Even those ‘basic’ zombies are terrifying, too, with a level of detail and individuality that make them the most convincing undead I’ve seen in a video game. Each missed shot adds a layer of panic and they are all a genuine threat, particularly if they are in a pack. More than a few times in my two playthroughs have I been concentrating on a tougher enemy and been blind-sided by a lurking zombie ready to chew my neck off.
That refinement doesn’t mean that Resident Evil 2 has been made into a Resi 4 style action game by any means, ammunition is limited and combat is often best avoided, but it does mean that gunplay is another string in the remake’s bow.
What it allows for is a terrific sense of pacing. The heart of the game is exploring that station, but Capcom are clever at dispatching new threats just when you might be letting your guard down. The infamous blind, skin-deprived Lickers are ferocious, scuttling over walls and ready to gobble you up in a few hits. You can endeavour to sneak past them without making a sound, but it is a risky, ludicrously stressful strategy to employ, particularly if there are other enemies shuffling in the background. Or the Tyrant comes thundering into view.
It’s when all these foes come down on you at once that Resident Evil 2 is at its most exquisitely terrifying; an unparalleled sense of panic as you try to wrest control of the situation without dumping all your ammo or just sprinting for the nearest door. (though, for the record, you can now be followed, zombies more than happy to bash down obstacles in their way).