Resident Evil 2

a game by Capcom
Genre: Action
Platforms: Dreamcast, Nintendo 64Nintendo 64, PC, Playstation
Editor Rating: 9.7/10, based on 19 reviews, 20 reviews total
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 17 votes
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See also: Monsters Games, Resident Evil Games, Zombie Games

Although Resident Evil 2-the sequel to Capcom's overrated Resident Evil horror adventure - has been out for some time on Sony's ubiquitous PlayStation, there's still a lot of people out there who have yet to play it. For those of a squeamish disposition, it may have been something of a conscious decision - after all, Resident Evil 2 is one of the goriest games of all time. And one of the best, for that matter.

Horrible

What made Resident Evil 2 so appealing almost a year ago still applies to the PC version we're presented with today: it's a bloody scary game. The far-fetched plot, about a guy called Leon who bumps into a girl called Claire, who together discover a town full of zombies, is kept down to earth by clever scripting and gritty storytelling.

It starts off horribly enough, with your character surrounded by zombies - and all you've got to defend yourself with is a gun and a few bullets. After that... well, the story twists and turns, the monsters get meaner and more gruesome, and.the amazing movie-like atmosphere digs in deeper and deeper.

Disgusting

You can play Resident Evil 2 as either Leon (the cop) or Claire (the sister of the lead guy from the first game), and then, when you've completed it, you can play through it again as the other character. Amazingly, the second time around the game introduces new situations, monsters and story elements to the plot, as if rewarding you for your previous hard work. Finish the game again and there are more secret characters (apparently, one more than the PlayStation version), and harder challenges to discover. And finish it twice you will strive to do, mark my words.

Obscene

In terms of graphics, it has to be said that we've experienced better recently. Resident Evil 2 is not 'full' 3D, with a roving camera and all that. But that shouldn't put you off, as the overall presentation is stunning, particularly the fire effects and the brilliantly rendered (but sometimes blocky) backdrops. Special note must also be made of the eerie music and subtle sound effects, both of which add much to the mis en scene.

Brilliant!

But at the end of the day there are two things you should ask yourself before rushing out to buy this wickedly essential game. Firstly: have you played the PlayStation version through already? Secondly: are you a poof when it comes to a bit of blood and guts? If the answer to either is 'yes', you should give Resident Evil2a miss. If, on the other hand, you appreciate quality adventure games, like a good scare and don't mind spilling a bit of claret along the way, this is the game for you. Buy it and scream.

Arrange Mode

A new difficulty level has been introduced to make things easier for first-time players. Selecting 'Arrange Mode' starts you off with a machine-gun and infinite bullets, and gives you all the major weapons when you get to the first storage chest It's a very risky option to include from the off, and some players may be tempted to blast their way lazily through the game without playing it properly. Be advised: you're better off leaving this well alone until after you've played through on Normal - the tense atmosphere created by this game is partly down to the scarcity of weapons and ammo.

Download Resident Evil 2

Dreamcast Download

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Nintendo 64 Download

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

PC Download

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Playstation Download

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Without a doubt, Resident Evil 2 is one of the greatest games ever made. It's an action/ adventure game that originally came out earlier this year for Sony's ubiquitous PlayStation, and is now finally slated for release on PC.

It caused quite a stir, not only because of its violent visuals, but also because of the awesome numbers in which it sold (over three million worldwide, last count). Developers Capcom created the computer gaming equivalent of George Romero's horror movie classic. Day Of The Dead - a concoction of dead-end scares and flesh-chewing shocks.

Set in the mysteriously deserted Raccoon City (like the first Resident Evil), you play the role of either Leon, a rookie cop assigned to the local police department, or Claire Redfield, brother of Chris Red field (the lead character from the first game). Both characters have their own agenda, weapons and path through the story (you can start as either character, then change over and play through the game again, albeit in a completely different way), all of which is set up in the awesomely impressive introductory sequence.

Resident Evil 2 plays pretty much the same as Resident Evil 1, with 3D characters 'skating' over pre-rendered backdrops, but the dialogue and storyline have been hugely improved. PC owners who bought and played the first game may have been put off by the atrocious voice-overs and hammy acting, but this time they will find themselves gripped in the tangled web of mystery and intrigue that is this game's unfolding plot.

Graphically, Resident Evil 2 is light years ahead of its predecessor - especially the disgustingly animated zombies, which seem to proliferate in every darkened corner of the game. And, as if your blood pressure wasn't high enough, a sprinkling of deliriously scary set-pieces have been dropped into strategically positioned portions of the game. Of course, Capcom are planning to support virtually every 3D accelerator known to man (and not just PowerVR, as with the prequel), so speed and smoothness should not be an issue. A software version is also in the pipeline, we believe.

One thing that is likely to generate some complaint from the PC gameplaying fraternity is the save system - one thing that has been retained from the original game. Again, you are forced to rely on infrequently-placed typewriters and inventory-filling ink ribbons to retain your hard-earned position in the game, although - to be honest - it shouldn't turn out to be too annoying and it does add to the tension.

The only downside to this would be if you've already played the game all the way through on the PlayStation. If you have, there really wouldn't be much point in buying it to play on PC because Resident Evil 2 is essentially a direct port of the console version.

If you haven't seen anything of the game at this point, though, you can be sure of one hell of a scare come February when Resident Evil 2 bleeds onto our hard drives.

The original Resident Evil game was a groundbreaking success in the horror genre, leaving a lot of expectations on its sequel. However, Resident Evil 2 manages to surprise and satisfy, by improving on an already solid foundation. Resident Evil 2 places players once again into a zombie apocalypse, this time taking place in the small town of Racoon City. Players can control either Leon Kennedy or Claire Redfield, two protagonists with unique gameplay and weapons. Resident Evil 2 manages to stand out from the original game due to its interesting locations, great enemies, and grotesque monster designs.

