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:
Verite Rendition V1000 series
Rendition V2000 series
3D Rage Pro
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.