Resident Evil 2 Roars Back To Life In Long Awaited HD Remaster
In 1998, Resident Evil 2 hit the Playstation to monumental acclaim. The first in a long line of sequels to Shinji Mikami's foundational horror franchise, RE2 took us out of the Arklay Forest and into the heart of Raccoon City. I had just turned 10 and I specifically remember the color spread of Resident Evil 2 in an issue of GamePro I inhaled in the backseat of the family car on a trip to grandma's. There was even a note at the bottom of the ad announcing that George Romero, a name that I only knew through cultural osmosis as a Master of Horror, was going to be making a Resident Evil film. I had to have this game. Of course i was 10, so it wouldn't be until middle school that I finally picked up a copy of Resident Evil: Directors Cut, but it's safe to say that that ad in GamePro ignited a lifelong affinity for the saga of Umbrella and S.T.A.R.S.
Cut to four years later when Capcom announces that the OG RE was getting a top to bottom remaster for the GameCube. Gone were the chunky character models, clunky tank controls with a learning curve as steep as BattleToads (which is also coming back in 2019, but that's for another day), and we were left with a game that felt photo realistic (for the era) and above all else: accessible. And while I'm an outlier who will always prefer the mood and atmosphere of the original game over it's sequel, after 15 years of promises, we were long overdue for the fan favorite to receive the same treatment. But finally, the wait is over:
Do the characters look different than what we are accustomed to? Sure, but the Resident Evil series today barely resembles its originations in the early 90s. As long as they retain the story and hit the key moments that made the game a classic (how can you forget the first appearance of the Licker in the police station hallway. NIGHTMARES, BABY!), fans will be pleased. Especially after 20 years of thinking this categorically wasn't going to happen. But if audience response to the game is positive, amplified by the potential inclusion of first person and/or VR elements familiar to Resident Evil 7 players that are teased in the trailer, it could force the hand of those in charge of the Resident Evil film reboot to return to the franchises horror roots.
It's exciting. This is exciting! Follow my lead and fire up a Resident Evil game tonight (maybe I'll finally get through the rest of RE: Zero!) and make sure you pre-order Resident Evil 2 remaster ahead of its January 25th, 2019 release date!