Resident Evil 2 is releasing this week, and it’s more of a return to form than Resident Evil 7 was. With such a change in direction, the game is ostensibly one of the hardest Resident Evil games ever made, and as such pretty damn overwhelming.
While these are obvious to most fans, these are some tips that will help newcomers find the world of Resident Evil 2 a little bit more approachable. On a side note, I personally find it betrays the spirit of the game to give away solutions to puzzles or codes to safes and the like – so you’ll find none of that here!
Obviously, I’ll keep things spoiler-free too. I’m not that mean.
CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES WISELY
Given how Resident Evil 4, 5 and 6 played out, you’d be forgiven for thinking you had to defeat every enemy you come across. This is simply not the case in Resident Evil 2. There’s not enough ammunition in the entire game to kill every enemy you’ll come across. As such you have to be a little bit smarter with how you go about things.
The best course of action is obviously to run around enemies – either by simply sneaking past them quietly or baiting them to attack you before running around them.I’m not telling you to underestimate a zombie’s reach though – as they’re great at grabbing you – but after they’ve tried to run at you they’ll not be able to grab you for a few short seconds.
If you absolutely must engage in combat with an enemy though, make sure that you’re not wasting any time – you don’t even need to kill them. Just plug them with enough hits to make sure they fall so that you can run around them without taking damage. I could be wrong, but the game seems to remember how much damage an enemy has taken so you shouldn’t have any issues taking them down on a return visit.
YOU CAN BACKTRACK, SO DON’T STRESS
This one is bound to alleviate some of the stress and pressure on the completionists reading this article. Much like the original game, you can backtrack pretty much anywhere in Resident Evil 2 even after you move on to another area. In fact, the game encourages it, placing items in later locations that can only be used or deciphered in earlier ones. You can even leave items behind knowing you’ll be able to return to them later too, most of the old areas will be behind deadlocked doors.There are a few little exceptions to this, however. If you’re playing the game for the first time, there is a moment where the game will shut you out from the first area – but don’t fret, as you’ll find an item that’ll let you return there later on. Similarly, the game will warn you through dialogue when you won’t be able to return, so make sure you’re paying attention to what everybody is saying.
While I’m still coming to terms with the loss of the Spiders, Blue Herbs have an additional effect in Resident Evil 2 that’s never been seen in another game before. Obviously, if your character does get poisoned, they will assist in flushing the toxins out of your body (Pete Evans who?) but combining them with a Red Herb this time around gives a bonus effect that is invaluable, especially on higher difficulties.
The games file’s describes the Blue Herb as “improving one’s constitution”. What does this mean exactly? It is essentially a timed layer of armour on your character. When buffed by the effects of a mixed Blue Herb, Claire or Leon will take considerably less damage than if they just took a normal herb or healing item. So stock up on those herbs and pop a few before a major boss battle and watch your rate of survival climb!
YOU MIGHT NOT NEED TO AIM FOR THE HEAD
This one is more of a subjective one but one that is worth mentioning anyway. Typically in a Resident Evil game you would be encouraged to “aim for the head” to do maximum damage to your enemies. Resident Evil 2 is a little bit different on that front. You can still aim for the head, of course, and you’ll randomly be rewarded with a critical hit every now and then that will kill your enemy in one shot. But the way Resident Evil 2 handles damage is different to other games.You can actually strategically dismember (sorry, Dead Space) zombies now. Aiming for the legs will eventually break them, forcing the zombies to crawl. Aiming for the arms will also break them, making it harder for zombies to break through doors or even grab you. They’re still a danger, mind you, but I personally found it much easier to just blow the legs off zombies and run around than waste time lining up the perfect headshot. Much like real life, legs don’t respawn either, so that zombie will be crawling for life.
Okay, I’ll admit that this one is a bit of a cheap one. The game even tells you it on the load screen, but it’s one of the biggest time saving exercises that I found myself indulging in on my run of Resident Evil 2. Essentially, every time you enter a room in Resident Evil 2 it’s important that you use your map to scout the area out before you do anything else.Any room that’s coloured red on your map indicates that there are still items to be found. If the area is coloured blue, then it’s completely cleared of items. Picked up an item? Check the map and see if it’s changed to blue. If it has, then you’re done here and can move on to another room. Even cooler, if Leon or Claire so much as see an item it will be marked on the map, so if you forget something you can return to it later.
Resident Evil 2 releases on Friday, 25th of January for Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC. You can read the Press Start review right now by clicking HERE.