Like in the original Resident Evil game, Resident Evil 2 is all about surviving the zombie apocalypse unraveling around you. The game is more about evading zombies than outright killing them, as you'll rarely have the ammo to take down your enemies. Healing sprays and medicinal herbs are just as rare, which means you'll have to be cautious when exploring. A lot of your time will be spent scouring the map and looking for unique items that will Aid you in your progress. Puzzles and various obstacles block your way, so you'll have to use your brain as well.

One of the biggest features of Resident Evil 2 is the two protagonist system, which changes how the game is played depending on who you choose. Leon is a bit slower to control, but has a good variety of firepower. Claire is quicker, but her arsenal often requires more precision than speed. Both characters are interesting and fun to play as, and the variety in game play makes them both worth playing as.

Furthermore, the game is packed with new modes that encourage repeat playthroughs. After finishing the game with one character, you can continue with the opposite, experiencing new locations and puzzles. Both Leon and Claire have their own separate stories, and while they do intersect from time to time, they're unique enough to feel fresh. You're also rewarded with better guns and other cool modes by finishing the game with a high rank. Generally speaking, Resident Evil 2 gives you a reason to keep coming back for more mayhem time and time again.

If there's any downside to Resident Evil 2, it rests in the camera and character controls. Like the original game, your camera perspective is always from a fixed angle, which can make it tough to navigate. Furthermore, your character controls like a tank, which can cause you to turn and move the wrong way. Resident Evil 2 has seen a few remix, and each successive release of the game has seen some improvements in these regards. Most notably, a remake in 2019 updated the camera view and controls to feel more natural.

Regardless, Resident Evil 2 stands up is one of the best horror games of all time. The duel narrative between Leon and Claire is interesting and gives gamers a reason to return to the main story even after they've completed it. Successive unlocks keep gameplay fresh, and the environments and atmosphere stays appropriately creepy. Although the controls can feel a bit weird at times, once you get used to them, you'll find them to be serviceable. If you liked the original Resident Evil, Resident Evil 2 gives you more great survival horror gameplay with even better unlockables and varied storylines.

Yup, both RE2 and 3 are coming to the Dreamcast this month. What has Capcom included for part 2 besides the higher resolution? A gallery to view concept art, character and enemy models, and CG movies, plus the Arrange and Extreme Battle modes from the PlayStation Dual Shock edition. Best of all, the VMU displays not only your health status, but also how much ammo you have left in your weapon.

Prepare to return to Raccoon City. Capcom is about to unleash Resident Evil 2 on an unsuspecting gaming world (Well, after the success of the first game, maybe not too unsuspecting) in spring of '97

The sequel picks up right after the first game. It seems that after the mansion in the first game was destroyed, the residents of Raccoon City have fallen prey to an unexplainable skin disease. Things only get worse when the disease causes everyone who is sticker) with it to become a zombie.

In addition to the city being infested with zombies. Umbrella's (the organization behind the biological experiments in the first game) other test subjects are running free. Raccoon City has definitely seen brighter days.

Apparently, our heroes from the first game. Chris and Jill "the master of unlocking." are taking a well-deserved vacation in RE2. The role of the good guys is left up to two brand-new characters.

Leon Kennedy is a rookie cop who has found a safe haven in the Raccoon City police department, despite the fact that all of his fellow officers have joined the ranks of the living dead. He soon meets up with Elza Walker, a 19-year-old college student who ended up at the police station after dodging zombies on the city streets while she was riding her motorcycle.

Considering that Resident Evil was one of the most popular (not to mention best-selling) PlayStation games ever. Resident Evil 2 is practically guaranteed to be a hit.

  • MANUFACTURER - CAPCOM
  • THEME - ACTION
  • NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1

The first Resident Evil game gave PlayStation owners a reason to shout. Blood, gore and a macabre setting that hasn't been duplicated since...well, until now.

Due to hit the PlayStation in the spring of '97 is the sequel, and what a game it's shaping up to be! By looking at the latest screen shots, it's already apparent that this time around, there will be more than just zombies to worry about.

Set in Racoon City, Leon Kennedy (rookie cop, investigator extraordinaire) and Elza Walker (a 19-year-old college student) try to get to the bottom of the outbreak of zombie-itis. Chaos and mayhem ensue as the two try to stop the zombies and Umbrella, the organization that genetically created the disease.

Trapped inside Racoon City's police station, our intrepid heroes slash their way through wave after wave of zombies. Although still early, there's a possibility that you can wander around the rest of the city as well. If that's the case, this will be one huge adventure sure to satiate any gamer's thirst for blood.

If Resident Evil 2 is as good as the first, Capcom will have another record-selling hit on their hands. Stay tuned to future issues of EGM for the latest information on what could become the hottest game of '97.

When Resident Evil was first released on the PlayStation, it quickly became one of the system's top titles.

To date, Resident Evil is the best-selling PlayStation title in the U.S., so it's no surprise that Capcom is following up the game with a sequel. Riding on the heels of the first game, Resident Evil 2 looks like it just might eclipse the macabre look and feel of the original.

The sequel begins where the first one left off. After discovering the biogenetic experiments going on in Racoon City, the team of S.T.A.R.S. have left. The town's citizens are slowly recovering from the disastrous experiments conducted there. Little do they know that they are slowly being zombified by a skin rash that is spreading like wildfire across the town.

Resident Evil 2 (called BioHazard 2 in Japan), introduces us to two new characters. Leon Scott Kennedy is a rookie cop who is just beginning his beat in Racoon City, and Elza Walker, daredevil motorcycle stunt racer and college student extraordinaire. When the terror of the skin rash first reveals itself, the two find themselves in the police station, which you'd think would be the safest place in the city. When you have bloodsucking zombies on your trail, no place is completely safe from the threat of attack. Droves upon droves of living undead make their way to the hub, hoping to turn the rookie cop and college student into a late-night snack.

