We miss the old soundtrack (available as a bonus if you have the Deluxe Edition), but Resident Evil 2's spare and subtle use of audio is indicative of a survival horror series that's reached a high level of maturity. Less is more. Sound is used to bolster the tension, and it works brilliantly.
Truly stunning. In terms of pure aesthetics, Resident Evil 2 raises the bar for remakes, and one can only imagine what future entries in the series (or indeed future remakes) could look like. Dripping with detail and artistry, the game is beautifully lit, using shadows to great effect while simultaneously delivering oodles of sickening gore. Exemplary.
Purists might baulk at the thought of the remake eschewing the fixed camera and the static backdrops, but it's their loss. Resident Evil 2 plays like a dream, limiting movement just enough to make you feel vulnerable, while still feeling slick and immediate. The essence of the original remains intact, and modernising the controls and gameplay only makes revisiting a 20-year old classic all the more appealing.
While it's fairly easy to breeze through the campaign in around five hours on your first go, speedruns, 2nd Run playthroughs and other bonus content will keep you playing for tens of hours. Newcomers can ease in gently with the 'assisted' difficulty, while those up for a challenge can opt for 'hardcore', ink ribbons and all. A generous, well-presented package.
Plenty of simple tasks to make you feel like you're making good progress, then a few that will really turn the thumb-screws on ya. Finish the game in 14,000 steps or fewer? Harder than it sounds. Don't use the item box once? Even tougher. Go through the entire game without using a single health item? Eesh. A taxing, but not insurmountable list.