The History of Resident Evil: The Second Coming

In The History of Resident Evil, we take a look back at the legendary franchise from its inception in 1996 through to present day, offering our readers a comprehensive look at each major canonical entry in the series, along with delving into some of the projects that never saw the light of day. If you missed the first installment, check it out here. With that said, strap on your Shotgun, bag a fresh pack of underwear and fork out a First-Aid Spray as we delve into the Second Coming of Resident Evil.


Resident Evil: Director’s Cut (a.k.a. Biohazard: Director’s Cut)
Release Date: September 25, 1997 (Japan), September 30, 1997 (North America), October 12, 1997 (Europe)
Platform: Sony PlayStation
Global Sales: 1,130,000

With a full blown sequel over six months away and Capcom intent on getting a Resident Evil title in the shops for Christmas 1997, the company decided to repackage the original survival horror classic under the Director’s Cut moniker as well as offer a 20-minute playable demo of Resident Evil 2 to give players a hands-on sneak peak at the eagerly anticipated follow-up.

Resident Evil: Director’s Cut offers three flavors in which to plow through the inaugural horror romp, namely Standard, Training and Advanced. While the former two are merely standard ports of the title (with ammo quantity and enemy resilience tweaked for beginner mode), Advanced offers some noticeable differences when compared to the original outing, chiefly alternate camera angels and new costumes for Rebecca Chambers, Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine.

The classic S.T.A.R.S. Beretta M92F was also modified to pack considerably more punch than its former incarnation, splattering zombie brain matter across the décor and stopping fast moving enemies in their tracks. Advanced mode also includes one new enemy, coming in the form of deceased Bravo Team member, Forest Speyer, who joins the ranks of the undead when you encounter his crow-pecked corpse on a wind-swept balcony. Furthermore, items are scattered in different locations while certain puzzles have been tweaked slightly, though the plot remains identical to its 1996 counterpart. Nonetheless, Director’s Cut proved popular among consumers, acting as an ideal bridge between the first game and its sequel, prompting Capcom to release a DualShock compatible version the following summer.


Resident Evil 2 (a.k.a. Biohazard 2)
Release Date: January 29, 1998 (Japan), January 21, 1998 (North America), May 8, 1998 (Europe)
Platform: Sony PlayStation
Global Sales: 4,960,000

After a turbulent development process, Capcom finally unleashed the sequel to its widely acclaimed horror outing in Japan and the U.S. in January 1998, with the European conversion shipping in all its uncut glory a few months later. Arriving on the scene amidst a wave of fan hysteria and lofty ambitious, Resident Evil 2 ultimately went on to become Capcom’s second best selling title of all time, shifting copies by the bucket load across the globe and delivering on seemingly insurmountable expectations.

The story picks up a few months after the events of the original game, taking place in the mid-western town of Raccoon City in September of 1998. Opening with a fully rendered introduction sequence, we’re quickly acquainted with the game’s two main protagonists: Leon S. Kennedy, a rookie cop arriving in town on his first day with the R.P.D.; and Claire Redfield, a university student who arrives in Raccoon investigating the sudden disappearance of her brother, Chris (star of the original Resident Evil). After rolling into town in separate locations, the pair is attacked by zombies and bump into one another before hot-wiring a police vehicle and heading for the Raccoon Police Department. Circumstances soon take a turn for the worse and they become separated prior to reaching their destination – thus begins the second chapter in the saga.

Juxtaposed with the original horror classic, it’s not hard to understand why Resident Evil 2 is such a significant leap over its predecessor. Despite offering only incremental upgrades to the basic formula, RE2 upped the game in just about every conceivable aspect, from the scope of the locations, the number of ... (continued on next page) ----

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