It’s funny how remaking a game can give you a wholly different vibe. The original Resident Evil 2 was a great game for its time, but by today’s standards it’s as scary as a children’s Halloween costume, unless you’re playing it for the very first time. The Resident Evil 2 remake, however, is a modern horror masterpiece.
For the longest time, zombies have been immensely boring enemies. They’ve infested all corners of films, TV, books, and games. Especially games. Some titles have switched things up, like the special zombie classes of Left 4 Dead, or The Last of Us having a mushroom parasite rather than a your run-of-the-mill secret virus.
But these don’t change the fact that plain old zombies are still dull. They aren’t scary, just so many shambling bullet sponges. Well, they may have been scary to me as a young lad, but not anymore.
This is why making zombies scary again is Resident Evil 2’s masterstroke. No silly gimmicks, these zombies just like big surprises. They’re like a person jumping out of a birthday cake, but if hat person proceeded to chew everyone’s faces off.
No matter if I was in the police station or in the sewers, every time I ran past a prone body on the floor I had to put a bullet into it. Just to make sure it didn’t get up and bite my ankles.
Everyone talks about how terrifying Mr. X is, how dated Resident Evil 2’s puzzle design is even in the remake, or how gorgeous it all looks. They’re absolutely right. But the masterstroke is making even the humble zombie shambling towards you – jaws snapping – just as disturbing.