While Resident Evil 2 will let players re-experience nostalgia for the classic title, I’m excited to play a chapter of the series I haven’t played before.
Resident Evil has been one of my favorite franchises since I was a kid, even when I was terrified of its creepy zombies. I still fondly remember the moment when I was around 11 or 12 and rented the remaster of the original Resident Evil, only to immediately return it to my local Blockbuster the next day the moment that I encountered the game’s first zombie and couldn’t bear to see any more of it, too shaken to the core to continue on.
While Resident Evil has ebbed and flowed over the years between true survival horror and more action-oriented installments, those moments of true, unnerving horror have always been what drew me to the Resident Evil series over the years. This is what has always led me to play most of the major entries in the series, even after my initial terrors with the first game. However, while I’ve played the series’ peaks like Resident Evil and Resident Evil 4–and suffered through its lows with Resident Evil 6–there has been a big gap for me when it comes to the series’ older entries that I have yet to play, such as Resident Evil 3, Resident Evil: Code Veronica, and yes, Resident Evil 2.
For some reason, I just missed out on these two titles in the Resident Evil series. I’d say the most likely culprit is that playing the more recent Resident Evil titles has made going back to the infamous “tank controls” of the original games a bit unappealing, but with the upcoming remake of Resident Evil 2 on the horizon for consoles and PC, I’m glad that I can finally start to fill in those gaps that I’ve had with one of my favorite series.
And that’s made it all the more interesting for me to follow the development of the Resident Evil 2 remake ever since it had its first debut at Sony’s E3 conference last year (and even its announcement by Capcom long before that). A large part of the hype surrounding the game, naturally, is driven by nostalgia for the original Resident Evil 2, often seen as one of the best installments of the series as a whole.
While I’m sure most of the anticipation and excitement for Resident Evil 2‘s remake is surely coming from fans that are looking forward to re-experiencing the classic with a truly from-the-ground-up remake, I feel like I’m in the minority camp that gets to play through the title for the first time. That isn’t to say though that that’s a bad thing at all. While I may not have the nostalgia for the haunting setting of Raccoon City or a familiarity for the early parts of Resident Evil‘s history and characters, I’m looking forward to Resident Evil 2 nonetheless, even though I’m coming to it for the first time.
Aside from the dark, creepy visuals and a gore factor that seems to have been amped way the hell up, what I’m most looking forward to from Resident Evil 2 is the fact that we’ll get to go back in time a bit to the series’ roots, and especially back to its true survival horror basics. The Resident Evil series has changed quite a bit in the past 10-15 years, with Resident Evil 4 (my favorite entry in the series) having completely reshaped the franchise moving forward, for better and worse in the solid Resident Evil 5 and in the bloated, loud action of Resident Evil 6. Of course, just two years ago Resident Evil VII also reshaped what the franchise’s future looks like, even though the change to a first-person perspective was a bit divisive to longtime fans.
However, with all the years that the Resident Evil series has gone on and the more convoluted that its plot has continued to become, I see Resident Evil 2 as the chance to go back to the series’ roots as a good thing, and especially getting to be reacquainted with some of its familiar faces. Seeing Leon as a young rookie cop after his later years as a badass special agent in RE4 will surely give me a newfound appreciation for how far he has come in the rest of the series. Claire is a character that I’ve only known to a lesser extent after having played Resident Evil: Revelations 2 last year, but getting to deepen my understanding of her role in the rest of the Resident Evil series is also something I’m looking forward to while playing Resident Evil 2.
But even more than getting the chance to get new context for the rest of the Resident Evil series as a whole, I’m looking forward to Resident Evil 2 for the fact that it looks creepy as hell. From the reveal trailer last year at E3 2018, I’m already in love with the fact that this remake is not holding back when it comes to making players extremely tense and uncomfortable. From the unsettling visuals and gore, to the diverse environments that players will have to explore in and out of Raccoon City, I’m excited for the terrors that await in Resident Evil 2, especially when combined with its use of Resident Evil VII‘s engine, which makes terrifying imagery shine like no other.
With Resident Evil 2 now just a few days away from release, my anticipation for the game couldn’t be any higher. Given that it’s a Resident Evil game I probably would have been excited regardless, as Resident Evil VII finally gave me (and many other fans) the long-awaited series’ return to survival-horror that we’ve been waiting for. But with Resident Evil 2, I now have the chance to not only fill my quota of terrifying game experiences for 2019 early but also, in a way, get back in touch with the core reasons why I love Resident Evil. As much as I’ve come to know and love this series after 20 years, I’m looking forward to getting to experience something new from it (for me) with Resident Evil 2.
Resident Evil 2 will release for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on January 25, 2019. If you have yet to pick up a copy of the game, you can still do that right now over on Amazon and get ready to relive your terrors.
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