Resident Evil 2 is the shining diamond of horror and survival genre; In the hustle and bustle of Raccoon City
The year is 1998 and you've just finished the most visually
stunning and engaging opening ever created for a game, and now with
a burning City that You have been attacked by the dead.
There are none of the comforting introductions or tutorials of the
first 21st century games. There is not even any explanation about
the controls or the player's goals.
However, zombies exist; More than anything you've ever seen on screen. On the other hand, before you know you're in control of your avatar, they'll have you under pressure and there's no way to back down. So, you move forward to the fabled Raccoon City. You have just started Resident Evil 2; One of the most iconic games made in the horror and survival genre.>
Resident Evil 2 was released on January 21, 1998, kicking off a year that featured incredible games like Ocarina of Time and Metal Gear Solid. Players who were familiar with the first version of the series, which was released two years earlier, knew what elements to expect. A series of obscure puzzles, complex controls, a heavy focus on inventory management and dealing with zombies was what everyone was waiting for.
However, what players didn't expect were the things that made Resident Evil 2 not only broke the sales records of that time, but also gained a permanent place in the hearts and minds of many players and fans of the horror genre. Intricately detailed pre-rendered environments, the amazing and innovative Zapping system and all-new terrifying creatures surprised many.
The Zapping System
The Zapping System which Also known as the A/B path, it allows players to indirectly choose the order in which the characters Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield experience the events of the game. On the other hand, the decisions made by the player in the first scenario affect the second scenario. For example, selecting certain items as the first character will prevent those items from appearing for the second character, and some events and even bosses will only appear on one path.
This was a very interesting way to tell a story and can only be implemented in video games. It's unfortunate that Capcom basically abandoned this idea in later games in the series, opting instead for more traditional narrative structures. Of course, the shadow of such an idea can be seen in the second game of the Revelations series. The fact is that this system works incredibly well in Resident Evil 2, allowing us to have four distinct games in a way.
After that, the player had two completely different modes to experience. The 4th Survivor mode, in which the representative of the Umbrella company, Hank, was playable, and The Tofu Survivor mode, in which players take the form of a tofu or soy cheese. It was a weird, yet fun mode that was also made available in the remastered version of the game.
Impact on other games in the series
The impact this version has on the entire Resident Evil series cannot be denied. The game introduced players to monsters named Laker, interesting characters like Leon Kennedy, Claire Redfield, Ida Wang, Raccoon City and many more. In fact, it's fair to say that every installment in the franchise since then has looked to this game for inspiration.
Resident Evil 2 wasn't just broad, it was deep. In fact,
it can be said that its production value was almost invisible at
the time of release, and it performed better than the promises that
were made in the first game, but were not fully realized. On the
other hand, with all its success, it cannot be said that the game
is too old. Graphically, it still looks surprisingly good, with
pre-rendered backgrounds alongside character models as good as
anything the PlayStation 1 has ever offered.
The game's control system is a different matter. Relying on this system makes it very difficult to return the game to the modern era, although there is nothing negative to say about the tension caused by such a system. In the game, the player has to choose between standing and fighting or clumsily maneuvering between enemies in tight corridors, which were very challenging due to this control system.
However, this type of control actually helps the player immensely when it comes to exploring the dimly lit offices of the Raccoon City Police Department for supplies and items. until the can check the areas completely. It is worth noting that in those days, items were not displayed on the screen with different buttons, and it was vital to have a system that made exploration in a horror game easier than before.
Resident Evil 2 comes from an era that there were many technical limitations in game design and this game understood the tension and anxiety caused by not very smooth controls. With very limited ammo and healing items, as well as dozens of enemies and a giant Tyrant, Resident Evil 2 is as stressful as any survival horror game in the 24 years since.
However, the history of Time and again has proven that such a control system is not necessary to provide real fear in a game. Resident Evil 4 proved that the same amount of suspense can be delivered with much smoother controls, and the Dead Space series proved it again. It should be noted that the remake of Resident Evil 2 also made changes in its control system inspired by the mentioned games, which were not considered a negative point for the game.
Problems in development
Perhaps the most surprising thing about Resident Evil 2 is that despite going through a development period full of The problem achieved all of the above mentioned successes. According to reports, when the game was about 70% through development, Capcom executives and even members of the development team, such as its legendary producer Shinji Mikami, were not happy with how the game was shaping up. In fact, while no single element in the game was considered problematic, the production team believed that these elements did not fit together well. Therefore, Capcom decided to bring in Noboru Sugimura as a writer and suggested that the creators write the story from scratch.
Unsurprisingly, this decision resulted in major changes. Perhaps the biggest change was Claire Redfield, once known as Elsa Walker, a biker and student in Raccoon City. Under the direction of Sugimura, the production team decided to change her to Claire and connect the game to the first version of the series because she is the sister of one of the heroes of the first version, Chris Redfield.
The number of changes that the game faced were many, like the
changes of the first version, but perhaps the most important of
them is to focus more on the companion characters controlled by
artificial intelligence, two The distinct story that never had much
to do with each other and the more modern police station hinted
that neither were implemented in the game. We have seen many times
that the long and problematic development of a game can negatively
affect its final result, and this can be seen in games like Duke
Nukem Forever. Fortunately, Resident Evil 2 did not
suffer from this problem.
Perhaps few people thought that the second version of Resident Evil could come out well from the shadow of the success of the first game. . This game was not only able to make the Resident Evil series popular again, but also influenced many future games of the horror and survival genre. It's been 24 years since the release of the game and even with legendary releases like Resident Evil 4, none of the releases in the series have been as unique as the second game. In the end, we can say that the fact that Resident Evil 2 was able to appear great despite the mentioned problems may be considered a great success, but the fact that it is still one of the best games of this genre after 24 years is considered a miracle.
Source: Goomba Stomp