After years of ports, speculation, and ambitious fan projects that got unceremoniously shut down, Resident Evil 2 Remake is finally here.
That sound of crashing glass you hear in the back of the house?
That’s the game shambling through your window as we speak, leaving a trail of black coagulated blood in its wake.
One of the best things about the remake is that it’s given us a good excuse to revisit the original Resident Evil 2, in all its pre-rendered, tank-controlled glory.
Sure, the 21-year-old classic doesn’t hold up on every level – you’ll probably snicker at some of the voice-acting – but it still remains an absorbing experience.
The imposing atmosphere and music when you enter the police station lobby for the first time, the ingenious shocks that messed with your understanding of the game space (remember the zombies that appeared during one of the door-opening loading screens?
), the limited resources and obscure puzzles; it all reminds us why we were clamouring for a remake in the first place.
Seminal game that it was, Resident Evil 2 straddled the console generations, coming out on the Play Station 1 in 1998, followed by the PC, N64, Dreamcast and Game Cube (honourable nod to for the forgotten Game.com).
At this point, the purists would’ve argued that the best version of Resident Evil 2 was the PS1 original, although the 2003 Game Cube version, with its higher-resolution models and skippable cutscenes, was unquestionably the smoothest Resident Evil 2 experience around.
After the Game Cube version, it looked like Resident Evil 2’s porting days were over, until in 2006 a PC port of the game appeared.
Developed by Sourcenext, this version of the game only came out in Japan, and most notably included higher-quality FMV sequences than any previous version, running at a mind-blowing 640x480 resolution at 30fps. The Sourcenext port was designed to work on modern Windows machines (well, Windows XP), but in reality it was a bit limited, lacking the higher resolutions, texture filtering and other settings you’d expect from a PC game. But hey, at least it let you skip those protracted door-opening loading screens.
Aside from the occasional fan translation and exotic curiosity value for collectors and You Tubers, this PC port loitered in obscurity for a number of years.