Horror zombie game a big hit
ZOMBIE games are always popular and fans were understandably excited when it was announced a remake of the 1998 PlayStation 2 classic Resident Evil 2 was planned.
The iconic game featured two main characters - police officer Leon Kennedy, and university student Claire Redfield - who find themselves caught up in a zombie outbreak in Raccoon City and must search for answers to the cause as well as escape the city.
The remake, developed and published by Capcom, is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
I didn't play the original, so was going in cold this time and was initially impressed: the graphics are excellent and the lighting effects and layout are top notch as well.
As I played further through however the shine wore off and by the end of my first playthrough as Leon the police officer, I had realised that while I liked Resident Evil 2, I didn't love it. There are elements where the platform feels underdeveloped.
The puzzles were frequently irritating and illogical - one, in particular, required me to run all over a zombie-infested police station to find the two missing buttons off a keypad - instead of letting me use a pen or a paperclip or the point of my combat knife to push the sensor where the button would go.
In another I was trapped in a carpark by a ticket machine lacking a parking permit, with no option to ram the roller door with a car or force it open the way any normal person would in similar circumstances.
The plot was badly paced too, with the first part of the game involving running around a police station that was a former museum looking for medallions in statues to open a secret passage that ended up bringing me back to a different part of the police station (instead of escaping to safety from the zombies).
The pace picked up in the obligatory secret underground lab areas where things started to make more sense - such as needing a higher security clearance pass, which was (of course) on the body of a scientist who had been killed by something horrible in somewhere not readily accessible.
There was a lot of backtracking as well - wandering all over the place to get a special key to access a previously locked door or whatever, and it started to move into tedious territory for me.
This might sound like it's an awful game and it isn't - far from it.
The atmosphere was great, as was the sound, with effective controls too.
There were some genuinely scary moments in it and it was a well-made title that managed to combine puzzles, action, and zombies very effectively.
Overall it was well made and I can see why it's been so popular with gamers, but ultimately I just don't share the love to the same extent and can't help but wonder if a lot of it is borne out of nostalgia and recognising the technical achievement the game represents.
If you like horror games, this is a solid title - but be prepared for frustrating puzzles and a lot of backtracking alongside the good parts too.