Add to the already menacing zombies a few of the experiments Umbrella had been working on (that have freed themselves in the chaos that has fallen upon the city), and you have one major problem on your hands.

What you see on the following two pages are screens from a videotape of the game, so we can't yet comment on the gameplay or plot line just yet. But just looking at these screens tells you that this won't be a game to be taken lightly. Shinji Mikami. the designer of the original game, has been working to make this game a whole lot more than just your average sequel. During the development of the first game, there were game-play features that were left out of the final game because of time constraints. Now that Mikami-san has the time needed to develop the game in the way that he originally wanted, the game will have a lot more depth (not that the first one didn't).

It is unclear yet as to whether the game will let you explore areas other than just the police station, but you can bet since Capcom has said that the game will be bigger than the original, the possibility of travelling through adjacent buildings will be part of the adventure.

Capcom is looking to accurately translate the game from Japanese to English this time around. Simone Seydoux, Capcom's product marketing manager says. "I think we're all going to miss the 'master of unlocking,"' a translation error from the first RE.

"We at Capcom have a deep affection for Resident Evil," Seydoux said, "...we're also waiting with the legion of fans who've played the first game to play and be frightened by the new Resident Evil 2."

We can't wait to play it either. Look for more details on this game soon.

First, the bad news: This eagerly awaited sequel has been delayed again--until the first quarter of next year! The good news: It looks like Resident Evil 2 will be another violent, horrifying masterpiece that's well worth the wait, as these screens show.

RE2 stays true to the pre-rendered background format of its predecessor, but story-wise, Jill and Chris are history as RE2 introduces two new characters: Elza, a university student, and Leon, a rookie cop. This time the mayhem takes place in an overrun police precinct that's crawling with zombies, mutated dogs, and other monsters. Time to find some weapons and survive!

RE2 will be a two-CD set, and, by the way, there's also a version of the first Resident Evil game in the works for the Saturn.

Graphics Take Two

The game that made the PlayStation such a viable game machine last year is back with another zombie-butt-kicking action-test. Resident Evil 2 is still in its early stages, but these early pics already have us drooling for more!

The Story

This time, the backdrop isn't limited to just a haunted mansion. Two months after the first RE ends, the whole freakin' town is infected by a strange skin disease that turns citizens into zombies. Bummer.

The Heroes

You play as either a rookie cop, Leon Kennedy, trying to get past fellow officers who are now zombies, or a college student, Elza Walker, who escapes the haunted town of Raccoon City and seeks refuge at the police station. Unfortunately, most of the cops want to munch on more than donuts!

Stay Tuned

Get ready to rock with more firepower, more body snackin', and a ton more gore than before. This is definitely going to be a Scary Larry kind of game!

If you haven't heard of the Resident Evil series (Biohazard in Japan), chances are you've been living in a cave for the last five years. Capcom's frighteningly popular "Survival Horror" series has sold more copies worldwide than any other PlayStation franchise aside from Final Fantasy, and now, thanks to some amazing programming by the folks at Angel Studios, the second game in the series is coming home to the Nintendo 64. The N64 version of Resident Evil 2 is pretty much identical to the PlayStation Dual Shock edition, minus the Extreme Battle mode that was exclusive to that version of the game. Everything from the original game's two CDs--including ALL the FMV sequences and the bonus "4th Survivor" and "Tofu Survivor" missions--is intact, and now the game can be played in hi-res with an Expansion Pak. Never mind the fact that the game itself is excellent--it's also a technological miracle. Needless to say, the folks at Angel Studios deserve much praise for this astonishing feat.

Additionally, RE2 for the N64 offers some minor tweaks and additions to the game that make it worth playing through again if you're a fan of the original. The game's creators have gone in and added 16 new "EX Files" (eight for each quest) which explain some of the more intricate details of the overall Resident Evil story. There are even some bits that tie in with RE3 and Code: Veronica, which is very cool. Also, users can adjust the game's violence levels, and after finishing the game once, a randomizer will shuffle around certain items to alter the experience a bit. One thing we didn't mention in the main review--it would've been nice if Capcom added a 1800 turn feature like the ones in RE3 and Dino Crisis. Once you've used it, it's hard to go back to the old way of turning around. Oh well. An amazing game nonetheless.

People say:

9

Before I begin, let me make something clear to owners of the PS version of Resident Evil 2: Unless you're an RE superfreak (like me), you probably don't need to bother with this one. The differences are too subtle for anyone but hardcore RE fans to notice. However, if you ARE an RE nut, I highly recommend this baby, not only for the gooey nostalgic feeling it'll bring upon you, but because a) now you can play it in hi-res, and more importantly b) it's got a set of 16 new "EX Files" that reveal some interesting plot points that RE fans will die for. And if you're just a regular oP N64 owner who's never played RE2 before, go buy this right now. It's one of the best adventure games (or "Survival Horror," if you will) of all time, anc it'll scare the living crap out of you more times than any low-budget "witch" movie could ever hope to. It's got a great story as well, and it's got lots of replay value since there are two quests (Leon and Claire), which each differ depending on whose quest you take up first. The fact that Angel Studios pulled this off just amazes me. They managed to pack two CDs' worth of game (FMVs and all) onto one tiny 64-Meg cart. And the FMV quality isn't half bad! (The voices are a little tinny, though.) All that's missing is the Extreme Battle mode from RE2: DS, but oh well. How can anyone complain with all this?

9

The N64 library needs a game like RE2, and you couldn't ask for a better port of the PlayStation mega-seller. Characters and backgrounds are ultra sharp. The sound effects are incredible. And even if the FMV is a little grainy, who cares--I'm just happy to see it all crammed into this N64 cart. The scattered extra documents are nothing special, but the game-play is as classic as ever. It's about time N64 owners got a taste of survival horror.

