Resident Evil 2 (remake)

Capcom finds the perfect middle ground between old and new in this sterling remake.


Key events

FeatureThe 15-year hunt for Resident Evil 1.5

How a community went to hell and back searching for the most coveted horror game ever cancelled.

It's 6th November 1996. Robson & Jerome are top of the UK's pop charts, Die Hard Trilogy is about to be released on the PlayStation and The English Patient premieres in Los Angeles to widespread critical acclaim.

Now there's a Resident Evil 2 first-person mod

So you can get X-tra cosy with a certain someone.

Alright, you've seen the Paranormal-Activity style fixed cameras mod for the Resident Evil 2 remake - but if that didn't spook you enough, you can now get up close and personal with all the horrors of Raccoon City thanks to this first-person mod. Just what you always wanted.

Resident Evil 2 remake gets free Ghost Survivors update in Feb

The Resident Evil 2 remake gets the Ghost Survivors mode as a free update on 15th February, Capcom has announced.

This includes what if? stories of three people who never made it out of Raccoon City: the gunshop owner, the major's daughter and the soldier. They're called No Time to Mourn, Runaway and Forgotten Soldier.

What do we know about these three survivors?

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Resident Evil 2 is Capcom's biggest launch since Resi 7

Resident Evil 2 is back at the top of the UK charts, 20 years on from its original launch.

Capcom's shiny remaster is the publisher's biggest new arrival for two years - since Resident Evil 7 back in the same January slot in 2017. Resi 2's launch numbers are a little lower (by around 18 per cent) than Resi 7, but this doesn't factor in the rising percentage of digital copies sold.

(As ever, UK numbers company Chart-Track only counts boxed copies.)

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Resident Evil 2 remake plays best on PS4 Pro and Xbox One X

Digital FoundryResident Evil 2 remake plays best on PS4 Pro and Xbox One X

A big divide between the base and enhanced consoles.

Among the best remakes in recent memory, Resident Evil 2 is a true survival horror classic, rebuilt on Capcom's cutting edge RE Engine. Compared to the PlayStation and N64 originals there's a satisfying technical upheaval to show for that 20 year gap. You get real-time cutscenes, volumetric lighting and the freeing of its camera to allow third person shooter controls. Better still? The team targets 60 frames per second, but sadly it only comes to full fruition on certain platforms. Indeed, comparing PlayStation 4 and Xbox One today, it's clear 60fps is better held on Pro and X models - while the base machines, especially Xbox One S, show signs of being left behind.

It's worth touching on the visual points first. We saw it in the game's '1-shot' 30 minute demo, but with final code in hand it's confirmed. Base PS4 and Xbox One each push for a 1920x1080 resolution, but in practise there's more going on under the hood, notably on Microsoft's console. Image quality is blurrier, despite resolving to the same 1080p pixel count - much like Resident Evil 7. One theory as to why: it's using a form of temporal reconstruction, where camera changes during cutscenes show Xbox One has a rougher rendering of fine elements like hair. It only lasts for a few frames, and these details fill in eventually, but it's clear there is a deeper compromise next to a base PS4, which runs natively.

So it goes for the enhanced machines too. The target resolution on PS4 Pro and Xbox One X is 2880x1620 (a 25 per cent cut on each axis from 4K) but this time there's more evidence of reconstruction on Sony's premium console. On top of that, each appears to use differing anti-aliasing methods as well. PS4 Pro offers up a sharper image that lets you see slightly more detail at range, but with the drawback of more pixel crawl and flicker on specular highlights. If you've seen our Resident Evil 7 coverage, this should ring a bell. As for X owners? Once again you get the more pristine, less noisy presentation; fewer jaggies, but at the cost of more blur overall.

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Why Resident Evil 2 is a remake done right

It's the Eurogamer Podcast!

2019 gets off to a flying start with Resident Evil 2, a remake that manages to meet some very high expectations in reviving what's arguably the most fondly-remembered point in the series.

Is it possible for a building to haunt itself? Resident Evil 2's remake suggests so. While wandering the new game's extravagantly remodelled police station I've been dogged by the thought that older incarnations of the structure are trying to force themselves into the light. It's not just that the station used to be an art museum within Resident Evil's fiction - a kludge dreamed up by original scenario writer Noboru Sugimura to explain the eerie marble busts, emblem doors and oil paintings that sit alongside the gun cabinets and mounds of paperwork. It's that so many other evils have resided here since the original game rocked PlayStations in 1998.

Resident Evil 2 review - a masterly reimagining of a modern classic

You know you're playing a good Resident Evil game when you need to keep a pen and a piece of scrap paper close at hand. Sitting on the first open page of my notepad, in a frantic scrawl, are rudimentary diagrams with numbers sticking out at odd angles, repeating three letter codes, bizarre rune patterns, abbreviated riddles, safe-cracking combinations, random running tallies, and then sometimes just the odd word, number or phrase followed with a bemused question mark. Lion statue? Stained glass? Locker room? Keypad? This is the frenzied, stream of consciousness-style note-taking of someone deep down a Resident Evil rabbit hole. As an old-school Resident Evil fan, I couldn't be happier.

