|Playstation > Whats New > PlayStation Reviews > Staff Review|
|A.P.I Review:||RESIDENT EVIL 2|
No.1 No.2 No.3
|Game Type:||Horror/Adventure||Memory Card|
|Review Date:||Novemeber 1998||Dula Shock/Analog Control|
Setting the Scene
No... it's not a brand new version of the excellent Resident Evil 2. It's a re-release of Capcoms brilliant survival horror title, only now gamers have the ability to experience RE2 with analog control and all of the dual shock effects one could hope for in this game. We have incorporated our thoughts of this new feature in our playability section of the review. Shocking? You bet! To sleep, per chance to dream. Those words echo hauntingly through my mind...through my very being. But alas, sleep or even rest is no longer an option for me. You see I am on a quest...a quest to rid the once peaceful town of Raccoon City from the evil that currently infests it. Perhaps I am getting a bid ahead of myself here...My name is Leon and I am, er um, I was almost a police officer for the once proud Raccoon City PD. I was all set to start my new job here when all of a sudden my world got rocked. My interest in law enforcement was fuelled shortly after Jill and Chris had ridded the mansion on the hill of its freakish creatures. Creatures that were created because of some covert genetic experiment gone terribly wrong and spawning an airborn virus that mutated all it came into contact with. We were so sure in the knowledge that the horrors up there had been totally destroyed months ago...but we were wrong. It swept over the town like a tidal wave, infecting all it touched. Before we knew it, the town was over run with horrors that I could never have imagined in my worst nightmares. All around me I am faced with the horror of mutilated bodies and atrocities that I cannot even begin to describe. People that I once knew and loved are now monstrosities that I am forced to destroy...to serve and protect.... whomever may be left . alive..... Welcome back once again to the world of survival horror...welcome my friends and prepare to help me do battle in the twisted, gruesome world of Resident Evil 2!!!
Resident Evil 2 is a 3rd person shooter, action, horror adventure game at it's finest. Others have tried, but none have matched to pure adrenaline rush and brown trouser accidents that go hand in hand with playing this game.
Never has a game of this genre been captured so exquisitely before. Heck, no other game with the exception of Final Fantasy VII can touch Resident Evil 2's sheer beauty. The graphics of RE2 are truly exceptional. From the gorgeous pre- rendered backgrounds to the intricately modelled polygon characters, everything is brilliantly displayed for you're viewing pleasure. First we'll examine the characters. The level of detailed presented is way up from the previous Resident Evil title. The polygon count per character has quite obviously been drastically increased. Additional texture mapping has been added so that now you can easily make out the facial peculiarities (right down to the eye pupils) and appreciate the detail in the outfits. Increased animation has also been added. The lead characters can now climb (kind of) and show pain by clutching themselves or limping. They will even turn their heads automatically to track or follow the monster's moves or to view a recent kill. This whole thing adds up to a level of realism that was unheard of in the past Resident Evil game and with the exception of a few, it's damn near impossible to find in almost any other console game. Heck, there are even a wide variety of Zombie types, dressed in different clothing and unique appearances. The backgrounds are highly animated and intricately designed. Playing the game really gives one the feeling of actually being trapped in one of those great old "B" horror movies (only much, much scarier!). Some of the graphical effects that are produced are extraordinary and frightening. The feeling of dread and panic are captured to perfection in this game. More than once I was caught up in the splendour of the game only to be surprised (and occasionally scared out of my wits) by some creature blind-siding me unexpectedly. In this game you must learn to always expect the unexpected. Overall it appears that the same base graphics engine was used in RE2, but it has been fine tuned and tweaked to its limits. There is at least double the number of onscreen characters now to face in battle. Just imagine trying to fend off five or six hungry zombies... sheese, as if two of three weren't enough. The graphics also have a much more solid appearance. Even the larger monsters don't break apart into seams when in motion. Sheer beauty. Oh yeah, there is also an incredible opening CG intro that will have your optics locked and your jaw slack with amazement. Liberal use of CG graphics has also been included throughout the game and it's very well done. About the only drawback that I found with the graphics in the game was this...as in the last RE game, when your character is walking they look a bit too stiff. Kinda like they have a stick up their butt or something. It's a bit unnatural looking, but a small price to pay in an otherwise perfect graphical display.
