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Summary
Plot
Gameplay
Development
Marketing
Reception
Credits
Gallery
Translation errors
Further notes
 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings PlayStation (PS): 93.13% (25 reviews)[1]
Windows 9x (PC): 79.59% (17 reviews)[2]
Nintendo 64 (N64): 86.93% (20 reviews)[3]
Dreamcast (DC): 79.75% (16 reviews)[4]
GameCube (GCN): 63.30% (23 reviews)[5]
Magazines from the Past PS: 96% (32 reviews)
PC: 87% (4 reviews)
N64: 87% (3 reviews)
DC: 86% (5 reviews)
GCN: 78% (3 reviews)[6]
Metacritic PS: 89 (13 reviews)[7]
N64: 89 (12 reviews)[8]
DC: 77 (11 reviews)[9]
GCN: 59 (15 reviews)[10]
Review scores
Publication Score
Allgame PS: Star fullStar full.pngStar full.pngStar full.pngStar empty.png[11]
Computer and Video Games PS: Star fullStar full.pngStar full.pngStar full.pngStar full.png[12]
PS: 9.0[13]
Electronic Gaming Monthly PS: 37.5 / 40[14]
Famitsu PS: 37/40[15]
GameFan PS: 291 / 300[16]
Game Informer PS: 9.5[17]
GamePro PS: Star fullStar full.pngStar full.pngStar full.pngStar full.png[18]
PS (Dual Shock Ver.):
Star fullStar full.pngStar full.pngStar full.pngStar half.png[19]
GamesMaster PS: 90%[20]
N64: 90%[21]
DC: 91%[21]
GameSpot PS: 8.9[22]
IGN PS: 9.3[23]
Awards
Entity Award
Computer and Video Games Best of 1998[24]
Electronic Gaming Monthly
(Editors' Choice)
Adventure Game of the Year (Runner-Up)[25]
Electronic Gaming Monthly
(Readers' Choice)
PlayStation Game of the Year (Runner-Up),
Adventure Game of the Year (Runner-Up)[25]
Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine Best Game of '98 (Runner‑Up),
Best Adventure Game (Runner‑Up),
Best Graphics (Runner-Up),
Best Story (Runner-Up)[26]
PC Zone Best Action/Adventure Game
(Runner-Up)[27]
Game Informer,[28]
GameFan[29]
Best Game of All Time
Computer and Video Games,[30]
Electronic Gaming Monthly,[31][32]
Empire,[33][34]
Famitsu,[35]
GamingBolt,[36] GameFAQs,[37][38]
Game Informer,[39][40] IGN,[41][42]
UnikGamer,[43] MyGameMag,[44]
Retro Gamer,[45] Sony[46]
Best Games of All Time

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.[47] Another 810,000 copies of the Dual Shock Ver. were shipped by March 1999.[48] Resident Evil 2 was well received by critics. Its original PlayStation release received an average 96 percent rating from 32 reviews in video game magazines at the time, according to Magazines from the Past.[6] The majority of reviews praised Resident Evil 2 for its atmosphere, setting, gameplay, graphics, and audio, but with some criticism directed towards its controls, voice acting and certain gameplay elements.[b]

It has been held in high regard in the years following its initial release. The PlayStation version currently holds average scores of 93.13 percent at GameRankings based on 25 reviews, and 89 out of 100 points at Metacritic based on 13 reviews, both primarily based on online sources years after its release.[1][7] It was named the 4th best game on the PlayStation by Famitsu.[49] 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 4th on a list of the games that most need remakes.[50]

Design and presentationEdit

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".[23] 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".[22] Writing for ComputerAndVideoGames.com, Paul Mallinson considered the game's atmosphere, story and film-like presentation its most outstanding features.[51] 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".[51] GamePro staff writer Mike Weigand called the narrative "engrossing and dramatic", and the dialogue "well-written" and "spell-binding".[18] 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.[23][52][53] Mac Donald thought that the idea of actions in the first scenario affecting the second was "cool in concept", but underutilized in the game.[22]

Resident Evil 2 was also praised for its graphics, which many critics felt were a substantial improvement upon those of the first installment.[18][22][23] 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.[18][23] 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.[22] 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".[11] The audio was well received by critics. Weigand cited it as an "excellent accompaniment to the visuals".[18] Sanchez went as far as to say that Resident Evil 2 "may have the best sound design yet for a console game".[23] Sackenheim described the music and sound effects as "spot on perfect", and called the soundtrack "perfectly composed",[11] while Mac Donald likened the game's use of audio to that of classic horror films.[22]

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,[23] 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.[22] Furthermore, Mallinson and Mac Donald disapproved of certain puzzles, which they believed were out of place in a police station setting.[22][51] 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.[23] 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.[11] He found the controls to be "easy to pick up and play", while Sanchez thought that aiming weapons was difficult.[11][23] Certain reviewers panned the voice acting, calling it "cheesy", "terrible" and "barbaric".[c]

Later versionsEdit

With the exception of the game's critically acclaimed Nintendo 64 port,[3][8] 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.[19] 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 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] A GamePro writer under the pseudonym "The Freshman" was impressed with the enhanced graphics of the Nintendo 64 port, but was disappointed by its heavily compressed CG FMVs.[54] 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.[55] IGN reviewer Matt Casamassina applauded the implementation of Dolby Surround support, and called the Nintendo 64 release the "best version of the game".[56]

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.[57] 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.[58] 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.[59] 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.[60] Davis and 1UP.com's Mark MacDonald were disappointed by the port's lack of features that were included in the Nintendo 64 release.[52][61]

SourcesEdit

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