Resident Evil 2 review

Developer: Capcom

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Resident Evil 2 Remake takes Capcom's RE engine to the next level

Digital FoundryResident Evil 2 Remake takes Capcom's RE engine to the next level

Advanced effects push consoles harder - we take a look at every version.

At the tail-end of last week, Capcom delivered a multi-platform release of the Resident Evil 2 Remake - the so-called '1-shot' demo that gives users just 30 minutes to play a very small portion of the full game. It's shaping up to be a beautiful game that sees the consoles push higher-end features of the foundation RE engine for the first time, and it also sees the developer make some fascinating technical choices for both the vanilla and enhanced consoles. Meanwhile, the PC version opens up a vast array of possible settings, but based on the experience the demo delivers, the top-end experience does require some meaty hardware.

So just how does the remake push the RE engine harder than before? All versions of the demo showcase a filmic per-object motion blur, each surface that is smooth enough receives screen-space reflections, and the game makes extensive use of volumetric lighting and a bokeh depth of field. We'll be looking at the final version more closely to fully confirm this, but the lavish volumetric effects look quite a lot like the frustum voxel aligned type we have seen in many games this generation, giving any and every light a chance to illuminate the fog.

When all of those effects are combined together, we are looking at a highly atmospheric and smooth-looking game - and that is just the environments. Character modelling is also top-notch with realistic animations both in and out of cutscenes, and a lot of weight and physicality - from the way zombies react to the velocity of your gunfire, all the way down to the subtle animation on Leon's hair as he trudges down the dark hallways. There are other technical tricks designed to showcase the high fidelity assets: when you bring the camera on around Leon up close, the game spawns a tight shadow-casting light directly above his head, following the camera. It may not be physically correct, but it serves to highlight the lifelike details of the player model - another neat trick for the smoke and mirrors that is real-time rendering.

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FeatureResident Evil 2's remake reveals its biggest star

New enemies, new details and more from an extended hands-on.

Resident Evil's best character? Maybe you believe it's Leon Kennedy, the floppy-haired fop, or perhaps you think it could be enigmatic badass Ada Wong. Well, I'm afraid you're entirely wrong. The best character from throughout Resident Evil's history is, without a single doubt, the Raccoon City Police Station.

Four minutes of the Resident Evil 2 remake gameplay starring Claire

The YouTube channel of Japanese publication Dengeki Online has published a four minute video showcasing gameplay from the Resident Evil 2 remake - specifically the playable Claire Redfield portion of the game.

The video, below, shows Claire exploring the Raccoon City police station. There she finds Sherry Birkin cowering in the shadows, before she's attacked by a horribly-mutated figure (we won't spoil the nature of the monster, for those who haven't played Resident Evil 2).

The gameplay sees Claire trying to take this monster down with a raft of weapons, including a handgun, an Uzi and a grenade launcher. Nothing seems to work!

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Yesterday at E3, Aoife got to try out the Resident Evil 2 remake which had been unveiled with a spectacularly good trailer at Monday night's PlayStation showcase. The trailer didn't lie - this is shaping up to be a fantastic and terrifying reimagining of the horror classic.

Resident Evil 2 Remake launches January 2019

Capcom's remake of Resident Evil 2 will launch for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on 25th January 2019.

A fresh trailer with our first proper look at the game was just demoed during PlayStation's bizarro E3 2018 press conference. We saw a darker take on the game as people get flesh ripped out of them, rats getting turned to zombies and Leon once again looking handsome.

Both Leon and Claire will have their own, separate campaigns.

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VideoWatch: Where did Resident Evil go wrong?

Here's this week's Eurogamer Show.

Resident Evil has a long and sometimes proud history. I think it's fair to say that the first couple of Resident Evil games were genre defining, which makes it all the more tragic to contemplate the state in which the series currently exists.

Third Resident Evil CGI film announced

Third Resident Evil CGI film announced

Due next year, features Leon on a motorcycle.

A third CGI Resident Evil film has been announced. This one's called Resident Evil: Vendetta.

Animation studio Marza Animation Planet (Harlock: Space Pirate) revealed the upcoming film, which is due in 2017.

The follow-up to Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008) and Resident Evil: Damnation (2012), Vendetta will star series stalwart Leon S. Kennedy.

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Resident Evil 2's fan remake has been cancelled

Resident Evil 2: Reborn, a fan-remake of Capcom's 1998 survival-horror classic, has been shut down despite the fact that only last month developer InvaderGames said it would be ready this summer.

This is because Capcom has recently announced its own official remake of Resi 2.

Rather than simply slap InvaderGames with a cease & desist, Capcom has invited the fans behind this project to come meet the developers of the official remake and discuss its development further.

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Capcom announces Resident Evil 2 remake via T-shirt

Capcom has officially announced that it's remaking Resident Evil 2.

The project was unveiled via a T-shirt / YouTube video of Capcom producer Yoshiaki Hirabyashi sporting a top proclaiming "We do it!" while standing next to a TV displaying a makeshift Resident Evil 2 Remake logo.

"You've been telling us for years that you want Resident Evil 2 to be remade, and we haven't been able to make it happen... until now!" Hirabyashi said.

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