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Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 2
A monochrome image of a decaying zombie face, placed in the upper right corner of the box art and superimposed over a black background. The game's title is written in red capital letters of the sans-serif font Haettenschweiler.
European cover art
Director(s) Hideki Kamiya
Producer(s) Shinji Mikami
Artist(s) Isao Ohishi
Ryoji Shimogama
Writer(s) Noboru Sugimura
Composer(s) Masami Ueda
Shusaku Uchiyama
Shun Nishigaki
Series Resident Evil
Platform(s) PlayStation, Game.com, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, GameCube, PlayStation Network
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Survival horror
Mode(s) Single-player
Media/distribution Optical disc, cartridge, download

Resident Evil 2, known as Biohazard 2 (バイオハザード2 Baiohazādo Tsū?) in Japan, is a survival horror video game originally released for the PlayStation in 1998. Developed by Capcom as the second installment in the Resident Evil series, its story takes place two months after the events of the first game, Resident Evil. It is set in Raccoon City, an American community whose residents have been transformed into zombies by the T-virus, a biological weapon developed by the pharmaceutical company Umbrella. In their escape from the city, the two protagonists, Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, encounter other survivors, and are confronted by William Birkin, the mutated creator of the G-virus, a more powerful variation of the T-virus.

The gameplay of Resident Evil 2 focuses on exploration, puzzle solving and combat, and features typical survival horror elements such as limited saves and ammunition. The game's main difference from its predecessor is the "Zapping System", which provides each player character with unique storylines and obstacles. Developed by a team of 40 to 50 people over the course of one year and nine months, Resident Evil 2 was directed by Hideki Kamiya and produced by Shinji Mikami. The initial version of the game, commonly referred to as Resident Evil 1.5, differed drastically from the released product and was scrapped at a development stage of 60–80 percent, after being deemed "dull and boring" by the producer. The resulting redesign introduced different settings and a more cinematic story presentation, supported by a soundtrack that employs "desperation" as an underlying theme.

Resident Evil 2 was well received by critics, who praised its atmosphere, setting, graphics and audio. Its controls, voice acting and inventory system were criticized, however, and certain reviewers disliked its puzzles. The game has become a million-seller, and is the franchise's most successful title on a single platform. Years after its first release, Resident Evil 2 was included in several lists of the 100 best games. Following its initial success on the PlayStation, it was ported to Microsoft Windows, the Nintendo 64, Dreamcast and Nintendo GameCube, and was released as a modified 2.5D version for the Game.com handheld. The story of Resident Evil 2 was retold and built upon in several later games, and has been adapted into a variety of licensed works.



As a survival horror title, Resident Evil 2 features the same basic gameplay mechanics as its predecessor, Resident Evil. The player explores a fictional city while solving puzzles and fighting monsters.[2] The game's two protagonists may be equipped with firearms, but limited ammunition adds a tactical element to weapon use.[2][3] On the status screen, the player can check the condition of the protagonists, use medicine to heal their wounds, and assign weapons.[4][5] The characters' current health can also be determined by their posture and movement speed. For example, a character will hold their stomach in pain if wounded, and will limp slowly if on the verge of death.[2] The protagonists may carry a limited number of items, and must store others in boxes placed throughout the game world, where they may later be retrieved.[2][6] Each protagonist is joined by a support partner during the course of the story. These characters accompany the player in certain scenes, and occasionally become playable.[7][8] Certain rooms contain typewriters that the player may use to save the game. However, each save expends one of a limited number of ink ribbons, which the player must collect in the game world.[9][10] The graphics of Resident Evil 2 are composed of real-time generated – and thus movable – polygonal character and item models, superimposed over pre-rendered backgrounds that are viewed from fixed camera angles.[2][11]

