This review is heavily built off of my review of the original Resident Evil. I recommend you read that first.
If media follows any rules, the second in a trilogy is always the best. The team has more time and money to invest in their vision. They’ve seen the cracks in their original ideas. Resident Evil 2 is just about everything a sequel could wish to be. It fixes many of the issues of the original but keeps the spirit fresh and alive.
Resident Evil 2 follows Leon Kennedy. He’s a simple cop on his first day in Racoon City, a close location to the T-Virus outbreak Umbrella brought upon S.T.A.R.S. Claire Redfield, sister of Chris, is in Racoon City to search for her brother. Unfortunately, the T-Virus has struck again, and there’s almost nothing to stop it. Resident Evil 2 keeps the same basic gameplay format as the first. Each character has a few gameplay differences, but they will also come across different weapons on their journey. Your character decision completely changes how you handle the game’s puzzles.
Resident Evil 2 improves almost everything from the original. The writing, pre-rendered cutscenes, and voice acting are all miles better. Resident Evil 2 does what I thought impossible. There were moments on my adventure where I truly was tense or scared. Resident Evil 2 does nothing to fix the controls. The game actually gets rid of the auto-aiming.
The original was carried by its cheesy nature and poor presentation, but Resident Evil 2 is a genuinely well-made horror experience. I couldn’t bring myself to have fun with it. It feels like a classic case of too polished for its own good. There were a fair share of funny moments, but nothing that kept me engaged. I played for a solid four hours before just giving up. I couldn’t get into it. When I don’t want to finish things, I just won’t. Titles like the RE2 remake exist to fill my niche. I’ll have to poke my head around there sometime.