Game Over Online ~ Resident Evil 2

GameOver Game Reviews - Resident Evil 2 (c) Capcom, Reviewed by - Lothian

Game & Publisher Resident Evil 2 (c) Capcom
System Requirements Pentium 133, 16 MB Ram
Overall Rating 87%
Date Published Sunday, February 28th, 1999 at 01:14 PM

Divider Left By: Lothian Divider Right

Capcom has been cranking out hit after hit for console gaming systems since the mid-80s and continues this tradition with Resident Evil 2; though now it’s been ported over to PC so that us poor shmucks without a playstation can enjoy this mutant kill-frenzy title. In RE2, the story of Umbrella Incorporated’s testing of unknown mutagenic toxins in the Raccoon City area continues. Previously, however, two members of the Raccoon City Police Department’s S.T.A.R.S. unit, Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, thwarted Umbrella’s T-Virus incarnations at the remote mansion on the outskirts of town. Although the story continues in Raccoon City, this time the action revolves around another member of the RPD, Leon Kennedy, and the news reporter Claire Redfield (who’s coincidentally Chris’ sister). The two must face Umbrella’s mutated creations across the streets of Raccoon City to the sewers to the Umbrella lab. Along the way, they meet up with different people who aid them in the battle against the army of beasts created by the G-Virus, a hybrid of its predecessor.

The graphics in RE2 may not be stellar but are still impressive. The backgrounds are richly coloured in the dark style of the game’s atmosphere and the characters are pretty well done. The style of the characters in RE2 is remnant of something off the N64 but you should keep in mind, this game was originally a console title. The sharp polygons of the NPCs as well as the characters detracts somewhat from the overall mood of the game (the artists could have spent a little more time on the anti-aliasing to smooth out those edges). Since the views of the game shift as you progress from screen to screen, the graphics do appear smoother a good deal of the time (especially for distant views). RE2 is rather graphics intense so a good video card and/or accelerator are recommended. I tested this game on a P233, 64RAM, 2mb ATI Mach64 + Diamond Monster 3D and had no problems running the game smoothly.

Supported 3D Cards:
Voodoo Rush
Voodoo Banshee
Verite Rendition V1000 series
Rendition V2000 series
RIVA 128
3D Rage Pro
Permedia 2
Savage 3D
Intel 740
Millennium II
Millenium G200

What made Resident Evil such a fun game to play (especially in the dark) returns in the sequel. The 3D sound in RE2 creates and reinforces the zombie hunter ambiance through volume controlled footsteps and groans as well as well placed background effects and events. The feeling you get when you enter a new room and suddenly hear the glass behind you shatter is the equivalent of fear and surprise (well maybe not fear, but it will startle you). The sound quality and quantity is well balanced in RE2, except when it comes to character dialogue. The voice actors for this game either weren’t trying or just really sucked; The timing was off and there was no emotion in the verbal exchanges (or WAY too much). It’s almost as if instead of hiring voice actors, Capcom just yanked a couple of programmers out of their dungeons and assigned them one extra duty. Overall, speech isn’t abundant in the game so it doesn’t distract you too much from the overall good sound quality.

Leon or Claire are manoeuvred using either a gampad or the keyboard, both of which can be configured if you don’t like the default settings. There isn’t much to the controls since all you basically do is move and shoot. The game is divided up into two difficulty levels (normal and easy) and the game can be played in original or arrange modes. The difference between the two is that in arrange mode, you get unlimited ammo and you start with a more powerful weapon; I tend to think of this as a third difficulty setting: dirt simple). Arrange mode also provides you with the normal and easy difficulty levels but I think you should only use this mode to get yourself use to the controls ... unless you can’t stand a challenging game. Resident Evil 2 is divided into 4 pseudo-levels: the streets, the police station, the sewers and the warehouse. Each level has increasingly more difficult enemies and puzzles and if you play as both characters, you’ll notice the experience is different for both. The action is rather repetitive but that’s to be expected in from the genre so don’t be too disappointed.

From when you first take control of your character, after the truck crashes, to the subway ride at the end, Resident Evil 2 grabs and holds your attention through both the action and the story line. It’s not a long game to complete but with two characters there is some replay value. There may even be a few surprises for those who’ve finished the game and decided to play using that mission that was saved upon completion. For those who remember Resident Evil, they’ll remember what item was in their inventory after they beat the game and what it did ... you guys keep that in mind for when you finish RE2.

As with the initial Resident Evil, RE2 offers action, adventure, and a hell of a lot of zombies. With a fairly good computer, with at least 4mb of video memory, you should be able to enjoy this title to its fullest, and the short learning curve and completion time make this game great for novice players too.


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