Sounds and Effects
Once again, as in the last Resident Evil game the music is eerie and atmospheric...lending much to the overall creepiness and substance of the game. The overall tension that is generated by the music must be experienced to be fully appreciated. At times, suspense is built up to a fevered pitch. Making it truly frightening to take that next step around a corner... The sound effects are truly brilliant. When connected through a Surround Sound receiver, they swirl and travel all around you. If ever you needed an excuse to connect your Playstation to a decent sound system - this is it! As with any good horror movie, the sounds and music play a key role in creating suspense and trepidation. As you are walking, you can hear scratching sounds or a dripping noise or the shuffle of footsteps. Without ever seeing a damn thing, your whole body begins to tense up in preparation for what is going to happen next. Resident Evil 2 plays this kind of sound game with you to perfection throughout. Oh and guess what remember the great dialogue (hehehe) from the last Resident Evil game well, it's back! Most people either loved or hated the campy voice acting from the last game. Personally I found it to be a blast and would have been disappointed if anything less appeared in this game.
For me, the original Resident Evil game was like a revelation. It was the first time that I had ever seen a game of its genre executed so convincingly and presented with such flair and style. Well the good news is that Resident Evil II significantly improves in virtually every area of its predecessor. Better graphics, more intense sounds and music and most importantly, better gameplay! The game comes on two CD's. One CD has the Leon game and on the other is the Claire game. Unlike the first RE game, depending on which character you use the game plays out very differently. Character interaction changes and locations and items are revealed that are unique to the character that you play. Another nice touch is the new "ZAP" system that Capcom has created (this is basically a nifty little word that is used to identify a brilliant batch of coding that has been placed into this game). What the ZAP system does is track your characters movements and gameplay. Depending on how you react to the environment, monsters and puzzles plays a major role in determining the overall outcome of the game. After you finish the game with one character, you load up the saved game and begin with the next character. The things that you did as the first character will effect how the second character interacts with the environment. For instance, if you moved something during the first game, the object will stay moved during the second. This opens a whole new world of possibilities. Just think about it you can leave a weapon or some other useful goodie for the second character to pick up! Capcom has not come right out and said how many variations there are, but I would suspect that there are several different game endings for each character and multiple experiences to be found during the actual gameplay each time you jump in! Starting up the game you are presented with an incredibly rendered CG intro. Already the mood is getting set even before you begin the actual gameplay. Character backgrounds are explained in much more detail than the first RE game. You actually feel like you have a bit more purpose when venturing through this game and can better understand your characters motives and reasons for being where they are. Anyway, the tone is now set let's do some zombie smashing! Controlling you characters is just like the previous RE game same buttons, same basic character movements and weapon controls. If you played the last RE, you'll feel right at home. If not (anyone???), mastering the controls takes very little time and effort. Aiming your shots with the pistol is still a bit of a chore and the turning of your character to line up a good shot is a bit stiff, but this all adds to the tension of the game. Still, a little better aiming system could have been implemented. There are nice little touches referencing the previous RE game, like awards hanging in the precinct for Chris and Jill, old newspaper clippings, heck you can even find Chris and Jill's desks and search them. Finally the fact that Claire, one of the characters that you play, is actually Chris' sister lends even more connectivity to the game. All in all a fine job is done tying the past and present RE games together and it serves to make the whole experience that much more effective and realistic. The menu system is very useful and set up in much the same way as the first game. Objects appear in little boxed windows that you point and click to access. There is a little status window indicating your current health and then you have the object window, which is used to identify an object in more detail. As you walk through the environment you gain a real appreciation for the level of detail that has been incorporated into this game. It is really very close to watching a movie unfold before your eyes. A great deal of time and effort has obviously been put in to make the backgrounds as realistic as possible. The outcome is a very atmospheric feel and equates to almost total absorption of gameplay. You really get to live the part of whichever character