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Resident Evil 2 (PlayStation)

91
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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.1
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  ETJB (447)
Written on  :  Apr 10, 2014
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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Summary

Bigger! Longer! Scarier! Uncut!

The Good

Resident Evil 2 (a.k.a. Biohazard for PAL gamers) is one of those rare times when the video game sequel is actually better then the original game.

Something stinks in Raccoon City, and I don't just mean the undead's reluctance to practice good personal hygiene.

The surviving members of the STARS team cannot convince anyone in Raccoon City that Umbrella Corporation was responsible for creating the flesh-eating, zombies and other malicious abominations as part of its unethical, if not illegal, biological weapons program.

Frustrated, the STARS team members decide to go their separate ways, hoping the evidence to bring down the Umbrella Corporation exists somewhere. Not too longer after their departure, the beautiful city becomes less “Leave It To Beaver” and more “Night Of The Living Dead” meets “Mad Max".

When Resident Evil 2 begins we meet two new heroes who have just arrived in the city; Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield. Leon is a rookie cop on his first day on the job, and Claire is searching for her brother (who is member of the STARS team).

Resident Evil 2 features much better graphics, music and sound effects then the first Resident Evil game. This is not sot suggest the first game was inferior.

The first Resident Evil game excelled in all of these areas as well, which makes it all the more amazing that the developers were able to make the sequel look and sound even that much better.

It is as if with each new Resident Evil video game the developers found new ways to push the Sony PlayStation 1 hardware capabilities to new heights.

Resident Evil 2 also features much better, more responsive controls, with cool new weapons and some new abilities – such as the ability to push a biting zombie away.

Again, Resident Evil 1 offered some great control, and it is simply amazing that the developers found ways to add to and improve upon the control mechanics when making Resident Evil 2.

One of the great features of this game is that to fully appreciate all that the game has to offer, you must first beat the game as one character and then beat the game as the other character.

Depending on how many times you beat the game (and how long it takes you to beat the game) additional secrets and weapons become available to you.

The game is on two discs, so if you beat the game with Leon, then you must beat the game as Claire or vice verse. This greatly adds to the replay value of the game, because who you beat the game with the first or second time and other little details will impact the story and how many deep, dark secrets you be able to uncover. And there are plenty of those to uncover.

Leon meets up with a "femme fatale" wandering the police station. Claire meets up with a lost, little girl. Both characters will interact with a cynical reporter, a corrupt police chief and, a few other human and not-so-human characters, which make the zombies flesh-eating habits seem tame in comparison.

Heck, the developers even found new and creative ways to make Resident Evil 2 even scarier then the first game. The more you learn about the police chief, Umbrella corporation and just how the virus spread throughout the entire city, the more you will want to play your video games with the lights on.

The Bad

Resident Evil 2 is uncut. Where as bits and pieces of the first game were censored, everything in this survival horror game is seen (or implied) for all to see.

This is not a video game designed for young children or easily scared adults. Survival horror is not a video game genre for everyone and it is worth noting some of the "mature" content in this video game.

Resident Evil 2 features a high level of graphic violence, blood and gore. If you blush at R-rated horror films, or are too young to watch them, then you might not want to be exposed to some of the content in this video game.

The zombies and other mutated monsters you must kill in the Resident Evil 2 are creepy and grotesque abominations who have a deep-seated lust for the sweet taste of human flesh.

You must put aside your feelings of sympathy -- as these zombies and monsters used to be human beings -- in order to not just survive but help other people survive as well.

The only "treatment" for these creatures is death and death by an assortment of cool, hi-powered weapons that bring a whole, new meaning to the phrase, "the right of the people to keep and bare arms shall not be infringed."

This is also a video game with some rather mature -- even downright perverted -- ideas about sexuality. The Chief Of Police in Resident Evil 2 is not only corrupt, but sexual sadist of the misogynistic sort.

This sordid little secret is gleamed by reading some diary entries, looking at the Chief's artwork he has setup around the police station and, yes, the tools located in his secret workshop.

Again, it is not as sexually explicit as say, the infamous "Hot Coffee Mood" mini game in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and the game itself is not endorsing misogyny. However, the content in Resident Evil 2 -- even the subject -- is not something suitable for all ages or interests.

The Bottom Line

Resident Evil 2 greatly improves upon all that was great, scary and downright "Night Of The Living Dead"-esque in the first Resident Evil game. Everything about Resident Evil 2 demonstrates not just the creativity of the developers, but also the amazing hardware capability of the Sony Playstation 1. If you enjoy survival horror, then you must play this game.