Resident Evil 2 Remake Retrospective – Then and Now

Rebirth of a Classic

Last week, Capcom confirmed the Resident Evil 2 remake at E3. Despite being revealed over two years ago, last week Capcom showcased footage of the game for the first time. Featuring a trailer and plenty of gameplay, Resident Evil 2 took the series into a new direction. Borrowing from the over-the-shoulder camera from Resident Evil 4, it also welcomes back the frightening elements sorely missing from the series.

Resident Evil 2 remake

Resident Evil 2 utilizes the “RE Engine” from Resident Evil 7. However, it delivers the game in a third-person perspective. Featuring new story and gameplay elements, this title is completely built from the ground up. Everything we’ve seen so far includes gameplay in the familiar Raccoon Police Department, now much darker than before. Check out the trailer here!

Resident Evil 2

Released in 1998 for the Sony PlayStation, Resident Evil 2 takes place one month after the original Resident Evil. Taking place in Raccoon City, rookie officer Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield must team up to survive a zombie outbreak. Involving a tale of horror, rescue, and conspiracy, the pair will travel through the RPD and through the city’s dark, infested tunnels. Leon and Claire must escape Raccoon City and fight off the undead and twisted, biological horrors.

Resident Evil 2 remake

Compared to the original Resident Evil, the sequel became an improvement in many ways. One such example included superior visuals. Characters were designed with more detail, looking even better on the pre-rendered backgrounds. Each character had their own puzzles and storyline scenarios. Given the change of scenarios for each path, the game warranted at least four playthroughs overall to see all the endings.

Moreover, RE2 was later upgraded with a Dual-Shock Edition. This included much-needed control optimization, featuring the PlayStation’s DualShock controller, allowing players to control the game with the built-in joysticks. In addition, a new mini-game, Extreme Battle, allowed players to play through a Time Attack scenario with multiple characters, including Chris Redfield and Ada Wong.


Resident Evil 2 was released on various platforms, to include the Nintendo 64, PC, and Dreamcast. The N64 was a particularly noteworthy port since it had some extras in the game. For example, it included separate lore files and alternate costumes. You can check a full list of changes here.

However, each variant was noted for its implemented flaws, such as sound or visuals. In the end, Resident Evil 2: DualShock Edition is perhaps the most optimal version of the title. As it was the basis of the future games, it also costs a mere $5.99 on PSN, allowing PS3 and PSN players to enjoy the title at a low cost.

Resident Evil 2 remake

The game spawned a sequel -- Resident Evil 3. Bringing back the focus to first title’s protagonist, Jill Valentine, players travelled through Raccoon City itself. In an apocalyptic scenario, it was her night of survival against the undead as well as the horrifying, powerful creation, Nemesis.

In addition, players could turn to do a 180 turn, allowing for faster escapes, and even use a parrying attack to counter zombies.  As with its predecessors, the title delivered fierce boss battles and surprise attacks from enemies. Finally, RE3 also allowed players to mix ammo to create powerful weapons, such as Ice Grenades

.Resident Evil 3

Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4 came out in 2005, initially for Nintendo GameCube. Starring Leon Kennedy from RE2, it was the first game to utilize the over-the-shoulder perspective. Considered one of the greatest games of all time, it included the new control scheme, tons of extras, beautiful visuals, and a new outlook for the series.

Resident Evil 4

While series’ loyalists feel that the survival horror element was a bit of a departure, the title maintained its consistency. Resident Evil 4 maintains the status of being an exceptional title. Therefore, Resident Evil 2 remake will continue the over-the-shoulder perspective. However, Resident Evil 2 evolves upon the fear element that made the series famous. In other words, Capcom will take elements from the best games in the series and meld them together in this remake.

What to expect from the Resident Evil 2 Remake

Summing up everything, Resident Evil 2’s remake retells the story of the PlayStation classic. Utilizing the horror elements of Resident Evil 7, the camera angle of Resident Evil 4, and being the second remake in the series after REmake, the new title draws in some of the best elements throughout the series. What’s a little-known fact, however, are the elements outside the numbered series. Capcom implemented design elements from their first attempt at Resident Evil 2!

Dubbed “Resident Evil 1.5,” the original draft included elements such as a different character and enemy designs. Fans quickly pointed out the similarities between the original 1.5 design and features in the Resident Evil 2 remake trailer. Also note Leon’s use of the flashlight, a nod to the original draft of Resident Evil 4.

Resident Evil 2 remake

Taking place in a much darker, dimly lit RPD, Leon’s adventure brings him face-to-face with the undead like never before. Coming hot off the success of Resident Evil 7, which was nominated for several Game of the Year awards and won several others, Capcom is bringing back the meaning of horror in an all-new way.

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Known for its frightening elements, the Resident Evil 2 remake will utilize RE7’s engine to deliver the true, ultimate recreation of the original PlayStation classic. In addition, original composer, Shusaku Uchiyama, will return to compose the game’s music.

Previous Success

Resident Evil 2 remains a beloved classic. It delivered the core survival horror experience for players worldwide while delivering highly with its storyline, soundtrack, and overall gameplay. As mentioned before, Resident Evil 3 and 4 capitalized on the success that the second title brought.

Shortly after, the series began taking a direction away from horror, focusing on the action of shooting games, like Gears of War, in Resident Evil 5. In particular, Resident Evil 6 received lukewarm reception. Shortly after, the series fell into a slump.

Despite positive feedback for the Resident Evil Revelations sub-series, no title has succeeded in capturing the magic of the original series. With the remake of Resident Evil 2, however, fans hope the series will return to form and while capitalizing on the success of RE7.

Resident Evil

As mentioned earlier, this is not the first remake in the series. Capcom remade the original PlayStation Resident Evil title, on Nintendo GameCube, in 2003. This included new story elements, cutscenes, and a revamped control scheme. Featuring beautiful graphics and new extra modes, REmake -- as the community dubs it -- became a massive success and was considered a huge improvement over the original.

Combining control elements of RE2 and RE3, such as quick turn and emergency items, it culminated into the new standard of the series. Capcom also upgraded the title to 1080p and 60 FPS in its HD incarnation. In addition, the HD version re-optimized the controls to allow players to move faster than before.

Yakuza Kiwami 2 remake coming out this August.

Final Thoughts

Given the track record of Capcom, Resident Evil 2’s remake looks nothing short of promising. Utilizing the original’s core elements such as exploration, boss battles, and story, they’re adding elements previously unreleased to players. Whether you’re exploring the RPD or engaging in combat, it truly captures the image of the original. But most importantly, it may deliver the greatest experience the series has ever seen.

Check out Resident Evil 2 remake when it comes out on January 25, 2019, for PS4, Xbox One, and Steam. Pre-order the game here and check out the deluxe edition, too!

Resident Evil 2 remake

Thank you for reading up on our coverage of the Resident Evil 2 remake! Did you ever play the original? Are you a fan of other games of the series? Let us know in the comments below!

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