Resident Evil 2 Biohazard Review

Oppressive atmosphere, terrifying monsters, and top-notch game design. 

Resident Evil 2 Biohazard resides in the survival horror genre, and as far as genres go, it has always fascinated me. There’s something inherently tense about managing limited resources in a frightening environment that keeps me coming back. Resident Evil 2 not only passes expectations but it defines the genre as a whole.

Story and concept

Resident Evil 2 takes place several months after the events of the first game. Greeted with our two heroes, players will find themselves in Raccoon City, rather than the mansion from before. An all-new G-virus is on the loose.

Leon Kennedy is a rookie cop whose first day on the job has him dealing with a zombie outbreak and trying to find answers to this whole ordeal. Claire Redfield is a college student who is desperately searching for her missing brother Chris Redfield, one of the playable characters from the original Resident Evil game.

Leon from Resident Evil 2

With different motivations and different routes that each character takes, the experience between Leon and Claire offers up some great variety for both gameplay and the story. You’ll need to finish both character’s campaigns to get the whole picture, and with the 2nd scenario for each, you’ll have more than enough time to appreciate the sights and frights of Raccoon City.

Resident Evil 2 emphasizes its incredible premise through a unique storytelling experience. Greeted with some tense cutscenes, which build up both tension and adrenaline as players need to react to given scenarios within a moment’s notice. The car crash at the beginning of both character’s campaigns, in particular, has players making a mad dash to the police station, all while showcasing how much the city has fallen apart given the outbreak.

Scattered throughout the game world are collectible notes and journals that give the police station a sense of life and character despite interacting with few NPCs throughout the story. Marvin Branagh, another RPD officer, shows players how difficult the struggle was for the other officers while giving him his brief arc and time to shine. 

Little moments like these and seeing how different NPCs treat Leon and Claire are their rewards. Annette Birkin, one of the villains, threatens Leon yet confides in Claire during crucial points. As someone who grew up with the original Resident Evil 2, seeing the revamped cinematography and the polished writing this time around, I was hooked from start to finish.


Fans of the original Resident Evil 2 may remember that the polygon aesthetics from yesteryear probably wouldn’t fit too well in this day and age. The remake comes with a fresh new coat of paint and has an immense amount of detail within. 

Incredible Visuals in RE2 Biohazard

Character models look stunningly gorgeous, which is only complimented by how dynamic the lighting is. There is a distinct shine for the character’s hair and clothing with proper lighting conditions, and it changes even further when dealing with the rain. 

Leon and Claire have unique running animations depending on their current health, ranging from a slight limp to dragging their feet to run away. Facial animations are extraordinarily detailed and blur the lines between game and reality. Zombie animations are ripe with detail, and their animations being shot in different parts only further serve to immerse the player. 

In general, monsters invoke a lot of tension with how they are designed, with the infamous lickers, an inside-out human with claws and a sharp tongue, being an intense highlight. The Resident Evil Engine that Capcom developed has been put to great use in this game and is an absolute treat to see in motion.

Sound and atmosphere

Resident Evil 2’s sound design is top-notch when it comes to putting the player on edge, and this is mostly a combination of monsters and music. With a wholly redone soundtrack that focuses less on piano and more on a sweeping cinematic score, the remake aims to establish a different tone this time around. 

The best part of the new soundtrack is how certain songs make callbacks to older pieces, which is an absolute delight for veteran fans. Individual tracks such as the RPD’s central theme offer a mix of haunting yet almost comforting familiarity with the new rendition. The new save room theme provides a much-needed reprieve from the horror. 

Resident Evil 2 Biohazard Atmosphere is Terrifying

The save rooms, in general, offer a significantly different atmosphere compared to the rest of the game, and I wouldn’t be surprised if other players took time to sit and appreciate the meditative atmosphere within these areas. The original Resident Evil 2 felt more like a campy B movie with its disjointed voice acting. 

Still, this time around, we’re treated to professional acting that does a great job keeping players engaged. Gone are the days of Leon’s almost comedic tone with his infamous “Ada Wait!” lines. As much as I’ll miss the campiness, it’s a change for the better as it compliments the oppressive atmosphere that the police station exudes. 

