We’re down to two games left for 2019, and this year it comes down to two very different games. Taking the silver spot this year is one of the best horror games to come out and a new foundation for the genre.
#2 Resident Evil 2
I was not expecting a lot out of RE 2 when it was first announced. Following the series rebuild with RE 7, I was hoping that we would see more of a story away from the era of the T Virus. Instead of focusing on the story, Capcom seems to be doing a reunion tour of all of Resident Evil’s previous hits.
It wasn’t until the first demo came out that I got excited for the game. What we got with the Resident Evil 2 remake is perhaps the best example of remaking a game that we’ve seen in some time. Unlike Link’s Awakening that was more about graphical polish with a few changes, Resident Evil 2 was a top to bottom change of the game.
Every aspect of the gameplay was changed in some respect compared to the original. This also goes with the enemy designs that were some of the best I’ve seen from the horror genre. Every enemy type has a specific role, and while you’re not fighting rooms of them like in the Dead Space series, a small number can pose a major threat to the player.
I must give a shoutout to the zombie design and how this may be the best example of a basic enemy since Resident Evil 4. The zombies move dynamically at the player, can cross into rooms, and are durable to fight. You really need to weigh the options of kill or avoid for most of the game. Lickers and the plant monsters are terrifying until you figure out how to handle them.
Then there’s Mr.X, that may not be as great as the alien from Alien Isolation but gives me hope that we see a full-on alpha antagonist in the Resident Evil 3 remake.
The only reason why it’s not #1 on my list is that I tend to reward originality higher than refinement, but Resident Evil 2 is a standout title for the year.
It’s been a long time coming for the AAA market, but Capcom has turned things around for horror, and I can only hope that we see more developers embrace the genre.
Tomorrow, we wrap things up with #1 and then move on to the games of the last decade.
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