9

Reviewing this strictly as an N64 title (I'm assuming you don't have RE2 for the PS already), I have to say, this is a must-buy. Nothing on the N64 is like it--it's a refreshingly unique and chillingly scary game that N64 owners will probably embrace (seeing as how the system has too many cute and colorful "kiddie" games). This is an excellent translation of one of the PS' best games. If you want to experience engrossing survival horror, here's your chance.

9

If you're an N64 owner and never got to experience RE2, then this is the perfect time to. There's nothing missing here from the PlayStation version, including the full-motion video (albeit grainy). Ingame graphics are especially nice-looking in hi res--better than the PS. There's a hint of slowdown when a lot of zombies are swarming around you, but nothing that detracts from gameplay. Too bad it couldn't have come out a little earlier.

The horror, the horror

Moaning zombies! Exploding heads! Murderous genetic mutations! Bad acting! It can only be Capcom's Resident Evil 2, and now, more than 18 months after it spewed blood over PlayStation owners, it makes the jump to the tombstone-like slab of an N64 cartridge.

Since N64 owners have been denied a chance to witness the events of the first Resident Evil game. Resident Evil 2 has some extra files lying around the place that help fill in the history. The overall villain of the whole series is the corrupt Umbrella corporation (don't you love it when the Japanese just apply English words at random?), which has been experimenting rather sloppily with viruses that can alter the genetic make-up of living beings. The unfortunate side-effect of this is that almost every human that comes into contact with the virus turns into a flesh-eating zombie!

The first game focused on a pair of cops, Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, who uncovered Umbrella's plot and had to battle way to safety through an army of zombies. Now, the heroes are Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield, a rookie cop having a miserable first day on the force and the sister of Chris paying him an unexpected visit respectively. It's up to them to escape from the zombie-filled environs of Racoon City (more great Japlish) and do what they can to stop the Umbrella conspiracy from opening wider.

Flash Eaters

For a long time, naysayers insisted that it would be impossible to transfer Resident Evil 2 to the N64, simply because of the size of the game - the PlayStation version came on two CDs, or a hulking 10400Mbits in Nintendo terms - that's the equivalent of over 160 carts the size of Super Mario 64! Yet the game is all here. Developer Angel Studios has taken a pint pot and managed to squeeze a supertanker into it.

Impressively, the game contains all c the PlayStation's FMV cut-scenes - and that's quite a lot. Even with a massive 5i2Mbit cart to play with (that's a whopping 64Mb, or the memory of a typical modern PC) the footage has had to be massively compressed, which often results in graininess and major pixelisation, but it's still dear enough to show you all the gory, nasty details.

Resident Evil 2 is played out with polygon characters superimposed over pre-rendered backdrops. If you have an Expansion Pak, all the characters are in hi-res, but the backgrounds stay the same whatever mode you're in. As for as we could tell, the N64 version of Resident Evil 2 is an exact translation of the PlayStation game, I with a couple of extra features added to I keep people on, their toes. The compression used to fit all of the backgrounds into the cart does give an odd Scooby Doo kind of look to things - all the polygonal characters and objects stand out a mile from the slightly blurry pre-rendered scenery. On the plus side, it makes spotting objects easier.

Dawn of the Dead

The biggest change in gameplay - and a most welcome one - is the addition of a proper analogue control system to the game. Although you can play with the PlayStation's d-pad move-rotate-move system if you want, the 'first person' (actually nothing of the sort) method is a lot better. It does take a little practice to get used to it, because the system that the programmers have used to deal with changes in camera angles as you move about a room isn't always 100 percent effective, but it's massively superior to the digital control once you get the hang of it. Dodging crowds of zombies is no longer the nightmare it was - now you just point the stick in the direction you want to run, and leg it!

There are initially two ways to play the game. At the start, you get to choose between controlling Leon or Claire. Leon's mission is slightly harder, because Claire is able to carry more items, and also has a lockpick that she can use to get extra first aid sprays out of locked cupboards. Their missions are also slightly different, the two meeting different people along the way.

Capcom calls the Resident Evil games 'survival horror', which in practice means they're adventure games with a lot of fighting and the occasional shock moment. If you're not expecting the latter, they really do make you jump - we can vouch for that! Helping the atmosphere enormously are the sound effects and music, which create an uneasy feeling that something horrible is about to happen. It's a technique that's been utilised in films for decades when directors want to get the audience shivering with anticipation for the next fright, and it works just as effectively on a videogame.

Bite Me

The adventure part of the game comes from the numerous puzzles that have to be cracked to open up new areas. If there's one area where Resident Evil 2 suffers, it's here - in a game where such effort has been put into making everything feel realistic and creating a suitably unnerving atmosphere, the realisation that the puzzles are as contrived and illogical as anything you'd find back in the days of text adventures on the ZX Spectrum is a bit disappointing. Having to find hidden jewels and medals to unlock doors almost feels out of place. One moment you're blasting zombies in the face with a shotgun, the next you're poncing about pushing statues onto pressure pads.

Fortunately, the game as a whole is strong enough to overcome this annoyance, and also the terrible acting in the plentiful cut-scenes. Even so, one missed opportunity with this cartridge- based incarnation of the game was the chance to fix the long pauses in conversations as the PlayStation loaded in each piece of speech from CD. It might have meant having to re-time the animation in the cut-scenes, but it would have avoided the inadvertently comic Pinteresque pauses when characters talk. "Take this!" Pause "But-" Pause "Go now!" Very long pause until your character twigs that the object being thrust into their face is actually a gun and not, say, a piece of cheese

Crimson Tide

Gore and horror are what the Resident Evil games built their reputations on, and N64 Resident Evil 2 lives up to the family motto of 'Goreus Maximus Splattus'. If you're a wuss, you can lower the level of violence (within limits - firing a crossbow into somebody's stomach is hardly a caring act, even if the victim is already dead) and change the colour of the blood to green, or even blue for that aristocratic feel. Hey, they've got to do something now the House of Lords has been dumped. However, any normal person will instantly whack the violence level to full and the blood to the reddest of all reds so they can play the game as Its makers truly intended.

