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Resident Evil 2: not going back to Raccoon City

Resident Evil 2 is all over the gaming world right now and with good cause. The remake looks utterly brilliant and is smashing it in the reviews. I was also asked by someone if I would be picking up and I had to say no.

Partly because my gaming time is limited and I don’t want to spend it wetting my pants (the main reason for not playing Resident Evil 7: Biohazard) but also because I remember it the first time round. Yes, I’m of that vintage, but this isn’t a ‘games were better back in my day’ thing. It’s about experience.

It’s like the dogs through the window in Resident Evil. I’ll never have the sensation of shock and surprise of the unknown again. I expect the dogs now, I know where they’re coming from and I know when. It would be the same with the Resident Evil 2 remake. I accept that the design is different and the levels changed but I still won’t have that sensation of delving further into the station with Leon or Claire as I did in the 90s.

But what it did do was make me think of any other games that had such an effect on me that I simply refuse to play through them again. Not because I think they’re bad games, far from it in fact, but because I don’t dare sully the memories and experiences I have of them.

The first two are relatively straight forward. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening has been a mainstay in my greatest games of all time list for 25-years now. An amazing story, beautiful twist at the end, absolute pinnacle of top-down Zelda gameplay and in glorious yellowy-green and black screen of the Game Boy.

The next is Resident Evil 4 on the GameCube. Which, to explain why that seems against my opening couple of paragraphs, is because I played it in a time before I had kids and was stronger of stomach. I’ll never forget the switch in gunplay, the fear that only a chainsaw could bring and an utterly insane story. Insanely brilliant. Finished it once, put down the controller and never picked it up again despite multiple remasters being available.

Journey, video game, mountain, stranger, dessert, sky, star, sand, clouds

The big one, however, is Journey. I wish I had the words to explain the feeling I had when I made it to the end. I can remember just sitting there on my sofa, PS3 controller in hand trying to process the wave of emotions that had just hit me. I still can’t do it now but it was in that moment, that I knew games were art. They were more than just a fad, or something for kids, or a medium to be looked down on.

Journey affected me as much as my favourite song; it drew out emotions like the greatest cinema. It, to me, announced that gaming was more than pictures on a screen.

I would say it was my gaming epiphany.


Ben View All

Dad, Gent, Geek. Occasional grumpy old man. Console Peasant. Should know better.

9 thoughts on “Resident Evil 2: not going back to Raccoon City Leave a comment

  1. I have probably completed RE2 over a hundred times and I still jump everytime the hands grab you through the windows in the Police Station.

    I am really torn on this remake as RE2 is one of my favourite games ever, and the remake looks great. But I oppose remakes. I want new IPs and new ideas. I imagine I’ll cave in a week or so and buy it…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the market is big enough for new IPs and remakes. Ultimately it’s a personal choice as to what people buy and for me? I’m going to pass.

      Not because I think the game is bad, just because I’m after new ‘wow’ moments.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hey Ben. Yet another awesome post from you man! The reviews I’ve read so far about Resident Evil 2 are pretty accurate. They all tell one thing about Capcom’s latest survival horror remake. That it’s one astonishing game owing to its combined action, puzzles, exploration and suspense.


  2. From the 30 minute demo I played I enjoyed it but £50 for a remake is a lot of money for something I remember like yesterday 😜 even though I crapped myself at one point 😂


  3. Man this makes me finally wanna get around to playing Journey, I’ve heard so many good things over the years. Video games are definitely art, no question. In fact they encompass many different traditional forms of what we already consider art. Music, storytelling, visuals, voice acting, motion capture performance etc. How could anyone deny video games are art these days?!

    I hear you on the expecting things to happen. I will never forget seeing Half-Life on some chart countdown bit on TV, the soldiers running across the dam. In game I expect that to be followed swiftly by being shot at by a big ass cannon from across the dam. Then jumping into the water and being attacked by one of those things I can’t spell. Just isn’t the same when you know it’s gonna happen. I guess that’s why we eat up DLC more than ever these days, we just want more new stuff for the things we love.


    • Video games seem to polarise opinion more than any other medium. I think it’s a combination of factors but principally because they’re misunderstood.

      I hope you get to enjoy Journey, I honestly consider it a masterpiece.


  4. I think that the remake of “Resident Evil 2” is better suited to newcomers of the game. Since I’ve played the original version, I’ve seen that the areas are pretty much the same. Still, it will have more exclusive content in the future, so I’m waiting for that.


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