Originally published at: Review | Resident Evil 2 on Game Pass - XboxEra
Resident Evil 2’s 2019 remake has made its way to Xbox Game Pass on Cloud, Console, & PC. The new version is the port to the Microsoft Store and adjustment to the Console version becoming a Play Anywhere title. Let’s take a quick look at how the port of this fantastic remake holds up and cover how Capcom nailed this title.
Leon & Claire
Originally released in 1999, the 2019 remake of Resident Evil 2 is highly regarded as one of the best remakes of modern times. I think it’s safe to say it was only outdone by the recent release of 4’s remake in 2023 as far as this franchise goes. You will choose to play between Clair Redfield & a far dorkier-looking and sounding Leon Kennedy (in comparison to his hulking beefcake body and voice in RE4).
The zombie outbreak of the first game has spread to Racoon City, and through its Police Department and more, you’ll struggle to discover what’s going on and make it out alive. One of the big changes the remake does is a kinda bad one for me. Mr. X is a stalker, and if you’re into the unkillable behemoth that you have to desperately avoid mechanic then this one is for you. He was a part of the original, though not nearly as prominent as he is in the remake.
I am not a fan of unkillable stalker mechanics and see them as more of an annoyance than anything truly scary, and scary this game is. It is by far the goriest and legitimately scary Resident Evil game. It’s not a psychological horror, going instead for gruesome deaths full of blood & viscera. Playing through the game isn’t overly long, with most playthroughs taking roughly 10 hours or so. You’re looking at 30 or more if you want to 100% everything in both playthroughs and I did back at launch on the One X.
Resident Evil 2’s gameplay on the Microsoft Store port is fantastic. Mouse & Keyboard is the way to go with the supreme accuracy it can afford on headshots. Playing with a controller using Hall Effect joystics (Turtle Beach Stealth Ultra) it felt far better than I remembered on the One X back at launch. Clair and Leon share a similar selection of overall weaponry, with varying pistols to start. Chris has a lower-damage automatic with a large clip. Claire has a powerful revolver that can only hold five shots at a time.
Movement isn’t nearly as slow or cumbersome as it was in the original games. You can actually move and shoot at the same time. The knife action is far less enjoyable than RE4 remake’s useful and powerful blade play, and your inventory is tiny to start. For those who have played before you’ll know exactly where to go to improve it, and what you do and do not need. For anyone coming in cold though it is a dance to balance your healing, key, and weapon items for quite a while.
The Racoon City Police Department is full of weird puzzles that make zero sense but are a lot of fun to “solve”. Most are easy, with the main difficulty being how to juggle the various items they’ll give you. You’ll quickly unlock your way through various blocked paths and have a ton of fun doing it until Mr. X shows up.
He’s big, slow, and will eat up a lot of ammo. Not to kill him though, only to make him take a knee so that you can run by him as you desperately try to reach a safe room. The game is a 4+ year old remake of a game from 1999 but I’ll keep things spoiler-free. Just let me say that rockets and explosions make for a satisfying end.
While the game is available on Console and now Cloud, that version isn’t new. It got a Series X|S upgrade last year and looks/runs well on console. The new goodness is the Microsoft Store port and outside of a bit of resolution/fullscreen wonkiness, it was solid in my time with the game. It starts in Fullscreen, which is fine if you’re not running a multi-monitor setup. I have… four monitors though and all of them lost what they were showing until I swapped to Borderless Windowed mode. That put black bars in the game that I was only able to solve by lowering and raising the resolution.
Outside of that, it looked fantastic, running at a locked 120fps at 4k Ultra on my rig. My specs are solid with a 5800X CPU carried by 64 GB of RAM and a 7900XTX GPU. The RE Engine titles are generally well optimized on PC and even on an older or weaker machine you should get solid performance. The only “bug” I had was a momentary bit of GPU/Memory artifacts. It only happened once in a few hours and was gone within a second.
Wrapping Things Up
Resident Evil 2 is a fantastic get for Game Pass, and the new port on the Microsoft Store is excellent. It’s Play Anywhere, terrifying, and well worth checking out for anyone looking to clap some zombie cheeks.