The main addition over the preceding game is the "Zapping System":[12] Resident Evil 2 confronts each of the two playable characters with different puzzles and storylines in their respective scenarios.[2] After finishing the "A" scenario with one protagonist, a "B" scenario, in which the events are depicted from the other character's perspective (meaning while this was going on, this was happening to the other character), is unlocked.[2][13] The player has the option of starting the "A" scenario with either of the two protagonists, resulting in a total of four different scenarios.[14] Actions taken during the first playthrough affect the second. For example, the availability of certain items may be altered.[2] After each game, the player receives a ranking based on the total time taken to complete the scenario, and on the number of saves and special healing items used.[15] Depending on the player's accomplishments, bonus weapons and costumes may be unlocked as a reward.[13] The game contains three stand-alone minigames: "The 4th Survivor", "The Tofu Survivor" and "Extreme Battle".[16] These feature an extended cast of characters, and provide goals such as surviving with no items to pick up.[16][17]


The game is set two months after the events of the first Resident Evil, and one day after the events of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis[18] in the Midwestern American mountain community of Raccoon City.[19] Nearly all of its citizens have been transformed into zombies by an outbreak of the T-virus, a new type of biological weapon secretly developed by the pharmaceutical company Umbrella.[20][21] The game's two protagonists are Leon S. Kennedy, a rookie police officer on his first day in the local force, and Claire Redfield, a college student looking for her brother Chris. Having just arrived in the city, Leon and Claire make their way to the Raccoon Police Department, seeking protection from the mutated population.[20] There, they discover that most of the police officers have been killed already,[22] and that Chris has left town to investigate the Umbrella headquarters in Europe.[23] With no remaining motivation to stay, the two protagonists split up to look for other survivors and flee the city.[24][25] While searching for an escape route, Claire meets a little girl named Sherry, who is on the run from an unknown creature, and Leon encounters Ada Wong, who claims to be looking for her boyfriend John, an Umbrella researcher.[24][26]

A young police officer is defending himself against a group of attacking zombies with a shotgun. The scene takes place in a small room decorated with pieces of art.
  A screenshot of the police department's interior, showing Leon in battle with zombies. The character and item models are the only moving elements of the graphics. The backgrounds are pre-rendered still images, which allows for a high level of graphical detail.[7]

It is revealed that Leon's superior officer, Raccoon City police chief Brian Irons, had been bribed by Umbrella to hide evidence of the company's experiments in the outskirts of the city. He also concealed their development of the new G-virus, an agent capable of mutating a human into the ultimate bioweapon.[24][27] Irons tries to murder Claire, but is killed by a G-virus mutant in the police department. Thereupon, Claire and Sherry escape through the sewers and become separated. After splitting up with Leon, Ada comes upon Sherry, and picks up a golden pendant the girl loses while running away. Further into the sewers, Ada reluctantly teams up with Leon again, after he insists on his duty to protect her. They encounter a middle-aged woman who fires at Ada, but Leon dives between them and takes a bullet himself. Ada ignores the unconscious Leon and follows the woman, who reveals herself to be Sherry's mother Annette and the wife of William Birkin, the Umbrella scientist who created the G-virus. In an attempt to protect his life's work from special agents sent by the Umbrella headquarters, he injected himself with the virus, which turned him into the malformed creature that is now chasing Sherry.[24] Annette recognizes her daughter's pendant and attempts to take it from Ada. A fight ensues, during which Annette is thrown over a railing.[28] Ada learns that the golden locket contains a sample of the G-virus, and later – taken over by her emotions – returns to Leon, tending to his bullet wound.[20][24]

Meanwhile, Claire is reunited with Sherry, and discovers that the mutated Birkin has implanted his daughter with an embryo to produce offspring. Leon, Ada, Claire and Sherry advance through an abandoned factory connected to Umbrella's secret underground research facility. An attack by Birkin leaves Ada heavily wounded, and Leon explores the laboratory to find something to treat her wounds.[24] He is interrupted by a psychotic Annette, who explains to him that Ada's relationship with John was only a means of getting information about Umbrella: Ada is a spy sent to steal the G-virus for an unknown organization.[24][29] Just as Annette is about to shoot Leon, a Tyrant monster appears and she is forced to retreat. Ada returns to save Leon, and defeats the Tyrant seemingly at the cost of her own life. Meanwhile, Annette tries to escape with another sample of the G-virus, but is fatally wounded by her mutated husband. However, before she dies, she tells Claire how to create a vaccine that will stop the mutations caused by the embryo within Sherry. After preparing the cure, Leon and Claire reunite at an emergency escape train, and inject Sherry with the vaccine, which saves her life. Birkin – now mutated into a large agglomeration of flesh and teeth – follows them, but is destroyed when a self-destruct system causes the train to explode.[24] After escaping from the city with Sherry, Leon intends to take down Umbrella, while Claire continues to search for her brother.[24][30] Ada is implied to have survived and to have made away with the G-virus in the pendant.[24][31] The minigame "The 4th Survivor" depicts the successful G-virus retrieval mission of Hunk, one of the special agents sent by Umbrella.[31] "The Tofu Survivor" and "Extreme Battle" are stand-alone missions that are unconnected to the plot of the game.[16][32]


