One of the most anticipated games of the year is already just around the corner, what a great start to 2019. Resident Evil 2’s remake is all but a few weeks away (January 25th), and with that in mind, we thought it would do well to get you prepared for what lies ahead. Now, we need to take into account that many of the new generation of players will likely be bouncing from Resident Evil VII back to Resident Evil 2, despite that Capcom have unleashed remasters of pretty much every canon entry in the series so far, on current gen hardware.
Nonetheless, let’s dive into the story that leads up to Resident Evil 2, shall we? We’ll leave the short films and the Umbrella Chronicles games out of the picture. Note, there’s some heavy spoilers here for the predecessor titles. Be warned. Whilst the franchise started with Resident Evil, Resident Evil Zero is really where it all began, chronologically. In fact, Resident Evil Zero, Resident Evil, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, and Resident Evil 2, all take place in 1998 – leading the charge with the aforementioned Zero – catchy subtitle, am I right or am I right?
In July of 1998, a train known as the Ecliptic Express, one that’s owned by Umbrella, comes under attack from a swarm of devastating leech-like foes. Following on from this, S.T.A.R.S. (Special Tactics And Rescue Service) deploys their Bravo Team to investigate the goings on – taking them to the Arklay Mountains, situated just outside of Raccoon City. In transit, Bravo Team’s helicopter suffers an engine failure and crash-lands in a nearby forest. One member of Bravo Team, Rebecca Chambers, stumbles upon the Ecliptic Express, only to find zombies.
It turns out that the leeches that attacked the train’s passengers and crew, contained Umbrella’s T-Virus. Shortly after this encounter, Rebecca teams up with Billy Coen, a man that was due to be executed on the grounds of killing twenty three people. Following a series of events, Rebecca and Billy find themselves at an abandoned building that was due to be a training facility under Umbrella’s command. They find out that Dr. James Marcus, Umbrella’s former director and co-founder, was responsible for creating the T-Virus.
Behind the scenes, Albert Wesker makes the decision to leave Umbrella and join a rival company to enact further research on the T-Virus, requesting that William Birkin, another Umbrella employee, joins him on his path. Birkin ultimately refuses, and instead decides to further his research on the G-Virus. Rebecca, separated from Billy, soon meets with Captain Enrico Marini, who informs her that her team will be meeting up at an old mansion they’ve located in the forest, though before she departs, she aims to meet back up with Billy.
The crunch in all of this is that Umbrella’s other co-founder, Oswell Spencer, had Marcus assassinated ten years prior. It turns out that Marcus’ final experiment reanimated his corpse, assuming his identity, along with all of his memories. This whole event had been orchestrated by this new being as a means of revenge against Umbrella. Rebecca and Billy track down the beast, kill it, and go their separate ways. Billy to an unknown location, and Rebecca to the nearby mansion. This marks the end of Zero and beginning of Resident Evil.
Since contact with Bravo Team has been lost at HQ, S.T.A.R.S. sends out Alpha Team to investigate their disappearance and investigate a series of murders that took place on the outskirts of Raccoon City. Alpha finds Bravo’s crash site, and are soon attacked by a pack of mutated dogs. This forces the remaining team (Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, Barry Burton, and an undercover Albert Wesker) to seek shelter in the mansion. Once inside, the team decides to split up and investigate further. Though, it’s not long before shit hits the fan.
It becomes apparent to the team that there’s a traitor among them, though they’re not able to summarize who that traitor is until it’s too late. Eventually, Alpha learns that the mansion was home to illegal experiments under the authority of Umbrella, which explains why mutated creatures and zombies are roaming the facility – having being infected by the T-Virus. The bottom line? Alpha (and guest star Rebecca) manages to escape the mansion following its self-destruct sequence, seemingly leveling the threat once and for all.
Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis takes place two months later. The first half of Nemesis is based a whole twenty-four hours before the events of Resident Evil 2, whereas the second half of the game is based two days after. There’s really not much that I’m going to discuss about either game, seeing as though there are plot points that will ruin the Resident Evil 2 remake for those of you unfamiliar with the canon. The premise, on the other hand, we can dive into, seeing as though it sets up the nightmare coming your way.
Resident Evil 2 opens on September 29th, 1998. Now, as a result of the spreading T-Virus, most of Raccoon City’s citizens and animals, have been mutated or reanimated. The stars of the show? One Leon Kennedy and one Claire Redfield. It’s Leon’s first day on the job as a police officer, and Claire, well, she’s looking for her missing brother. Little do they know that they’re about to set foot in a city of death and despair. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what sets up the events of Resident Evil 2. If Capcom have stayed faithful, you’re in for a treat.
The remake, unlike the original, trades tank controls and fixed cameras, for an over-the-shoulder third-person shooter. Now, the mechanics of the game are finally set to revitalize Resident Evil and over-the-shoulder gameplay. The series first traded tank controls and fixed cameras with over-the-shoulder play back in Resident Evil 4, but unfortunately, due to a leap towards action and a leap away from horror, Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6 were not well received. This pushed Capcom into reevaluating the franchise with Resident Evil VII.
Resident Evil VII swapped third-person play for first-person play, and by all accounts, its a formula that worked amazingly well. Now, however, as alluded to above, Resident Evil 2’s remake is returning to the former, and it’s looking to bring it back with a bang. With Capcom’s proprietary RE Engine powering a new photo-realistic style, the characters themselves appear sharper than ever and the grotesque hordes of zombies are brought to life with a horrifyingly realistic wet gore effect. Trust me, I’ve seen it, it’s a damn gory game.
Zombies now react in real time as they take instant visible damage, making every bullet from the player count, not to mention the wide collection of foes that lay in wait elsewhere. It’s also reported that the game is a true return to the series’ roots; puzzles, item management, tension, and more. That, is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s heaps to talk about, but I’m not going to. Why? Because this is one of those games that you simply need to witness first hand – regardless as to whether you’re a returning player or a newcomer.
You’ll likely have noticed that I left some story threads open higher up, well, these threads are touched upon in the remake, so you’ll get all the clarity you need from playing the game. I for one, can hardly wait. I played the original several times over, but even so, the remake has been designed in such a way that it’s going to ‘feel’ familiar, but not ‘be’ familiar. We’ve only a few more weeks to go until release, are you excited? Perhaps we’ll see a RE 3: Nemesis remake when this is all done and dusted? Hit the comment section below, folks.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.