When the first game became a critical and commercial success Capcom quickly put their minds together and decided to make a sequel to their genre defining videogame Resident Evil. This second outing is much better thanks to less obscure puzzles, slightly better voice acting, and a better story.
A few months after the end of the first game Raccoon City has become infested with some good old flesh eating zombies. Enter Leon S. Kennedy a rookie cop who during the middle of this outbreak meets Claire Redfield who has come in search of her brother Chris who was the male protagonist in the previous game. After being cut off from each other by a truck driven by a zombie (it happens) they go on their separate paths to find a way out of the City. Interestingly the game is split in two. One part sees you playing as Leon the other as Claire. While it is fair to stop half way through you need to play both scenarios to get the full story.
The gameplay feels a little smoother than the original’s. The puzzles are less confusing which helps those who aren’t too fond of the major focus on the puzzle solving of the first game. The graphics have improved a fair a bit as the characters don’t look quite so roughly designed, with more detail up close. The camera is like the first game stuck in an odd position at times which can lead to firing at an enemy that is lurking off screen. However, this can sometimes lend the game a bit of tension. There is a much better sense of pace this time around as the enemies are not so tough and the puzzles don’t get in the way as much.
Let’s talk voice acting. It is pleasing to see that there is a little more talent this time around. Paul Haddad provides the voice of Leon while Alyson Court voices Claire. These two do a lot better than Jill or Barry from the first game and I have to say that they in general make much better protagonists than Jill or Chris. I think this because they feel about equal since they both have the same inventory space and an even amount of health. Some of the other voice actors are pretty good such Sally Cahill who is really quite good as Ada Wong, Leon’s backstabbing love interest. The rest of the characters with speaking parts don’t really say enough to be complimented which is a shame. They could have done with more dialogue. However, the one character most people seem to hate is Sherry Birkin who is let’s face it a bit of a nuisance.
The atmosphere, soundtrack, voice acting and puzzles are all a lot better than last time around. Resident Evil 2 is one sequel that matches up to its predecessor and in many ways beats it despite sharing some of the limitations such as tank controls and fixed camera angles.
The Score : 9/10