  Initial version

A young woman in a red and white racing suit is shooting at a pair of undead police officers, while two more enemies sneak up on her from behind. The office of the police station they are fighting in has sheets of paper scattered on the floor, and the whole scene features a bluish tint.
  In Resident Evil 1.5, players could control a female protagonist called Elza Walker. The zombies in this early version were less detailed, and the interior of the police station had a more modern design.

The initial attempt at creating a follow-up to Resident Evil (Biohazard in Japan) was Biohazard Dash, set three years after the events of the first game and "centered in and around the crumbling ruins of the destroyed Spencer Mansion, with players hopping into the shoes of two new characters of unknown identity," who would be fighting "bizarre, plant-like monstrosities." However, this project was scrapped in favor of a full-blown sequel set in Raccoon City.[33]

Development of Resident Evil 2 began one month after the completion of its predecessor in early 1996.[34] The game was officially announced when the first footage was shown at the V Jump Festival '96 in July.[35] This early build, later dubbed Resident Evil 1.5 by producer Shinji Mikami, differed drastically from the released version in its scenario, presentation and gameplay mechanics.[36][37] Its plot followed the same basic outline as that of Resident Evil 2, and featured a zombie outbreak in Raccoon City two months after the events of the first game. In this version of the story, however, Umbrella had already been closed down as a consequence of their illegal experiments.[38] The development team sought to retain the level of fear from the original game, and thus introduced to the narrative two new characters who lacked experience with terrifying situations: Leon S. Kennedy, largely identical to his persona in the final build, and Elza Walker, a college student and motorcycle racer vacationing in Raccoon City, her hometown.[37][38][39][40] Unlike the final version, the story paths of Leon and Elza did not cross, and each playable character had two support partners instead of just one.[39] Leon received help from fellow police officer Marvin Branagh and a researcher named Linda – an early version of Ada – while Elza was aided by Sherry Birkin and a man named John, who appeared in Resident Evil 2 as gun shop owner Robert Kendo.[39][41]

Real-world influences had an impact on several character designs by artists Isao Ohishi and Ryoji Shimogama. For example, Ohishi based Leon on his bloodhound, and Annette Birkin was modeled after actress Jodie Foster.[41] The police department in which Resident Evil 1.5 began had a more modern and realistic design, and was smaller than the final building seen in Resident Evil 2.[38][39] There were more encounters with surviving policemen, such as a superior officer of Leon called Roy.[39][41] The number of polygons used for enemy models was far lower than in the released version.[36] This allowed many zombies to appear on the screen, a method of invoking fear in the player that recurred throughout Resident Evil 1.5.[36][37] Furthermore, the game employed dynamic music, and frequently applied alterations to the pre-rendered backgrounds in response to events during the gameplay.[38] The playable characters could be equipped with gear, such as protective clothes that enhanced their defense and enabled them to carry more items.[42][43] The characters' polygonal models were altered by costume changes and by damage received from enemies.[42]


