The long awaited remake (or reimagining might be more apt) of one of Capcom's most critically acclaimed games is finally here, and verdict is simply this: a masterclass of a game in terms of production values, as well as a prime definition in how to recreate a game from the ground up. Sure, the main characters and story beats are still intact, but it's been remixed in both a way that is familiar and pleasantly suprising, in a well-polished package.
While all of the locales have a sense of nostalgia, there are now new sections and changes to the environments. Case in point – the east and west wings of the police department are now completely devoid of light, and the player must use a flashlight to literally highlight an excellent lighting engine. The puzzles in the game have also been altered, and now feel slightly more organic than some ham-fisted way of incorporating puzzles into the gameplay.
The soundtrack, admittedly, is more subtle than I would have preferred (or maybe that's just the nostalgia talking...fortunately, the original OST is available for the game). The sound effects, however, from the weapons, footsteps, to the enemies, are fantastic and are best experienced with a good set of headphones or speakers.
As for the gameplay, it controls like a vastly improved Resident Evil 4. The distinct lack of ammo compared to the original forces you to pick your shots wisely. Even then, the enemies are particularly bullet-spongy; some require multiple headshots to down. The boss fights from the original have been updated for the better in my humble opinion.
The last thing I'll mention is the story. Claire Redfield and Leon Kennedy still meet en route to Raccoon City as a zombie outbreak spreads throughout, and both are separated as they make their way to the iconic police department. The side characters have slightly more fleshed out backstories to go with expanded gameplay segments, something I personally liked, but otherwise the beats remain the same with the same locales and endgame. Overall, the Resident Evil 2 remake is fantastic, and worth the price of admission for older fans and new ones. There is an incentive to play through multiple times to see different POVs, the scare factor is definitely there, and the game is highly polished. Totally worth it.