PSU Champions: Resident Evil 2

Continuing our series of PlayStation games that could be benefit from a new lease of life on PlayStation 3, we present to you something that could well an truly be bought back from the dead; the horror classic, Resident Evil 2 (or rather, a remake of it)

Name: Michael Harradence

PSU Role: Journalist, Editor

Age: 23

Game Title: Resident Evil 2 (Biohazard 2 in Japan)

Platform: Sony PlayStation

Publisher: Virgin Interactive (Europe) Capcom (Japan, North America)

Developer: Capcom (Production Studio 4)

Release date: 1/29/98 (Japan) 1/21/98 (North America) 5/8/98 (Europe)

Synopsis of original game:

Set two months after Capcom’s original survival horror masterpiece, Resident Evil 2 takes place in the mid-western town of Raccoon City, which has now been infested with zombies and all manner of grotesque creatures. With the S.T.A.R.S now disbanded, players are cast in the role of rookie Police Officer Leon S. Kennedy (also the protagonist of Resident Evil 4) and college student Claire Redfield; sister of S.T.A.R.S Alpha Team member and star of the original Resident Evil, Chris Redfield.

Faced with an overwhelming army of the living dead, Kennedy and Redfield are forced to take refuge in the nearby Raccoon Police Department prescient, where they unravel the many mysterious surrounding the nefarious Umbrella Corporation and it’s recent endeavours in to biological experiments. The plot expounds on the activities of the company, introducing a number of new characters such as Dr. William Birkin and his research into the G-virus; a powerful viral toxin, capable of transforming living things into creatures far beyond that of any walking corpse. 

Staying true to the original’s formula, Resident Evil 2 again incorporates fully 3D rendered character sprites exploring pre-rendered backgrounds, as they player attempts to solve a variety of puzzles, whilst traversing numerous locations including the streets of Raccoon City, the R.P.D, Sewers as well as a hidden Laboratory as they battle through armies of walking corpses and an assortment of BOW (Bio-organic Weapon)

Why is the original so good?

Fans unanimously view Resident Evil 2 is the greatest survival horror experience ever created; while the original received massive praise, it wasn’t until the sequel that the series achieved both critical and commercial success, racking up sales of 4,960,000 units as of September 2005 -- and with good reason.

Resident Evil 2 took the premises of being trapped in a secluded mansion overrun with nightmarish beasts, transposing them into a fully-fledged city full of walking corpses. Locations were far more expansive, allowing you to explore more environments, enemies came in all shapes and sizes and in greater quantities, and the puzzles were generally more frequent and challenging. Not only that, but the games production values also benefited from a major overhaul, replacing the cheesy (but oh so delightful) Live Action videos of the original with layers FMV sequences to advance the plot, as well as improved voice acting, sound and visual effects.

Retaining the core elements of the original accommodated an immersive, terrifying experience, albeit on a much more elaborate scale. One could liken it to George A. Romero’s Living Dead series, and its humble, low-budgetary inception in 1968, followed by the epic 1978 sequel, Dawn of the Dead – it was everything fans could want, only that much bigger.

This is best exampled in the addition of two scenarios per character - an “A” scenario, and a “B” scenario. For example, completing Redfield’s A quest unlocked Kennedy’s B quest, allowing the developers to flesh out the game’s intricate storyline with added detail and all new cut scenes exclusive to each scenario. Additionally, players were rewarded with a rank after completing the game, allowing you to unlock secret weapons, hidden costumes and a mini game called the “4th Survivor”, giving the game a far greater lease of life than its predecessor.

This combined with the usual array of massive boss fights, shock tactics (including the player finding themselves stalked by an inexorable, hulking bio-weapon dubbed “Mr. X”) and layers of atmospheric touches, its not hard to see why Resident Evil 2 is regarded as the series as its shockingly best.

What would a PS3 remake add?
(continued on next page) ----

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