The development was carried out by a 40- to 50-person group that would later be part of Capcom Production Studio 4.[36][44] Director Hideki Kamiya led the team, which was composed of newer Capcom employees and over half of the staff from the original Resident Evil.[34][36][37] In the initial stages of development, producer Mikami often had creative disagreements with Kamiya, and tried to influence the team with his own direction. He eventually stepped back to an overseeing role as producer, and only demanded to be shown the current build once a month.[37] Believing the game's assets to be good individually, but not yet satisfactory as a whole, Mikami expected that everything would coalesce in the three months leading up to the projected May 1997 release date.[37][40] Shortly thereafter, however, Resident Evil 1.5 was scrapped at a development stage of 60–80 percent.[34][36][39][45] Mikami later explained that the game would not have reached the desired quality in the aforementioned period, and especially frowned upon the gameplay and locations for being "dull and boring".[34][36][37]

The story of Resident Evil 1.5, with which Mikami planned to end the series, was criticized by supervisor Yoshiki Okamoto, who found it to be too conclusive to allow for future installments. Instead, Okamoto proposed the creation of a fictional universe that would turn Resident Evil into a metaseries – similar to the Gundam and James Bond franchises – in which self-contained stories with common elements could be told.[37] During a period in which the team made no progress rewriting the scenario, Okamoto was introduced to professional screenwriter Noboru Sugimura, who was enthusiastic about the first game's story.[46] Sugimura was initially consulted on a trial basis, but Okamoto was impressed by the ease with which the writer came up with solutions to the problems that plagued the script, and soon asked him to compose the entire scenario for Resident Evil 2.[36][46] One fundamental modification to the story was the reworking of Elza Walker into Claire Redfield, in order to introduce a connection to the plot of the first game.[34] To fulfill Capcom's sales plan of two million copies, director Kamiya tried to attract new customers with a more ostentatious and Hollywood-like story presentation.[47] As Okamoto did not want to simply enforce the new direction, he had Sugimura discuss the plot revisions with Mikami and the development staff.[37] The planners redesigned the game from the ground up to fit the changes, and the programmers and other remaining members of the team were sent to work on Resident Evil Director's Cut, which was shipped with a playable preview disc of the new Resident Evil 2 version in order to promote the sequel and to apologize to the players for its belated release.[36][48]

Only a few assets from Resident Evil 1.5 could be recycled, as the principal locations in the final build were made to look more extravagant and artistic, based on photographs taken of the interiors of Western-style buildings in Japanese cities.[36] These environments were created with a software program called O2, and each background took two to three weeks to render. The maximum number of zombies displayed on the screen at one time was limited to seven, making it possible to use 450 polygons for the comparatively detailed models of Leon and Claire.[34] The protagonists, instead of being given visible wounds, were made to limp slowly upon receiving heavy damage.[36] Apart from the graphics, one of the most important new features was the "Zapping System", which was partly inspired by Back to the Future Part II, a time travel-themed film sequel that offers a different perspective on the story of the original film. The voice-overs by the all-Canadian cast of Resident Evil 2 were recorded before the actual cutscenes were completed, with each of the actors selected from a roster of ten people per role.[37] Thereafter, the full-motion videos (FMVs) were created by filming stop motion animations of action figures, which were then rendered to completed pictures with computer graphics (CG) tools.[32] Ada's movie model could not be finished in time. Thus, she is the only main character not to appear in a pre-rendered cutscene.[37]

Several changes had to be made between the regional releases of Resident Evil 2. The North American version contains more violent "game over" screens, which were removed from the Japanese Biohazard 2. Resident Evil 2 was also made more difficult than its Japanese equivalent to prevent rentals from affecting U.S. sales.[32][34][49]

  Re-releases and ports

An image showing a video game peripheral for Sega's Dreamcast console.
  A re-release of Resident Evil 2 for the Dreamcast added support for the console's Visual Memory Unit, enabling the peripheral to display the current condition of the playable character.