Zombies are everywhere, but luckily they're neither smart nor quick on their feet. They can take up to eight pistol shots to put down for good, though, so it's often to your advantage simply to dodge them and save ammo. Unfortunately, there are plenty of other enemies, and they're not as easy to get away from! The giant spiders lurking in the sewers are probably the most unpleasant monsters on the N64, and they're by no means the most deadly creatures you'll encounter.

This is a game that offers a lot of challenge. Even If you know exactly where everything is and can take out each monster with the minimum number of shots, completing the game will still take you over two hours. First-time players can expect to multiply that estimate by at least five, and can also expect to have their character tom to pieces and eaten at regular intervals. Completing the game isn't enough, though - to get the 'good' ending you have to have already beaten game characters, and then play through it again - this time with the vital objects you need scattered throughout random locations! We didn't have time to find out if the two secret characters (Hunk and Tofu) are in the game, but since everything else made it across from the PlayStation we're pretty certain that they are. That's a future Scorezone challenge sorted out, then!

Bloody Marvellous

Resident Evil 2 is not just a great game, but also proof that the N64 can do the supposedly impossible when developers put their minds to it. Fitting a two-CD game onto a single cart is an incredible achievement, and N64 Resident Evil 2 plays exactly the same as the PlayStation game - it even has a few extras. It's also a very welcome move away from the legions of character-led platform games that have recently been infesting the console, giving gamers the chance to play something a bit different. Given the choice of fighting cartoon crocodiles by bombarding them with fruit, or blowing the living dead clean in half with a 12-bore and having their rotting torso keep crawling after you, there are plenty of people who would much rather do the latter.

Sure, there are some people who'll complain that the backgrounds aren't as sharp as they should be, or that the speech is rather tinny; but since it's a choice between either compressed audio and video or no game at all, that's a pointless argument.

What you get with Resident Evil 2 is not only the best version to date of a fantastic game, but a new N64 title with enormous longevity, vast challenge and enough brain-exploding gore to choke Jason Vorhees. So it's a PlayStation port, and a fairly old one at that. So what? It's also an absolute must-have game. If you're old enough to buy it, buy it. If you're not, get someone else to buy it for you and 'assure' them you'll play it with the gore turned off. What better way could there be to start a new century than with gored and blood-soaked ultra-violence?

When Capcom revealed that they'd decided to join Nintendo party, we were pleased. When they told that their first game on the N64 would be a Tetris game starting Mickey Mouse, we were a little disappointed. It was a bit like booking David Bowie to play at your birthday party, only to be disappointed by him performing only his 'fantastic' new material.

Thankfully, by the time Magical Tetris Challenge appeared, Capcom had come to their senses, and proceded to port their hugely successful Resident Evil 2 from the PlayStation to the N64/ It was always going to be a huge undertaking, especially as the plan from the start was to squeeze everything –including the game's impressive pre-rendered cut-scenes- into a 512Mbit cart. Have Capcom managed to puli it off? Read on to find out…

Ghost House

Until Leon takes the train to the Umbrella Organisation's secret laboratory, the Raccoon City Police Station is where much of Resi 2 takes place, with new areas of the cop shop opening up as you solve puzzles and find keys - think of it as a smaller, zombie-infested, indoor version of Zelda's Hyrule Field if you like. At first the number of cryptic messages, hidden jewels and keys in the police department seems to stretch credibility - but a twist in the tale late in the game reveals that the officers of Raccoon City aren't quite as innocent as they seem...

Hi-Resident Evil

Resident Evil 2 utilises the expansion pak, and to stunning effect. With enhanced visuals, the real time 3D of Leon and his zombie friends is virtually indistinguishable from the incredible pre-rendered backgrounds, and moves slickly at all times. In high-res. it's also a lot easier to see your way (and make out lurking nasties) in the murkier areas of the game.

Make The Undead Dead

Only half of Rea 2's puzzles consist of finding keys - you'll also need to track down bigger and better guns if you're hoping to stay alive.

Knife

Useless. A zombie will only succumb after approximately 25 stabs with the knife, so it's imperative never to run out of ammo for your guns.

Pistol

With at least three shots needed to take down the weakest of zombies, the pistol is pitifully poor.

Handy for shooting the beaks off crows, though.

Shotgun

This noisy beauty is able to knock down several of the undead with one shot, and it's the only option against the crawling, head-eating Lickers.

Magnum

This is more like it. When you bump into Resi 2's bosses, or a giant acid-spitting spider, the booming Magnum is the weapon of choice.

Creepshow

The range of blood-sucking bad guys in Resi 2 is surprisingly small, but they're a horrifying bunch, and have a habit of bumping into you just as you sprint around a blind comer. The default shambling zombies are bad, the advanced, 'naked' version is worse, and the 'Look mum no legs!' torso-only variation, which claws its way forwards and bites into your shins, is truly skin-crawling.

Honourable mentions also to the man-sized tarantulas, the mutant leaping dogs, and the giant moth near the end of the game, which sadly can't be killed by putting a lightbulb nearby and waiting for it to bum its own wings off.

The first words that you see as the Resident Evil 2 cart starts up are "This game contains excessive violence and gore". And it isn't joking. We can't find a more appropriate phrase to describe a young man's body splitting in half from neck to waist and a blood-drenched insect crawling out of his ravaged intestines and scuttling away into the sewers, than 'excessively gory'.

