reHorror: Resident Evil 2 turns 15

Year after year, it’s always the same scenario for me. The latest entry in (insert series name here) comes out after much hype and anticipation. I rush out to purchase the game and return home just as quickly. I spend a good amount of time with it, enough to see it the whole way through (sometimes being a completionist, sometimes not). However, after I see the credits roll, it’s right back to business. And by business I mean Resident Evil 2.

Is it possible to keep playing a game regularly 15 years after its original release? Well, that’s exactly the case with me and Resident Evil 2, my favorite game of all time.

Amidst all the big triple A releases every year, Resident Evil 2 is always the game I constantly come back to. Call it obsession, I don’t care, games just aren’t this good anymore, sadly, especially survival horror games. You see, I truly consider Resident Evil 2 one of the absolute best survival horror games ever developed, it’s a true masterpiece in its genre. And while Resident Evil 4 is considered by some as the best in the series, to me, no entry has succeeded in surpassing and dethroning the game that showed us the world of survival horror through the dual perspectives of Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield.

Gamers already experienced the mansion incident in the Arklay mountains with the release of the original Resident Evil, now it was time to venture through Raccoon City during the events of the T-Virus outbreak. Zombies, zombies everywhere!

Resident Evil 2 saw the debut of both rookie cop Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield. It was Leon’s first day as a cop in Raccoon City, and his welcome party consisted of zombie-littered streets. Yeah, they partied hard, straight to death! Claire, on the other hand, was searching for her brother, Chris, who starred in the original game alongside Jill Valentine. While offering two separate characters to play as wasn’t new in the series, due to the original also offering this feature, Resident Evil 2 took it a step further with its total of 4 main scenarios, with each character getting two (and how can we forget about the unlockable HUNK and Tofu scenarios!).

Canon debate aside, both characters’ A and B scenarios were amazing. My personal preference is playing Claire A then Leon B. But that’s just me. For a while I actually preferred the opposite. But the entire game is just completely memorable and provides some truly thrilling moments, thanks to the presence of William Birkin and Mr.X. The former being, in my opinion, the best and most tragic baddie in the series.

Regardless of the order you play the scenarios, you’re in for quite a memorable and scary ride overall. Yes, Resident Evil 2 is actually scary. I say “is” instead of “was” because I still jump a few feet from my chair at some of the abrupt pop-up scares as I’m exploring the RPD station. Then I scream at myself for not remembering them. Good times. From the aforementioned pop-up frights, to the Lickers and Mr. X confrontations, I still get creeped out by this game. Which just proves how much of a masterpiece in its genre it truly is. The game also introduced us to Ada and Sherry, who have gone on to become significant additions to the series’ cast of beloved characters. Though it took way too long for Sherry to return…But hey, now she’s back!

So today we celebrate Resident Evil 2’s 15th anniversary. That does really make one feel old, huh? I think it’s about damn time for Capcom to finally announce their plans for a remake of this classic. That would be the best way to celebrate the game’s anniversary this year. Big E3 reveal, anyone?

Wow, I’ve been playing Resident Evil 2 for 15 years…Well, here’s to 15 more!

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