Resident Evil 2
After the residents of Raccoon City have turned into zombies by the T-virus, a biological weapon developed by Umbrella, Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield look for survivors.
This was the first time I played this game. I played through the first one on the PS1 awhile back, and this one continues where that one left off, with different characters to play as. I have to see the origins of Leon Kennedy since my favorite Resident Evil game of all time is Resident Evil 4, and he’s the star.
There are many versions of this game, such as the original PS1 version, a Dual Shock Version which adds dual shock support on the PS1, but fortunately doesn’t change the music. And even an amazing Nintendo 64 port that is very technically impressive, the way they were even able to put voice acting and the cutscenes in the game.
I’m playing the Japanese SourceNext PC version, utilizing the Classic REbirth Mod, which makes it available in English, has controller support with vibration, adds a quick turn (move backwards and press run button), and has higher resolutions (max of 1280×960). I’m also using the high quality sound mod (found on the same page as the Classic REbirth mod). This adds higher quality voiceovers from the PS1 version, and music and sounds from the GameCube and soundtrack. Additionally, I’ve applied the Resident Evil 2 HD Mod which enlarges the backgrounds from 320x240px to 1280x960px using AI, and many other assets enlarged using AI, including the CG cutscenes. Other assets have been enlarged manually, such as the interface and the fonts. I am not a fan of how the AI upscales, so I applied the Seamless HD Project Mod, which fixes a lot of the flat and rubbery textures the AI upscale causes. Occasionally, some of the text that has been redone I’ve noticed gets cut off when reading reports, which is due to the Seamless HD Project, so I restored the text from the HD Mod to fix this.
I also recommend checking out the playthrough by supergreatfriend.
Two months after the events of the first Resident Evil, on September 29, 1998, many residents in Raccoon City have become zombies by the T-virus, a biological weapon developed by Umbrella. Leon Kennedy, an officer of the Raccoon Police Department, and Claire Redfield, a college student looking for her brother, Chris Redfield, begin looking for survivors. They make their way through the zombies to the police department, to find barely any survivors. Chris also had left to investigate Umbrella’s headquarters in Europe.
There are several ways to see the story of the game. Depending on the character you start with, you’ll see their ‘A’ scenario, and will play as the other character to see their ‘B’ scenario. Depending on what you choose will not only affect some of the scenes, but also placement of items and such.
In the Raccoon Police Department, Claire finds a little girl, Sherry Birkin, who is constantly running away. Sherry indicates that her parents work for Umbrella, there is a horrible monster chasing after her. Claire reads the journal of the police chief, Brian Irons, who’s journal indicates that he thinks he’s been infected with the zombie virus and is covering up the incident by killing anyone who gets in his way, confusing the police about the situation, even cutting off all escape routes.
Claire finds a letter written by Sherry’s father, William Birkin, that tells Chief Irons to dispose of the S.T.A.R.S. members from the first game, as they have information that could go public and expose their plans and his work on the G-virus, an agent that can turn humans into the ultimate bioweapon. Claire and Sherry head down into the sewers to escape the police department.
Claire and Sherry get separated in the sewers. Claire meets Annette Birkin, Sherry’s mother, who admits that William Birkin is the monster and the one after Sherry. She explains that the US military was sent out to confiscate the virus, with HUNK being the leader of the Alpha Team gunning down William. Right before his death, William infected himself with the G-virus, but he mutated into a hideous creature. He ended up killing most of the US forces and contaminating the water supply of the city with the G-virus. William intends on implanting embryos into Sherry.
Claire finds the abandoned Umbrella labs and makes a vaccine for Sherry as the place is set to explode. Claire tells Leon to grab Sherry and head for the train below the facility to escape. As Claire heads there, William makes one final attack, but she defeats him and gets on the train with Leon and Sherry. Claire gives Sherry the remedy and she is cured.
Leon meets a woman named Ada Wong who is in Raccoon City to find her boyfriend, John, who works for Umbrella. She wants his help to find a man named Ben who knows more about the zombie outbreak. They find him but he only tells them to get out of the police station via the sewers.
Later, Ben dies and Ada has a brief run in with Sherry, and she drops a locket of her family. Ada and Leon head towards the sewers and Ada runs after Annette Birkin, Sherry’s mother, who sees Sherry’s locket around Ada’s neck and gets angry. Inside the locket is a sample of the G-virus that Annette put there.
Ada and Leon head for Umbrella labs, but Ada is wounded from William Birkin’s attack, and the two end up getting separated. However, Annette approaches Leon telling him that Ada is a spy who wants to steal the G-virus, becoming John’s boyfriend to get information about it. Shortly after, Leon and Ada reunite, but she is attacked by a tyrant and dies.
Claire contacts Leon, telling him to grab Sherry and head for the train below the facility to escape. However, a tyrant attacks Leon, causing him serious damage, but Ada, still alive, throws down a rocket launcher for him to destroy it. He kills the tyrant and heads for the train. Claire administers the vaccine to Sherry and they escape.
