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Resident Evil 2: Dual Shock
Review By: Jesse Mason
Developer:   Capcom
Publisher:   Capcom
# of Players:   1
Genre:   Horror
ESRB:   Mature

When you think of the horror genre of entertainment, usually what comes to mind is a corny movie starring a bunch of people who can't act being chased by a strange guy with an axe. Then you probably think of the good scary products. The ones who come from the masters of suspense. The ones that spring to mind are Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King, and Wes Craven. Well, after playing Resident Evil, and now Resident Evil 2, I added one more name to that list: Shinji Mikami, the creator of Resident Evil.

Let's get right to it. Resident Evil 2 is a scarier, bloodier, harder, and longer sequel to Resident Evil. It also happens to be a better game than Resident Evil. Right from the start you know that this is a lot more gory than the original. Actually the game reminds you. A warning screen will warn people (particularly parents) that "This game contains scenes of explicit violence and gore." So younger players should probably stay away from this game, which is probably the most gory game yet. Of course, this game sets an example of gore that's used to set the mood rather than simply sell games.

The story of the game picks off two months after the first game. Umbrella's at it again. Chris and Jill are gone. And the town's full of zombies. The game starts you off after Leon and Claire get separated right in the middle of about six zombies. Right off the bat you notice improvements. The graphics are the easiest to notice with the rendered graphics even more beautiful than before. The monsters are also smarter. They won't be mindless drones that the first game offered; they'll actually follow you around, corner you, and eat you alive. They are tougher to kill this time and take more hits. They'll get up faster too. Luckily it's a little easier to get 'em off your back. There is a better variety of monsters. For example, there are around seven versions of the zombies vs three for the first game. If you play the game on normal, you'll notice that the game really is hard. You start off with only about 25 bullets and the enemies will sap up 7 each time. Extra bullets are few and far between. Easy mode'll start you off with 150 bullets, and you'll be able to obtain more every so often, but you'll find those deplete rather quickly. There are a lot more monsters on your journey this time so bullets become even more of a concern. Luckily there's more of a variety of weapons making the need for bullets less stressful, but still it's a great concern.

The control is familiar. That means it's still hard to aim if you're a novice, but you'll master it in no time. Still some of the views get in the way.

Resident Evil 2 just goes to show that games are the perfect medium for the horror genre. Books and movies are great and all, but you don't control what happens. With games, however, you are in control; therefore, you have more of a feel for what is happening. And Resident Evil 2 milks that fact for all its worth. You'll jump out of your seat more than once I tell ya. And at all times you have a feeling that something sometime will jump out and kill you.

Replay Value is high, thanks to the fact that Capcom has "Zap" gameplay. Meaning that every little choice you make will have an effect on what happens later on. This isn't an entirely new thing, but it's a nice feature. You can also take a completed game from one character and load it into the other characters game. And depending on what you did the first time you're second time through will be affected.

Not only is this an awesome game, but it will also most likely be the Playstation's best selling game so far. The fact that this missed the Christmas season will probably demolish the "Games released in the first 6 months of the year don't sell well" theory. Basically, Shinji Mikami and Capcom have outdone themselves. And I can't give much more praise than that.

Overall: 9.8
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