After its initial release for the PlayStation in January 1998, Resident Evil 2 was reissued and ported to other systems, often gaining new features in the process. The first re-release was the Dual Shock Ver., which incorporated support for the vibration and analog control functions of the PlayStation's DualShock controller. Other additions include a new unlockable minigame called "Extreme Battle", and a "Rookie" mode that enables the player to start the main story with a powerful weapon that features infinite ammunition. The Japanese release of the Dual Shock Ver. contained a "U.S.A. Version" mode based on the difficulty level of Resident Evil 2's Western versions.[50]

The Dual Shock Ver. served as the basis for the majority of ports, such as the Windows 9x-based PC-CD release, which was titled Resident Evil 2 Platinum in North America. Aside from retaining all previously added features, the PC version can be run in higher resolutions.[51] A "Data Gallery" was added to the main menu, allowing the player to view movies, rough sketches, illustrations and 3D models.[51][52] In February 2006, a Japan-exclusive, Windows XP-compatible PC-DVD re-release was published. Developed by Sourcenext, it included high-quality FMVs encoded at a resolution of 640×480 pixels.[53][54] The Dreamcast version keeps the additions from the original PC release, runs at 60 frames per second during gameplay, and incorporates real-time display of the character's condition on the Visual Memory Unit peripheral.[55][56] The Japanese edition of the Dreamcast port was given the subtitle Value Plus and came with a playable demo of Resident Evil Code: Veronica.[52] An unmodified port of the Dual Shock Ver. was released for the Nintendo GameCube.[57] The initial PlayStation version was re-released on the Japanese PlayStation Network in 2007, while the service's North American counterpart received the Dual Shock Ver. two years later.[58][59][60]

The Nintendo 64 version of Resident Evil 2 differs most from the other releases. Over the course of twelve months and with a budget of $1 million,[61] Resident Evil 2 was ported to the console by a staff of about 20 employees from Capcom Production Studio 3, Angel Studios and Factor 5.[1][62] This version offers features that were not included on any other system, such as alternate costumes, the ability to adjust the degree of violence and to change the blood color, a randomizer to place items differently during each playthrough, and a more responsive first-person control scheme.[11][62][63] Additionally, the port features 16 new in-game documents known as the "Ex Files",[11][63] written by Tetsuro Oyama.[64] Hidden throughout the four scenarios, they reveal new information about the series' lore and connect the story of Resident Evil 2 to those of the other installments.[11][63] The Nintendo 64 version adjusts its display resolution depending on the number of polygonal models currently on screen, and supports the console's Expansion Pak accessory for a maximum resolution of 640×480 during gameplay.[65][66] Other visual enhancements include smoother character animations and sharper, perspective-corrected textures for the 3D models.[65] The music of the Nintendo 64 version utilizes Dolby Surround, and was converted by Chris Hülsbeck, Rudolf Stember and Thomas Engel.[62] The team reworked the sound set from the ground up to provide each instrument with a higher sample rate than on the PlayStation, thus resulting in higher-quality music.[67] Some features from the other enhanced ports based on the Dual Shock Ver. do not appear in the Nintendo 64 version, such as the "Extreme Battle" minigame.[68]

A port of Resident Evil 2 for the Sega Saturn was developed internally at Capcom for a time, but the discontinuation of the console led to its cancellation in October 1998.[69] Tiger Electronics released a sprite-based 2.5D version for their Game.com handheld in late 1998. It included only Leon's story path, and removed several of the original game's core features.[70][71]


The music for Resident Evil 2 was composed by Masami Ueda, Shusaku Uchiyama and Shun Nishigaki.[64][72] The compositions were meant to convey "desperation" as their underlying theme.[34] In his role as lead composer, Ueda provided the motifs, while Uchiyama was responsible for the horror-themed music used for the investigation and movie scenes.[73] The main theme of the score, a versatile three-note motif, is utilized several times throughout the course of the story, being included in compositions such as "Prologue", "Raccoon City" and "The Third Malformation Of G". Various musical styles, ranging from ambient horror music to industrial pieces, are used to represent the different environments of the game. For example, the streets of Raccoon City are emphasized with militaristic percussion-based music, while the police department features ominous piano underscores.[74] Key events of the story are supported with orchestral and cinematic compositions – a move that was inspired by blockbuster films.[73][74]

