Written by  :  kbmb (435)
Written on  :  Apr 13, 2003

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How dare this abomination carry the name of its father!

The Good

It's the sequel to Resident Evil.

You get to fight Umbrella some more.

You're no longer stuck inside of a mansion.

New weapons?

I heard it's better than the ones that came after it.

The Bad

Yeah, I sure didn't write much in "The Good", did I? Now, actually, I could have written a lot more, but I'm comparing this game to the original, not as a game itself. The gameplay hasn't changed at all from the original, which might be good or bad. Probably bad, considering it could have been improved. Everything about the two games is basically the same...except for the single most important parts! The story and atmosphere!

Resident Evil 1 is my all-time favorite horror game to a console system. Why? Because it reinvented the entire "oh no we're trapped in a scary house and there are zombies everywhere!" genre. It actually had a STORY to back it up! People weren't coming back from the dead - they were infected with a disease! Umbrella was playing God and they fucked up! That was a great story, and the first time I'd ever seen a game like this that didn't feel like one giant cliche. And the atmosphere was incredible. The dark cello music playing somewhere off in the background, the sounds of something rustling outside the window, that eerie "unngghhhh" from a pained half-dead zombie scientist as he lingers toward you...it was great. It wasn't a puzzle-action game, it was a survivor game with puzzle and action elements.

When I beat the game, I had heard there was a sequel being worked on, so I immediately looked up all information I could about the game. It was a game I HAD to play. What I found, from various sources (mostly somewhat reliable, like video game magazines) was that Resident Evil 2 was going to take the series to a whole new level, having an entire town become infected and terrorized by the disease and the zombies. It promised us that you would be able to travel around an entire city this time, not being stuck inside a single mansion. Would having such open areas ruin the horrifying atmosphere of the game? Certainly not! Not if the same guys who made Resident Evil 1 worked on Resident Evil 2...no, they would even make it scarier than the first!

Well...I don't know everything. Maybe the team who made Resident Evil 1 left or something, because instead of getting the greatest game ever, a worthy sequel, heck, even a fun game, I got the biggest disappointment of my console playing life. This was not Resident Evil 2...this couldn't be.

Well, it was.

See, what I was promised was a game in which I would be able to travel around an entire city. Imagine that, being able to see all the damage the virus had done, all the infection, the destruction...the atmosphere! But, instead of being able to go anywhere around the town, you basically just go from Point A to Point B to Point C to the police station, which eventually leads you to some underground laboratory, in which you spend the rest of the game in.

City? What city? You mean that short street, alleyway and park in the beginning of the game? Pfft.

Well, it was almost refreshing by now. I mean, you're back in close-quarters, so things should be scary again, right? No, not even close. It just falls flat every single place you go. You know, I don't even remember the storyline of the second game. Why? Because I just didn't care. I held on to that hope, that loosening grasp for the glory that was in the first game, but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't do it. I had to face the facts: this was a bad game.

Like I said, I don't remember much of the story. I know it had very little, if anything to do with the events of the first game, which made it all the less exciting. It didn't really matter...it was all about killing zombies and hurting Umbrella. It was not about surviving and escaping. It was about killing and blood and guts. I've seen that before. Many times.

Did I mention how scared I was from playing the first game? It took me over a month of almost nonstop playing because it was so frightening to play. Know how long it took me to beat the second? One night. I must have played for...four hours, tops. That's it. I had it on the default difficulty, but it only took about four hours. Maybe longer...maybe shorter. I just know I beat it long before the sun came up.

The Bottom Line

Do yourself a great favor. Buy Resident Evil 1 (the remake for Gamecube is very good, I hear), play through it, and be very, very happy. And then just walk away from this series, because it's downhill (on a very steep hill) after that.