Capcom's Resident Evil series has been serving up this unique brand of stomach-churning magic on the PlayStation for several years. The first game - which we'll never see on the N64 - featured a crack police squad being bumped off one by one as they explored a zombie-filled mansion. This sequel, arriving on Nintendo two years after its first appearance on Sony's grey box, stars another policeman, another giant building (Raccoon City police station), and another batch of the moaning, shambling undead.

Despite Resident Evil 2 being hailed as state-of-the-art back in 1997, this version is bound to disappoint you at first, because it has its roots in an era before Super Mario 64! arrived to carve up the rules and boundaries of gaming. The awkward 'rotate and run' controls (the most effective control system of those on offer) belongs to a time before analogue sticks - which is why using the D-pad feels more natural - and the need to actually press a button to climb stairs is almost endearingly antiquated. Frustratingly, even the infamous Resident Evil door-opening animation - designed to mask loading times on the original CD version - pops up between rooms on the N64 cart.

However, thanks to its power to shock, surprise and scare half to death, Resi 2 is still an utterly absorbing adventure. The map is small, and filled with only a handful of different monsters, and yet you'll never get the chance to relax. At every turn you'll find impressive pre-rendered cut-scenes, stunning backdrops, haunting movie-quality music and ingenious camera angles employed to maintain the intense atmosphere of foreboding and fear. Whether Leon is slowly backing away from approaching zombies, tip-toeing around a mutant dog feeding on human remains, or sprinting down a darkly-lit corridor towards who knows what, you will be scared rigid.

Admittedly, since Resi 2 appeared on the PlayStation, we've been spoiled by the character acting in games like Acclaim's Shadowman, and, subsequently, the 'quality' of Resi 2's cut-scene acting occasionally ruins the moment. Leon often reacts to grisly deaths and bleeding colleagues with a nonchalant "Oh, man!", as though he'd just dropped a pound coin down a drain, and his hopeless flirtatious asides to various females will make you squirm. The visual acting isn't any better: near the end of the game, a woman is crushed beneath a falling roof support. It's meant to be dramatic - instead, it's unintentionally hilarious.

But not even hammy acting can dampen the thrill of Resident Evil 2's many shocks and scares. Your enemies are genuinely frightening - zombies which make sudden lunges as you sprint past, cockroaches which envelop and kill you if you pause for a second, dogs which won' run unless you do - and they're topped off by some of the most hair-raising moments in gaming history. We won't spoil them for you, except to describe the feeling of utter dread we experienced as we searched a dead body in an eerily quiet corridor, and found ourselves reading the words, "It's head is missing. 11 seems to have been twisted off".

Unsurprisingly, in a game based so heavily on one-off incidents, the actual game takes a back-seat to jump out of your seat moments. The most you'll be expected to do is work out that a diamond-shaped key fits a diamond shaped lock, or find a missing cog for a broken clock. In fact, the puzzles soon begin to get in the way of the continuing story, with all the running back and forth needed to fetch, store, retrieve and use objects and keys. More than once, when we found Leon's tiny pockets full at precisely the point where we needed to grab a vital object, we intentionally wasted a first aid spray in order to avoid running all the way back to one of the game's item storage chests.

It's lucky, then, that most of Resi 2 involves shooting the limbs off increasingly gruesome monsters. The controls will frustrate you, with the nonanalogue aiming making some of the boss battles more difficult than they should be, but every moment with a monster is so perfectly pitched - you'll never have enough weaponry or ammo to make any fight a formality - that the game is pleasingly challenging from start to finish. That's something that few non-Nintendo N64 games can boast.

There's not all that much to Resident Evil 2 - the main game will only take a few hours to complete, the bonus quests featuring Leon's sidekick Claire and other characters are gimmicky, and the N64-exclusive 'object location randomizer' doesn't add much in the way of longevity. But what there is will hook you immediately and completely - and if it doesn't have you leaping from your chair in shock at least once, you must be dead.

Zombie came is Resident Evil 2

As we revealed a couple of months back, Capcom is definitely releasing a Resident Evil game for the N64. More details have now come through -- development will be handled by American software house Angel Studios, and the game itself will be based on PlayStation Resident Evil 2... with some improvements.

Many people were sceptical about fitting a Resident Evil game onto a cartridge, but Angel Studios has developed some special compression software for the numerous detailed backgrounds for each scene. The software works so well that N64 Resident Evil 2 may even be in hi-res! Exploding zombies in 640 x 480 resolution... mmm.

Resident Evil 2 is due for a Christmas release. How the PlayStation's story-advancing movie scenes will be translated has yet to be decided, but the N64's instant loading should at last see the end of those annoying waits to open doors!

The sequel to the hot "Survival Horror" adventure has officially been announced, and while it's still very early in the planning stages, there should be some juicy tidbits floating around in the near future. Other hot titles from Capcom are Street Fighter Alpha 2 and Star Gladiator. Star Gladiators is Capcom s first 3D fighting game and is done on the PlayStation arcade board. The cast-members of SG mostly resemble alien beings and robots, along with a couple of humanoid fighters. Expect to see SF Alpha 2 by Christmas and Resident Evil 2 early next year. Star Gladiators looks like it could be released by early fall, but that depends on the reaction in the arcades.

If you're a Mega Man fan with a PlayStation, prepare for some awful news. It seems that Sony has rejected the release of Mega Man for the PSX because of its inherent 2D-ness, and its legacy on Nintendo systems. Word has it that other Capcom titles are in jeopardy, and increased Saturn support could be used in retaliation. It's not just Capcom that's feeling Sony's corporate breath on its back; insiders suggest more software companies will look at developing their titles elsewhere. That doesn't mean that PSX development will slow dramatically; in fact, exactly the opposite is happening.Tons of PSX games have been announced and the system will continue to enjoy third-party support, but the question of which titles will be exclusive to it is going to be a valid one.

