One of the most engaging aspects of 2019's RE2 is the way it rewards you for exploring. Hidden throughout the RCPD are items and resources that will help you tremendously as you make your way through the story.
As you explore, you'll gain access to weapon and inventory upgrades that will enhance your experience. The original did feature expandable inventory and weapon enhancements, but not to the degree that the remake has.
In it, you'll find several different upgrades, turning your guns into super-weapons that really motivate you to get out and explore. In addition to that, you'll need extra room to hold all of your new toys.
1998's Resident Evil 2 only allowed for an additional 2 inventory slots, while RE2 features many more.
The over-the-shoulder perspective is one of the biggest changes from the original Resident Evil 2. The original was presented in the third-person, but with the static camera angles, it was quite limited in what you were able to see.
In the remake, you have full 360 degree control of the camera and can freely maneuver throughout the environment, as in most contemporary third-person action games today.
In the 1998 version, the camera and perspective were designed in such a way that the game was in control of what you were supposed to see, which was way ahead of its time. It was also a solution for getting around having a fully explorable 3D environment that the PS One would probably struggle to handle.
Now, in 2019, Resident Evil 2 looks incredible with its new perspective and camera.
Having improved audio design is a given, but it's incredible how Capcom was able to expand upon the audio in such vast ways. The game is almost infinitely more terrifying because of it.
One important note, though: Make sure you're using (surround sound) headphones when playing. I assure you, it will enhance the experience for you.
There's something to be said about entering a new area and being able to hear exactly where a zombie is coming from, which you can use to your advantage.
However, the most impressive use of sound is when you're being pursued by the heavy-footed, Tyrant. As he stomps around the RCPD, you can hear exactly where and far away he is and it's absolutely horrifying and exhilarating.
The original had some fantastic audio design for the time, but the more modern RE2 is on a whole new level.
In an attempt to streamline the series a tad, 2019's RE2 completely removes having to use ink ribbons to save, unless you're playing on the Hardcore difficulty.
This is an important addition, because it makes things easier for newcomers, while still allowing for the veterans to play how they're used to.
In the original, having limited save options was a way to sort of add to the terror, but considering how RE2 ramps up the scares, you might be thankful you have unlimited save options.
The implementation of the Tyrant (Mr. X) in the remake is one of the most memorable, giving you a feeling of being stalked as you make your way through the RCPD.
Mr. X was in the original, but didn't play as prominent of a role as he does in the new version. You'll first encounter him in the early stages of the police department, after which you'll see a second version towards the end of the game that is quite deadly.
The encounter within the RCPD is absolutely horrifying, as you can hear the Tyrant stomping about the building. The audio design is incredible with this, because the sounds change based on how far away he is, something that the original didn't include.
If you look back at the original Resident Evil 2, you'll notice the inception of many features that would later appear in the remake. Much like the improvements to weapon upgrades and inventory expansion, the map has been greatly overhauled.
The original had some basic semblance of a map, but after seeing this feature in 2019's RE2, it might be hard to go back to the original.
Since the layouts of the levels intertwine throughout one another and can get confusing fast, having a map that will adapt to your exploration progress is super useful.
In RE2, the map will turn sections blue to indicate than an area has been fully explored. On top of that, items that have been interacted with but not acquired will show up on the map, making it easy to keep track of what you've missed.
Along with the perspective shift, the controls have been improved to match the standards of 2019. The original will always be special, but there's no denying how it can feel outdated to play.
Someone going back to it in 2019 might struggle with the tank controls, as they don't take into consideration where the camera is.
The remake will allow you to move relative to where the camera is, which comes more naturally to most players today.
This is a simple inclusion, but it vastly changes the way the game is played.
Going through a door in 1998's Resident Evil 2 was evidence that it was a product of its time. When interacting with a door, a short clip of footage would play, showing you walking through in a first-person perspective.
This is a way to disguise a loading screen for the next area, and it acts as a novel and identifiable feature from the original.
Now, in the modern version, you can walk through doors and they work as you'd expect, loading screen free. On top of that, certain enemies can bash through those doors, making the once-safe area turn into anything but that in 2019's Resident Evil 2.
Like the improvements to the audio, this one might be obvious when comparing one game to its successor 21 years later, as it's the most immediate thing you'll notice when comparing the two.
The lighting in the remake is astounding, and you can really see the contrast change depending on how much light there is, making everything seem more realistic.
There are so many little details that make 2019's RE2 pop, like the way hair moves, facial expressions depending on health status, and pores in each character's skin, giving it a photo-realistic look.
It may seem unfair to compare a modern game's visuals to one from 1998, but it's worth mentioning due to how impressive the new version looks. The aesthetics really help tie everything together, and it's no wonder so many are deeming this remake a masterpiece.