Two albums containing music from the game were released in January and August 1998, respectively.[75][76] The first, Biohazard 2 Original Soundtrack, is the main release and includes most of the significant compositions.[74] The second, Biohazard 2 Complete Track, largely encompasses less prevalent themes, but offers an orchestral medley and a second CD with sound effects and voice collections, as well as an interview with the sound staff.[77] Biohazard 2 Original Soundtrack received an identical European CD titled Resident Evil 2 Original Soundtrack. In the North American album of the same name, the opening theme "The Beginning Of Story" is split up into four individual tracks.[74] Five orchestral arrangements of the game's music were included on the Bio Hazard Orchestra Album, a recording of a live concert performed by the New Japan Philharmonic.[78] Disc jockey Piston Nishizawa created electronic remixes for several of the compositions, which were later released as the album Biohazard 2 Remix: Metamorphoses.[79]


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings PlayStation (PS): 92.6%[80]
Windows 9x: 79.6%[81]
Nintendo 64 (N64): 86.8%[82]
Dreamcast (DC): 79.8%[83]
GameCube (GCN): 63.3%[84]
Metacritic PS: 89[85]
N64: 89[86]
DC: 77[87]
GCN: 59[88]
Review scores
Publication Score
Allgame PS: 4/5 stars[89]
Computer and Video Games PS: 9.0[90]
Famitsu PS: 37/40[91]
DC: 34/40[92]
N64: 30/40[93]
Game Informer PS: 9.5[94]
GamePro PS: 5/5 stars[7]
PS (Dual Shock Ver.):
4.5/5 stars[95]
GameSpot PS: 8.9[2]
IGN PS: 9.3[96]
Game.com: 3.0[71]

Supported by a $5 million advertising campaign, Resident Evil 2 upon its release became the fastest-selling video game in North America, selling 380,000 copies and grossing $19 million[97] (equivalent to $26.22 million in 2011)[98] in its debut weekend alone, surpassing the previous record set by Final Fantasy VII and surpassing the revenue of all Hollywood movies except for Titanic that same weekend.[97] With 4.96 million copies sold, the PlayStation version of Resident Evil 2 was a commercial success, and is the franchise's best-selling game on a single platform.[99] Another 810,000 copies of the Dual Shock Ver. were shipped by March 1999.[100]

Resident Evil 2 was well received by critics. Its original PlayStation release holds average scores of 93 percent at GameRankings and 89 out of 100 points at Metacritic.[80][85] It has been held in high regard in the years following its initial release, and was named the 4th best game on the PlayStation by Famitsu.[101] Electronic Gaming Monthly, IGN, Game Informer and Official UK PlayStation Magazine included Resident Evil 2 in their lists of the 100 best games; it came in 62nd, 58th, 34th and 6th place, respectively.[a] In 2011, GameTrailers ranked it fourth on a list of the games that most needed remakes.[102] The majority of reviews praised Resident Evil 2 for its atmosphere, setting, graphics and audio, but criticized its controls, voice acting and certain gameplay elements.[b]

  Design and presentation

IGN's Ricardo Sanchez thought that the game's atmosphere was "dead on", and claimed that "[the] graphics, sound effects, music and level design all work together to create a spooky, horror-filled world".[96] Ryan Mac Donald of GameSpot shared the opinion, and found the game to be "like a product out of Hollywood". He believed that it was "more an interactive, cinematic experience than a video game".[2] Writing for ComputerAndVideoGames.com, Paul Mallinson considered the game's atmosphere, story and film-like presentation its most outstanding features.[103] Although he found its plot to be "far-fetched", he noted that it was ultimately "kept down to earth by clever scripting and gritty storytelling".[103] GamePro staff writer Mike Weigand called the narrative "engrossing and dramatic", and the dialogue "well-written" and "spell-binding".[7] Sanchez, GameSpy's Brian Davis and Eurogamer.net's Martin Taylor praised the "Zapping System" for adding to the story and increasing the replay value.[96][104][105] Mac Donald thought that the idea of actions in the first scenario affecting the second was "cool in concept", but underutilized in the game.[2]