Except the train is attacked by William Birkin, his final transformation. The self-destruction sequence is activated on the train and the only way off is to stop the train and escape through the tunnel the train was in before it explodes. They are successful as the train explodes in the tunnel, killing Birkin. The three set off to take on Umbrella.
Similar to Claire A, but Leon is not in charge of Sherry, but will still meet Ada. There are some minor differences and cutscenes here and there. Leon doesn’t encounter the Mr. X tyrant, and Ada is the one who is injured by Birkin on the train. Leon gets a G-virus sample from Annette Birkin, but Ada approaches him and admits she’s a spy and demands Leon hand over the G-virus sample, but she doesn’t have it in her to shoot him. She is shot by Annette and falls to her death. He throws away the G-virus. Leon reunites with Claire and Sherry and they all escape.
Similar to Leon B, but Claire will not meet Ada, but will be in charge of Sherry. There are some minor differences and cutscenes here and there. Claire encounters the Mr. X tyrant who is after the G-virus sample in Sherry’s locket, and the whole scenario about Sherry having William Birkin’s embryo inside of her is completely gone. Sherry witnesses the death of her mother in the Umbrella labs. William Birkin attacks the train (like in Leon B) and Claire must defeat it for all of them to escape. Claire also is ambitious about finding her brother, Chris.
This is a classic survival horror game where you control either Leon Kennedy or Claire Redfield. They both control identically. Most of the controls will be run, aim, shoot, and interact. Ammo is not as scarce as it is in the first game, so you can pump those zombies full of lead as much as you want. The zombies may be laying on the ground, still alive, to trick you. The only way to make sure they are dead is when they bleed out. The environment also isn’t as scary as the first game. There is something scarier about being in a creepy mansion invaded by zombies than it is being held up in the police department.
Much like the prior game, your inventory space is limited, but there are chests around to store items in. Key items are used to solve puzzles, and items that no longer have a use (such as keys) can be discarded when they are done. Herbs are still used to heal, with green, red, and blue able to be found. Green will heal, blue will heal poison, and red must be combined with one or both of the others to boost their traits. Saving is also still limited and requires ink ribbons.
Items can be hidden at times, and if you’re not standing in the exact right spot, then you may not pick up the item. Or, if you don’t walk over to a certain spot where the camera angle will change, you may miss something important.
During Claire’s game, you play as Sherry for a brief period of time, and she has no weapons and must avoid enemies. While during Leon’s scenario you play as Ada for a brief period of time and she can move quicker and has a gun. Claire also has a lock pick to open drawers for items, while Leon requires keys.
After you complete the game as one character, a save is created to play as the other character on their “B” scenario. There will be some differences. There are a few moments in the game where a decision that’s made in the first scenario is reflected in the second scenario.
If you complete the game under certain requirements, you’ll unlock an unlimited machine gun, rocket launcher, and gatling gun available in the storage box. These make killing zombies super easy. Also, if you make it to the police station without picking up any items, you’ll meet Brad (pilot from the first game) as a zombie waiting on a lower area. Killing him will grant you a special key to unlock lockers to change costumes. Leon has two, Claire has one. However, Claire’s also comes with a weapon.
When starting a new game, you can choose either original or arrange. If choosing arrange, the items will be in different spots and autoaim will be off. There are also a few special modes, such as 4th Survivor (HUNK), Tofu Survivor, Extreme Battle and Gallery.
In both 4th Survivor and Tofu Survivor, you must make it to a designated helicopter pickup point, avoiding zombies and other deadly enemies along the way. HUNK has multiple weapons and some herbs, while all Tofu has is a knife and a few herbs. There are no items during the game. There is a timer and you try to complete your best time. You have to make it from the beginning of the sewers to the helipad, and you have to go the long way around. All this to deliver the G-Virus sample to Umbrella. Upon completing either mission, the sample gets to Umbrella…to be continued…
In Extreme Battle, there are three difficulty levels. You can play as Claire, Leon, Ada, and Chris Redfield (who wasn’t in the main game). Each character has different starting items. It plays like a combination of the main game and the survivor challenges. There are a lot more enemies, which are randomized, but also an item box to store items and there are items to find, which are randomized. Your main objective is to find four bombs, which are also randomized, to detonate them and get rid of the virus on the train. You start in the Umbrella labs and have to make it all the way to the police station. Upon getting all four bombs, you’ll automatically place them on the train and the scenario will end.
The gallery features a lot of concept art and 3D models of the characters and enemies.
Without the mods, the game has static low resolution backgrounds that will look pixelated and items and characters will stand out if playing at higher resolutions. But, with the HD mods on, the backgrounds look amazing and there is no noticeable difference between the characters, items, and pre-rendered backgrounds, which actually makes it harder to find crucial items.
Sound / Music
The voice acting has been greatly improved over the first game. It actually sounds like they are trying to say the lines correctly. The music is also dark and atmospheric, fitting the environment of the game.