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Windows 7 / Windows 8.1 / Windows 10 / Windows 10
Resident Evil 2 builds on the survival horror formula pioneered by its predecessor and expands on the world and the scale dramatically. Before The Walking Dead took the world by storm, there was Resident Evil, a game which tasked you with surviving a zombie outbreak in a secluded mansion. Resident Evil 2 builds on those fundamentals dramatically by moving the setting from a single secluded building to a larger stretch of Raccoon City. If the first game in the series was a pulpy horror B-movie, the sequel is a Hollywood blockbuster, offering more zombies, more weapons, and a larger playground to navigate.
That's not to say that you're suddenly an unstoppable force of nature here. Survival horror is still the name of the game, and players have to be incredibly thrifty with their resource management to make sure they can make it through the environment in one piece. It's a game that values patience over reflexes and one where every shot should be well placed and well considered. Sometimes fleeing is the best way to get through an area. The action is well paced with the inclusion of puzzles, typically environmental scenarios that require you to make the most of the items in your inventory. Expanding on the game's value is the option to play as two characters, each with their own unique tool and distinctions in what weapons they unlock during their journey. It's a small choice that doesn't fundamentally change the story but does allow for some variance in future play sessions. Each lead meets different characters along the way, and that may be enough excuse to justify playing through twice. Additionally, playing as either character unlocks further adventures for the other, creating a more complex understanding of how their actions impact one another and form together to tell a larger and more dramatic story.
A number of changes have been made to the remake, and most of them are for the better. Perhaps notable, and certainly long overdue, is the overhaul of the combat and navigation system. Where the original Resident Evil 2 made use of "tank controls" which forced you to rotate the body of your characters manually, the remake goes for a more naturalistic and less unwieldy approach. The graphics have also seen a complete overhaul, with static backgrounds being replaced with fully modeled and photo-realistic elements. It's a pretty game that manages to cling to the sense of tone and style of the original very well.
Some might say that the series lost its way after Resident Evil 2. For a while, the series transitioned away from its survival horror roots and into louder and more dramatic action territory. Resident Evil 2's remake constitutes a return to form and a reminder of what made this series so special in the first place.