Written by  :  Kyle Levesque (935)
Written on  :  Nov 26, 2009
Rating  :  3.86 Stars3.86 Stars3.86 Stars3.86 Stars3.86 Stars

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What if surviving had all been just a dream? F#$%

The Good

  • The Opening is just as brilliant as the first, although very different in cinematography.

  • More unique character abilities - Blocking, Advanced Dodge, Retreat Scramble V.2, etc.

  • Backwards compatibility with RE:O File #1.

  • More fanciful settings, jungle during the day was brilliant.

  • Return of the invisible item checklist!

  • Better "Bonus" games.

  • Better Beta Testing. (That Alyssa glitch in scene 1 of the original was just unforgivable)

  • Stranger Villains, makes you feel less like a secondary char.

  • The "Ad Lib" system seems better.

  • A 'Mister X' cyborg was a nice touch.

The Bad

  • Less visceral than file #1, the colour palette is less scary, there's less blood and it feels as if they wanted to focus on game play as opposed to horror - but game play shouldn't be the focus here. RE zombies should bleed-out when they go down, not fade away - Blood should be scarlet or diluted with lymphatic fluid in the sickly pink way - y'know, horror!

  • Toucans are not scary, I'm sorry. "follooww your noooseee... braains..." Worse villain than rogue leeches - I will put up with crows because they are at least harbingers of death, but those toucans just pissed me off so much.

  • Jim. Jim was originally going to be in Resident Evil 1 - a Black comic-relief character. Jim is just so hateable. You will be dying on the floor, inhaling T-Virus microbes and cursing at the screen - The door will open - My God! Someone here to help me up so I might live! "Jim. Help!" You cry out, "NO! Screw You!" He screams, and flees back through the door. Why Jim? Why? He never helps, he never brings you the right things, he'll never willingly gives you something you want. Jim is too realistic a character, this is how most people would actually act here - because he's smart. And not funny at all.

  • I fully understand that the creators wanted people to work together and play online to get the most out of the game - thus the events that take two bodies to complete... But don't they realise that people who enjoy playing online will do so without being forced? And people who don't want to (or can't) play online simply won't. Why couldn't one of the 'companion' characters simply help with this through the 'help' function? It would still be so much harder than doing it online, because they have the attention span of a goldfish anyway - Pushing the safari cart in the Zoo while Rancor-the-Zombie-Elephant is on the rampage would be just as hair-raising with an NPC pushing alongside you.

  • Doors. I fully understand they wanted it to take longer to break down a door than to lock-pick it, that gives Alyssa purpose beyond lockers - but for the love of god doors are not that hard to break down! 5 shot-gun blasts? A clip and a half of 9mm bullets? 3 Lead-pipes? countless shoulder-checking? 75 Kevin-kicks? Why not just make Alyssa faster with a lock-pick and save me some agony?

  • Impossible no-win situations happen frequently. Not many games so often put you in a situation where you can no longer win. You will run out of ammo and have to fight the last boss with a combat knife and no healing items, sometimes through no fault of your own - but because you didn't stop your comrades from using up all the good weapon ammo. It's not "Resident Evil : Kobayashi-Maru", developers. I want to be able to win this.

The Bottom Line

I realise that the 'cons' list seems far longer here than the things I liked about this game, but really it's 10 good to 6 bad, I just felt the need to further explain the frustrating points.
  • If you don't know already I'm going to tell you - I have nothing against pre-rendered graphics that are done well and add to the atmosphere. That said, most of the game is 3D, some things are pre-rendered with lighting. Main characters and monsters are detailed, breathing animations and frightened looks are great. The motion capture is a little less than perfect, but in a smooth way rather than a choppy way. The frame rate is pretty solid although the map/item interface can cause some chopping.

  • This references my review title - The events of file #1 are moot - the characters all know each other and seem to have a vague concept of escaping, but it all seems like a dream somehow. The new story arc is fine, about as good as the first, but it feels as if the character exploration is a little less revealing.

  • As mentioned, the pallete is a little lighter, but it trades this for having more exotic locals and flora/fauna. The music is still top-notch and the sound effects are industry standard. When the Raccoon Police Department stage was revealed I was very excited!

  • Combat interface is improved through a sub-set of character unique combat skills, but the shoulder-check and to an extent the foot-stomp seem reduced from the first game - may just be the animations look less intense. Weapons are mainly the same, but there's nothing wrong with that really. The focus on killing enemies seems to have been removed and replaced with a focus on quick completion and survival.
To play this game and enjoy it requires a certain set of skills and interests on the part of the player. You should like RE as a rule, you should be well steeped in RE mythology to enjoy the in-jokes. These are essential, I think. If you like small puzzles, there are those to enjoy. If you like 'hidden-item' searches and unlocking content and characters and costumes, this is a wonderful 'collect it' game that will eat up a few months at least.

This really is an activity type game with a good blend of action, story, mini-games, collecting, team-work, and racing against a viral clock. The replay value is high, and if you own and like File #1 you should get File #2, you'll like it at least almost as much - and hey, no leech-man.