Filled to the brim with well-lit areas, the original Resident Evil 2 felt off-putting, given the game’s horror nature. The lights are off as players will be equipped with a gun and flashlight to explore the dark halls this time around. You’ll need to keep your eyes and ears peeled as a sound cue can be the best way to know if an oncoming threat is on its way. 

There were very few moments where I felt like I was in control of the situation while playing Resident Evil 2, which is precisely the kind of tone I’d expect when dealing with a zombie apocalypse. I’m impressed and terrified of how well Capcom nailed that aspect of the game.


 “In the darkness lies your fears.”

The original Resident Evil Remake is known for its unsettling quotes, and its influences reign strong in the game design for its revamped sequel. 

Resdient Evil 2 Monsters Continue To Drive Fear

Resident Evil 2 has players exploring the Raccoon Police Department for a good portion of the game, with the goal being to solve puzzles and survive. With limited inventory space and potentially limited saves on hardcore mode, you’ll need to make the most out of all your shots. Ammunition and healing are scarce, and players will need to combine gunpowder to make more or combine herbs to make them more useful. 

One of the most significant changes from the original Resident Evil 2 compared to the remake is that the game no longer has fixed camera angles. Now we are treated to an over-the-shoulder perspective and can aim while moving. These changes make the game have a completely different feeling than before and feel more effective at engaging the player with their surroundings. 

The game has set objectives that the player must complete, with the first requiring the player to find three medallions. There is a reasonable amount of flexibility with how to accomplish this too. A decent amount of rooms are already open for the player to explore. You can grab items along the way and either hold onto them or deposit them into a box within dedicated safe rooms. 

Depending on what notes you find, you’ll be able to upgrade weapons as well. Exploration is heavily rewarded but not always necessary as it can drain resources by merely fighting your way to the destination. Players need to consider the risk, and reward nature of through as players can easily find themselves running out of crucial supplies. 

With a game balance that is dictated by both curiosity, resource management, and player skill, Resident Evil 2 offers constant reward and feedback for every action taken.

Replay value

Resident Evil 2 has a deceptively high amount of replay value. One main appeal of the game is the different routes and stories available for Leon and Claire. After finishing either of them for the first time, players will unlock a 2nd run for the opposite character. This run functions as both a follow-up and a remix of what their first scenario would have been. 

From the Start You Have Multiple Paths to Choose From in RE2 Biohazard

New weapons and new layouts for items litter the police station, and players will have to adapt to each of the subtle nuances if they want to make it out alive once more. 

The game also features multiple modes outside of the main game where you can play various characters throughout the main game. The available characters range from HUNK, a special agent, to a walking block of tofu. 

If that weren’t enough, there are collectibles to unlock for completing various achievements. Said achievements test the player with different challenges and even speedrunning the game. The other game playstyles are uniquely rewarding and much appreciated. I’m still playing Resident Evil 2 to this day, and the replay value and fantastic game design are why.

The final verdict on Resident Evil 2 BioHazard

Resident Evil 2 is amongst my top favorite survival horror games, and for a good reason. Every single aspect of the game works in harmony to scare the player while also being mechanically reliable. The story and world-building are paced and conveyed wonderfully. The graphics and atmosphere are incredibly immersive. The gameplay loop of puzzle-solving mixed with zombie-fighting is so satisfying, and I love the rewarding exploration. 

The replay value is phenomenal and gives players so many ways to play it, but most importantly, the game is just downright fun. It’s taken me a long time to find a survival horror game that does everything the genre is known for but without the finicky controls and other frustrations, but it’s finally here. This game is the gold standard for the survival horror genre. THIS is Resident Evil 2.

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About Digital Ghost

Dg is the founder and co-owner of Corrosion Hour, a niche gaming community established in 2016 focusing on the survival game RUST. He is an active and contributing member of numerous other RUST communities. As a community leader and server owner for over 15 years, he spends much of his time researching and writing guides about survival games, covering topics such as server administration, game mechanics, and community growth.

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