The Extreme Battle hidden mini-game Is one of this RE2's best features. See "SWATPro" In this Issue for details on how to access it.

Resident Evil 2 is back with optional analog controls, Dual Shock shocks, and more. The action/horror game that pits you against an army of zombies and other monsters is as exciting as ever. But in this case, "more" doesn't necessarily mean "better."

This re-issued Resident Evil 2 is identical to its first incarnation, with a few extras: notably, a Rookie mode (a version of the game for beginners), an extra hidden game, and analog-compatible controls that also support the Dual Shock. The additions are hit and miss: The added controls are problematic, but the hidden game is a show-stealer.

The analog controls play too fast and loose, quickly becoming frustrating. It's easy to run your character in circles--and into oncoming enemies. And, unlike in Parasite Eve, the stick isn't pressure sensitive (you still need to press a button to run). After consistently wandering into monsters and firing into walls, you'll return to the more precise control pad.

The Dual Shock? It doesn't heighten the game experience. Sure, it adds a few effective tremors--like when you fire a weapon or come under attack--but it really doesn't work in concert with the onscreen shocks; at times it even detracts from them. Resident Evil 2 was effective enough the first time without rumbles. With them, the game feels a bit gimmicky.

On RE2's upside is the hidden Extreme Battle mode. Similar to the 4th Survivor Hunk and Tofu mini-games (which are also retained in this version), Extreme Battle sends you on a longer search-and-destroy mission where you'll backtrack from the end of the game to the beginning, find four bombs, and destroy a train. Complete with multiple skill levels, random monsters, and hidden characters, Extreme Battle is the most compelling reason to check out this new RE2.

For-staunch veterans of the series, RE2 Dual Shock demands at least a rental--for the Extreme Battle if nothing else. As for newcomers to the series, there's never been a better time to get scared. But enough re-issues, Capcom--it's time to count to "three."

ProTips:

  • Although the Colt SAA. Is flashy and has a rapid rate of fire, it does very little damage and wastes ammo.
  • To take care of the crows without wasting precious ammo, equip the knife, then stand near a crow that's on the ground and slash him.
  • For the ultimate healing herb, combine a blue, a red, and a green herb. The result cures you of poison and maxes out your health.
  • If you find the rocket launcher in the Extreme Battle game, keep it in your inventory; you never know when a really tough monster will appear.

Capcom always likes to take its own sweet time to churn out a sequel, and Resident Evil fans have had to wait almost two years for Resident Evil 2. Well, judging from this 90 percent preview version of RE2. Evil could once again rule supreme!

Evil Grows

Resident Evil 2 is bigger than the first game in almost every way. You conduct your search-and-destroy mission over a huge area that will make the game almost four times as long as the original. Resident Evil 2's story line begins two months after Resident Evil and finds Raccoon City overrun by zombies. Playing as one of two characters, Claire or Leon (see sidebars), you must stop the growing horde of walking dead, discover why zombies are here, and keep yourself alive in the process. To that end, there will be more weapons and monsters than ever. Crossbows, machine guns, grenade launchers, automatic rifles, and C4 plastic explosives are some of the weapons you can find, and you're going to need them because the city's crawling with man-eating creaturds!

Monsters are everywhere--from the city streets to the police precinct houses to the sewer system. Zombies, genetic experiments gone wrong, mutant dogs, giant spiders, and other creepy-crawlies confront you at every turn. The RE2 creatures are smarter and tougher than those in Resident Evil, in the first game, you could easily escape monsters by simply leaving a room. In RE2, however, some of them keep on cornin', even smashing through walls!

RE2 also introduces a unique gameplay system called Zapping (see sidebar, "Zapping Replay Problems). Zapping sort of spreads the Evil around, allowing gameplay data saved as one character to affect a game played as another character.

See New Evil, Hear New Evil

Whether you play as Claire or Leon, you'll discover a stunning audio/visual horror show. RE2's graphics are much more vibrant than RE's, and the voices have been completely redone. The backgrounds are much sharper with cleaner, more detailed imagery, and collectable and movable objects aren't as obvious. The character graphics and the animation are much more lifelike--especially with the new damage system. For example, when your heroes are low on health, they'll double over and limp, moving much more slowly.

You'll also notice some sweet subtle touches like characters turning their heads in the direction of approaching monsters or strange noises. Character voices have been drastically improved, with few instances of the deadpan vocals and lame dialogue that plagued the original Resident Evil.

That Touch of Evil

The year's just begun, and Resident Evil 2 could already make a move on the top PlayStation game-of-the-year honors. This sequel could become a permanent resident in every gamer's library. Stay tuned for a full review of Resident Evil 2 soon.

Is Resident Evil 2 better than Resident Evil? Is it worth the l wait? The answer is a resounding "Yes!" RE2's strong combination of shocks, action, and compelling narrative spawns a fun, fright-filled PlayStation trip that'll keep you on the edge of your seat, clutching the controller for hours.

Scream, Too

Resident Evil 2's bigger, meaner, and more violent than the first game. All of Raccoon City is now overrun with monsters. The game's set in a huge area, but most of the action takes place in a police precinct and an underground chemical factory. Lying in wait in these locations is an enormous variety of monsters, including massive moths, behemoth alligators, poison-spitting plants, mutant dogs, zombies, and something that can only be described as the Terminator wearing an overcoat.

Formidable firepower is on hand to help you in your war against dead-kind, including taser shotguns, flamethrowers, machine guns, crossbows, bazookas, and even six-shooters. Some of these weapons can be enhanced with add-ons, too.