Resident Evil 2 was also praised for its graphics, which many critics felt were a substantial improvement upon those of the first installment.[2][7][96] Sanchez and Weigand thought that the pre-rendered backgrounds were an impressive leap ahead of those in the original Resident Evil, thanks to their increased detail and interactivity.[7][96] Mac Donald praised the model animations for having reached "true realism", and commended the game's use of body language as a means of seamlessly communicating the condition of the protagonists' health.[2] Allgame's Shawn Sackenheim awarded its graphics the highest possible score, as he found the backgrounds to be "rendered to perfection", the cutscenes "a work of art" and the animation "fluid and eerie".[89] The audio was well received by critics. Weigand cited it as an "excellent accompaniment to the visuals".[7] Sanchez went as far as to say that Resident Evil 2 "may have the best sound design yet for a console game".[96] Sackenheim described the music and sound effects as "spot on perfect", and called the soundtrack "perfectly composed",[89] while Mac Donald likened the game's use of audio to that of classic horror films.[2]

A common point of criticism was the inventory system, which Sanchez called "a pain". He frowned upon the player's need to retrieve objects from item boxes,[96] and Mac Donald criticized the system for being unrealistic, as the boxes are "[magically]" interconnected and all items take the same amount of space when being carried, regardless of their size.[2] Furthermore, Mallinson and Mac Donald disapproved of certain puzzles, which they believed were out of place in a police station setting.[2][103] Sanchez thought that the puzzles were paced better than in the first game, but also found them less interesting and too easy for experienced players.[96] Sackenheim noted the game's brevity in his review, and remarked that the individual scenarios are not different enough to hold the interest of casual players until the end of the game.[89] He found the controls to be "easy to pick up and play", while Sanchez thought that aiming weapons was difficult.[89][96] Certain reviewers panned the voice acting, calling it "cheesy", "terrible" and "barbaric".[c]

  Later versions

With the exception of the game's critically acclaimed Nintendo 64 port,[82][86] most later releases of Resident Evil 2 have received slightly lower scores than the PlayStation version.[d] Weigand advised players who already owned Resident Evil 2 to rent the Dual Shock Ver. for the "Extreme Battle" minigame, and recommended that newcomers buy the updated edition instead of the original release.[95] The Windows port was praised for its additional content, but criticized for not allowing the player to save at will, and for lacking updated backgrounds to fit the higher in-game resolution.[e] The Nintendo 64 version was widely commended for the technical achievement of fitting a two-disc game on a single 512-Mbit (the largest available capacity for a Nintendo 64 cartridge) cartridge. However, Taylor criticized the game for retaining scenes from the PlayStation version that were used to conceal loading times – a technical disadvantage of optical discs that cartridges do not share.[f] GameSpot's Joe Fielder found the compression to be forgivable given the cartridge format, and noted that the new exclusive features made up for the lack of the "Extreme Battle" mode.[68] IGN reviewer Matt Casamassina applauded the implementation of Dolby Surround support, and called the Nintendo 64 release the "best version of the game".[11]

The clearer sound effects of the Dreamcast port were received well by Game Revolution's Shawn Sparks, who also remarked that the character models look slightly sharper.[106] However, Steve Key of ComputerAndVideoGames.com disliked the Dreamcast release's low-resolution backgrounds, which he thought made the characters stand out too much from the environments, and thus lessened the game's atmosphere.[107] GameSpot staff writer James Mielke did not believe that the Dreamcast port was "an essential purchase", but still called it a "great game" and, thanks to its low retail price, an attractive offer.[55] The Nintendo GameCube release was heavily criticized for its high price and dated graphics.[g] However, "Four-Eyed Dragon" of GamePro noted that it offered the best in-game visuals of any version of the game.[108] Davis and 1UP.com's Mark MacDonald were disappointed by the port's lack of features that were included in the Nintendo 64 release.[104][109] Peer Schneider of IGN found the 2.5D version for the Game.com to be frustrating and only "partially faithful" to the original release of Resident Evil 2. Although he felt that its graphics and sound effects managed to recreate the original game's atmosphere to a certain extent, he thought that its controls were too "sluggish" to allow for an enjoyable experience.[71]