you are playing. Camera tracking is also improved over the first Resident Evil. With the exception of a few places, I found the camera angles to be flawless always in the right place at the right time. The scenes shift and flow at a perfect pace. I guess it's a good thing that the camera angles are done so well, because you now have a LOT more monsters on the screen at one time to deal with than ever before. I have counted up to eight zombies all converging on me at the same time. Amazing! You really need to be quick your reaction time or you will find yourself a meat pie on more than one occasion. Some of the creatures that you will come into contact with are truly horrifying and instill enough instant fear that you tend to lose that split second of reaction time that you so desperately need to succeed. It's that old "deer in the headlight" syndrome, only this time you are the deer! A nice touch that has been added is the fact that when you are more seriously injured, your character will now limp or hold one of their arms across their chest. This gives you a nice visual reference to your characters well-being, instead of having to constantly switch to the menu system to see your stats. The overall shock value of the game is incredible. Things happen so unexpectedly, that you are constantly on the edge of your seat anticipating something (anything) to happen at any given moment. This game is gonna scare the heck out of more than a few people. Definitely not recommended for the weak of heart!! Violence and gore is off the scales. Blood is used in mass quantities and displayed very realistically. Those of you that like bloodshed and needless violence will be thrilled here hehehe. The final piece that I will mention here (I don't want to give too much away and spoil all your fun!) is the areas that you are now ree to roam through. Instead of being limited to a mansion and it's surrounding property, Resident Evil 2 presents you with a town to go through. There are many places to investigate both above and below the doomed town of Raccoon City. Some of the locations you need to go through are so claustrophobic that it will make your skin crawl. Again, this game deals out the emotion of fear and foreboding to perfection. Okay, so in closing Resident Evil 2 is really a game that you should experience. It's a perfect example of how to combine all of the elements that make a great game so pleasurable and compelling to play. It took awhile for this title to get released, but in my honest opinion it was well worth the wait. Dual Shock Version With the re-release of Capcoms brilliant survival horror title, gamers now have the ability to experience RE2 with analog control and all of the dual shock effects one could hope for in this game. A satisfying repeated jolt ensues each time players discharge their weapons or are getting chomped on by zombies. You also feel a slightly lighter vibration during the times you are pushing objects around. Overall the dual shock feature is nicely implemented in to the game and a welcome addition. The analog control, at least for me, was another story. I am just so used to moving the characters around the screen with digital control that I could not quite get used to or enjoy the analog feature as much as some might. I chose to stick forego the analog control and stuck with the digital pad for the duration of the game again. Also new is the arrange mode. Now players can start off the game as Leon or Claire with a machine gun as your default weapon. Walk on over to one of your item boxes, open it up and Walla...tucked nicely away you will find a rocket launcher and a gattling gun just waiting to be equipped and discharged on some mindless zombie. Oh, these weapons also come with unlimited ammo...enjoy! Once you complete the game in rookie mode, you can play it again and items will be "re-arranged" in different locations, thus adding even more replay value to an already excellent game. This also unlocks the games hidden "Extreme Battle Mode". This mode offer gamers three selectable levels with random enemy and item placement, in addition to four playable characters...one of them making a first time appearance in RE2! This is a great deal for those of you in the minority that does not already this title, and is definitely worth at least a rental for those that have already experienced the RE2 without these new additions.
Value for Money
With it's multiple story lines, dual character roles and incredibly rich and complex environment, Resident Evil 2 really offers up the goods. I thought the initial retail price was a bit steep considering most other PSX titles are at least 10 bucks cheaper. Either way, you really can't go wrong it's a wonderful game and worth every penny. The only thing keeping it from being THE ultimate value for you dollar is the lack of a two-player or cooperative mode. Just imagine how cool that would have been!
know, I must say...I really appreciate you taking the time to read my
review, but I have to ask you...what the heck are you waiting for
anyway?!?! Get out there and buy this game now! This is easily a triple
"A" title and most likely one of the best games you are going
to find anywhere, on any system in 1998.
In every conceivable category, this game outclasses and outshines its predecessor by a wide margin. Gotta love it .