, be smart about it- don’t go crafting an unnecessary amount of handgun ammo when you know you have enough, and should probably be investing in shotgun rounds instead.
USE THE AMAZING AUDIO DESIGN TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
Resident Evil 2’s binaural audio design is one of its biggest strengths, but while it adds immensely to the scares and the atmosphere, it’s also something that you can and should use to your advantage. You can often hear the moans and growls of zombies in the distance, while lickers also often make their presence known before you see them. And, of course, there’s Mr. X, whose thumping footsteps are something you’ll hear getting closer and closer to warn you of his arrival beforehand. Use these cues to your advantage, regardless of whether you want to lock and load and prep for a fight, want to take a different route, or want to turn around and run.
DON’T MISS THE 2ND RUN
This should be obvious, but sadly it isn’t, and apparently is missable- just like in the original Resident Evil 2, once you finish the A campaign with either Claire or Leon, the B campaign of the second character is unlocked. This is the 2nd Run- it’s different from the A campaign of both characters. It tells the story from the perspective of the other character, and basically serves as the second half. Do not miss this, or skip out on it- though the credits roll at the end of the first run, that’s merely half the game. The story, and the game, are both incomplete at that point (and some of the best stuff is kept in store for the B campaign).