To quote AC/DC and its now-corpselike lead singer Bon Scott, "If this is hell, then you can say that it's heavenly." Capcom has brought its classic survival horror game "i"Resident Evil 2 to the Sega Dreamcast, and those wacky flesh-chewing zombies certainly do get biz-ay consistently and thoroughly...
"p""i"Evil remains unchanged from its PSOne and PC versions. The game places dedicated heroes Claire Redfield and wet-behind-the-ears cop Leon Kennedy in the midst of hell on Earth, Raccoon City. The heartless conglomerate Umbrella has released a devastating virus that gives birth to the Ungrateful Dead, and now the city is deserted; the streets seem to hold nothing but equal parts debris and danger, and Miller Time seems infinitely far away. With gun in hand and no idea where to go (hint: head toward the police station), the heroes are tasked with restoring order to the chaos.
"p"Each hero participates in a separate, but connected, adventure. The game comes on two GD-ROMs, with each disk starring a different hero. Claire and Leon take separate routes through zombieville, and what Claire does in her game will influence the way Leon's trek plays out. Though the environments remain constant throughout, the challenge doesn't peter out in the slightest, and a good deal of replay value is added. Beating the game with Claire unlocks new stuff for Leon and vice-versa -- and a few hidden characters, among them the inexplicable Tofu, are included as well. To add, in the colorful lingo of the streets, even more flava, Capcom has tossed in a gallery mode (with plenty of pictures, 3D models, and movies) and given players instant access to both the game's original and "arrange" mode.
Brilliant in design and execution, Resident Evil 2 remains one of the best games ever made. The game loads its plate with scares both subtle and sublime; lengthy periods of suspense are punctuated with brief moments of genuine terror to create an experience that's best savored in the dark, preferably with the volume up and the door unlocked. Diagetic sounds -- the click of Claire's heels on tiled floor, the soft moans of the undead -- are used to emphasize the heroes' alienation, and foreshadowing (a puddle of blood on the floor, a shadow that quickly flashes across a window) ensures that in the downtime, players will be wondering what's coming next. Few games have ever managed to capture both mood and horror in such a comprehensive manner, and for this we are still tipping our hats to the game.
Resident Evil 2 features a decent set of puzzles that warmly embrace the notion that stuff needs pushing, specially shaped keys demand finding and control panels hold all the answers. When not wracking their brains trying to find the key shaped like Ugandan dictator Idi Amin (example used solely for comedic value), players will need to collect weapons and ammunition that can be used to duly perforate the game's wonderful complement of solidly creepy enemies: shambling zombies, rotted Dobermans, giant spiders, a speedy crocodile and various denizens of the abyss.
"p"Capcom's Dreamcast Evil
looks a lot smoother than the PSOne version does, and the character and creature models appear to be as gorgeous as the ones featured on the PC edition. Backgrounds have been sharpened, too, and even the game's unrepentant pixelization (though still prominent) doesn't seem altogether horrific. Control for the game remains the same as it ever was, meaning it's pretty lackluster. Capcom, oddly enough, imagined it would be a good idea if players were required to push a button to climb or descend stairs, and then put the idea into practice. Heroes can be moved with either the analog stick or the D-pad, but either option allows for little in the way of accurate handling. Expect running characters to sway like the heavily inebriated; this poor movement scheme will make it possible for slow-moving zombies to have their lunch delivered straight to them.
The Bottom Line: It was a classic on the PSOne and it's a classic here. -- "i"DailyRadar Review