Similar to the first game, RE2 delivers a megadose of jolts. You'll flinch as you're munched by a giant alligator, stare in astonishment after blowing a zombie in half only to have the torso crawl after you, and jump through your ceiling when a monster crashes through the one on screen. When you aren't trying to elude hordes of pursuing creatures, you'll wrack your brain to solve puzzles, like bridging seemingly impassable areas and opening sealed doors.

Perfect controls help you plot your every move, so guiding your character is a breeze. RE vets will appreciate a new feature, auto-aiming, that's especially helpful for blasting beasts.

RE2's gameplay also vaults ahead of its predecessor with its use of story and characters. As in Resident Evil, you play as one of two characters, Claire or Leon. Each possesses an engrossing and dramatic plot line; however, you must also play as other characters, too. In Claire's game, you control a little girl, Sherry, and Leon alternates with a woman named Ada. The extra characters add variety to the action and enhance the mystery of the unfolding plot, but be advised that one sequence where little Sherry can be easily mauled by dogs goes almost too far.

Ghoul School 102

Excellent graphics heighten the horror in RE2. The pre rendered environments look cleaner than those in the first game, and they're packed with creepy details, like blood splotches and corpses. The weapons also punch up the visuals by producing huge explosions, raging fires, and splattering carnage.

The character animations are much improved over those of the original game, and they sport superlative lifelike details that affect gameplay. For example, if your characters receive too much damage, they limp and move slower. Conversely, when you're fighting a tough boss, his attacks gradually weaken each time you score a hit.

RE2's audio provides excellent accompaniment to the visuals to create an atmosphere of dread. Poignant voices deliver the well-written, spellbinding dialogue. The music packs a wallop with symphonic orchestrations that make your heart race.

The Fright is Right

Resident Evil 2 is a sequel that not only meets expectations, btit surpasses them with ease. Once you begin this game, you're hooked. Once you finish the game, you'll drool for more. Resident Evil 2 is frighteningly good.

ProTips:

  • Be wary of rooms with panoramic camera angles like this. Chances are something will come crashing in soon.
  • Don't run too far ahead of Sherry when she's following you. She gets tired easily and will stop to rest You can't proceed unless she's with you.
  • To tell a zombie is... er,dead after you shoot it, look for a pool of blood to form under it when it falls to the ground. Also, if auto-aiming zeroes in on a downed zombie, it's playing 'possum.
  • Whenever possible, use the Combine command to consolidate items in your inventory and save space.
  • To destroy a zombie, shoot it in the head with the shotgun or the bazooka at point-blank range.

Graphics

RE2's graphics are more refined than the first game's, and the rendered cinemas paint a visual (if ghastly) feast Attention to little details, like characters turning their heads toward strange noises, is right on.

Control

The controls are simple yet responsive, and the new auto-aiming feature is a great addition. The absence of a custom controller configuration Is alt that keeps RE2's controls from earning a perfect score.

Sound

Intense music dominates the soundtrack, and the excellent voices bring the characters to life. Imaginative audio cues, like dragging feet and tapping claws, alert you to approaching monsters.

Fun Factor

If you seek frightening fun, Resident Evil 2 delivers the goods. Fans of the original should definitely snatch up this one. It's the most fun you'll ever have being scared.

The terror Is back with Resident Evil 2 This time all of Raccoon City is infested with zombies and other mutations.

Graphics and Sounds

RE2 looks stunning with detailed, pre-rendered backgrounds and awesome visual effects like zombies catching on fire as they lumber after you. The voices still retain the deadpan, B-movie inflections from the first game, but the music's eerie and goes perfectly with the horrific visuals. Every grunt, groan, and wet slap of a zombie's head being blown off are clearly audible.

Corpse Land

Resident Evil 2 takes place two months after the first game, and this time the action isn't limited to just a giant mansion, the entire town of Raccoon City is infested with zombies! To help save the day, RE2 features two new characters, Leon Walker and Claire Redfield (Elza, the blonde motorcycle rider from earlier versions of RE2, has since been taken out). There's no word yet if you can choose to play as one character for the entire game, or if you can alternate between the two. Could Claire be related to Chris (who was one of the characters in the first game)?

Gore Factor

Blowing away zombies was never so much fun, and RE2 gives you a variety of ways to destroy the deadheads. For example, with the shotgun, you can aim high to blow off a zombie's head or aim low to blow off their legs. However, even with no legs, they will still continue to crawl after you! But zombies aren't the only game in town--there are other kinds of mutated monsters for you to face-off against, too. Look for RE2 to hit the shelves as a two-CD set in early January.

Resident Evil's horrific legacy continues this fall, this time in Resident Evil 2 for the Nintendo 64. While there will be plenty of bloodthirsty zombies and other monsters to battle, as well as the hidden Hunk and Tofu games and "zapping" system, the N64 version of RE2 will be slightly different from the PlayStation version. For starters, the locations of items will be different each time you re-play the game and there are new hidden character-costumes. You can also change the color of the game's blood and the level of its gore. Other improvements include no load times and hi-res graphics.

It's finally on its way, and it was well worth the wait Resident Evil 2 for the Nintendo 64 will bring back all the eerie environments, the tense gameplay. and the unadulterated zombie gore that made this series so popular on the PlayStation. Although still very early in development, the preview version showed lots of promise, sporting crisp, clean rendered backgrounds and sharp detail--the undead have never looked better.

Capcom is also implementing a violence and blood meter that allows you to set the level of violence to low or high, and the blood color to blue, green, or red. But it doesn't really matter because gameplay still focuses on solving puzzles and shooting zombies before they chomp on your neck. Even with the violence set to low. there are more chunks than in a Richard Simmons aerobics class. All the original's levels, weapons, power-ups, and story-line changes are still intact, but things look better and run a little smoother on the Nintendo 64s engine. Capcom will even try to implement the full-motion-video movies from the PlayStation version. Things can only get deader...er, better from here.

Snapshots and Media

Nintendo 64/N64 Screenshots

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