Warning: This article contains spoilers from the Resident Evil 2 remake.
Remakes in the gaming industry are hit and miss. Call them a redux, a reimagining, or even a modern take, but the essence is the same – game programmers walk a fine line when it comes to taking on a classic as a new project.
Resident Evil 2, the original version, hit the PlayStation right when the 3D era of gaming was just getting started. A sequel to the title hit that sparked a phenomenon, the sequel did even better business and had fans clamoring for a remake for years afterwards.
Capcom finally obliged, and the question was whether they could produce a modern masterpiece that still checked all the nostalgia boxes. It appears they’ve done it – and the sales numbers are reflecting their huge success.
Only a week after launch, and the game has already hit 3 million in sales. For reference, the last new entry into the series chronologically, Resident Evil 7, sold 2.5 million in the same timeframe.
Resident Evil 2 follows the story of rookie police officer Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, the sister of Chris from the first Resident Evil. The two must navigate Racoon City, which is overrun by zombies and monsters. Once again, pharmaceutical and consumer cosmetics conglomerate Umbrella is behind the mess, and the bloodthirsty baddies their viruses have spawned look amazing with modern graphics.
Many elements from the original game are the same. Characters like the Birkin family (William, Annette, and Sherry), Ada Wong, and Brian Irons are all a part of the modern reimagining. There’s also the familiar bonus game with Hunk, and of course the iconic Mr. X who pursues players mercilessly throughout the game.
The game offers two separate campaigns, continuing on with the trend from the original which let players see the game’s story from both perspectives.
While the game is a love letter to fans of the original with its adherence to the story and its various throwbacks, it’s also clear the game programmers understood modernization is good at some points. With an updated control scheme and new gameplay elements familiar to the remake of the first Resident Evil, this game brings the survival horror masterpiece into the modern age with style.
Now there’s only one question – will the last game in the original trilogy get a remake as well? The original parts 2 and 3 were only released a year apart. And while it did take Capcom a generous amount of time to produce this remake, it is worth noting 2 and 3 share a lot of the same environments. This means a lot of the headway on 3 is already completed – and one has to believe it would be a smash hit just like the remake of 2.
The magic of Resident Evil 2, with its claustrophobic feel and iconic series characters, has translated well in 2019. Here’s to hoping fans see Nemesis stomping (or sprinting) at them in the same HD glory in the near future.