  Adaptations and sequels

The story of Resident Evil 2 was the basis for several licensed works and later games. Ted Adams and Kris Oprisko loosely adapted it into the comics "Raccoon City – R.I.P." and "A New Chapter of Evil", which were released in the first and second issues of Resident Evil: The Official Comic Book Magazine in March and June 1998.[110][111] The 60-issue Cantonese manhua Shēnghuà Wēijī 2 (lit. "Biological Crisis 2") was published weekly from February 1998 to April 1999.[112] A romantic comedy retelling of the game's story, centered on Leon, Claire and Ada, was released as the Taiwanese two-issue comic Èlíng Gǔbǎo II (lit. "Demon Castle II").[113] Resident Evil: City of the Dead, a 1999 book written by author S. D. Perry, is a more direct adaptation of the narrative, and was the third release in her series of Resident Evil novelizations.[114]

The mobile game Resident Evil: Uprising contains a condensed version of the Resident Evil 2 story, adapted by Megan Swaine.[115][116] Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, an on-rails shooter released for the Wii in 2009, includes a scenario named "Memories of a Lost City", which reimagines the original Resident Evil 2 plot while retaining key scenes from the game's four scenarios.[117] In 2008, Resident Evil 5 producer Jun Takeuchi, who had previously worked on the series as weapons designer and graphics animator, alluded to the possibility of a full-fledged remake of Resident Evil 2;[118][119][120] Shinji Mikami also brought this up when the game was ported to the GameCube in 2002, but did not want to work on it because it could delay Resident Evil 4's release date.[121]

The story arcs introduced in Resident Evil 2 were continued in drama albums and later game releases. Kyoko Sagiyama, Junichi Miyashita, Yasuyuki Suzuki, Noboru Sugimura, Hirohisa Soda and Kishiko Miyagi – screenwriters employed by Capcom's former scenario subsidiary Flagship – created two radio dramas titled Chiisana Tōbōsha Sherry (lit. "Sherry, the Little Runaway") and Ikiteita Onna Spy Ada (lit. "Ada, the Female Spy, is Alive"). The dramas were broadcast on Radio Osaka in early 1999, and later released by publisher Suleputer as two separate CDs with the common title Biohazard 2 Drama Album.[122][123][124][125] Chiisana Tōbōsha Sherry begins shortly after the events of the game. Sherry is separated from Claire while fleeing from Umbrella soldiers sent to kill all witnesses of the viral outbreak. Raccoon City is burned down by the U.S. Government and Umbrella in an attempt to cover up the disaster. Sherry seeks refuge in the neighboring town of Stone Ville, and later escapes to Canada with the help of a girl named Meg, who vows to help her reunite with Claire.[122]

Ikiteita Onna Spy Ada is set a few days after Resident Evil 2, and deals with Ada's mission to retrieve Sherry's pendant with the G-virus sample, which is said to be in the possession of Hunk in the backstory of the drama album.[124] Ada intercepts the delivery of the locket in France, and kills Hunk and his men. As a consequence of an accidental T-virus leak in Loire Village, the destination of the delivery, Ada is forced to retreat to an old castle. Along with a unit of the French paratroopers sent to burn down the village, she encounters Christine Henry, the Umbrella facility director who gave Hunk the order to deliver the G-virus to France.[124][126] Jacob, the leader of the airborne unit, is revealed to be Christine's co-conspirator. However, he plans to keep the G-virus sample for himself, and shoots her. Philippe, another member of the unit, convinces Ada to give him the pendant, after which he injects himself with the G-virus to give himself the power to stop Jacob. Ada escapes and realizes her feelings for Leon, deciding to quit the spy business and return to him.[124] The two drama albums are not acknowledged in later series releases. The characters' story arcs are continued differently: Sherry is taken into custody by the U.S. Government immediately after the events of Resident Evil 2, and Ada keeps the pendant with the G-virus and resumes her activities as a spy.[127][128] Hunk successfully delivers a separate G-virus sample to Umbrella.[31]


^ Reference group a[129][130][131][132] ^ Reference group b[2][57][89][90][96][133] ^ Reference group c[51][57][108][134] ^ Reference group d[81][83][84][87][88]
^ Reference group e[9][51][134][135][136] ^ Reference group f[11][68][105][137][138][139] ^ Reference group g[57][104][109][140][141][142]
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