Resident Evil 2 Remake: my experience in Extreme mode… and in The Fourth Survivor

Note: This article has been translated from Italian by ChatGPT and may contain errors.

After playing Resident Evil Village and replaying Resident Evil 4 for what felt like the umpteenth time, I had the urge to try out the much-talked-about remake of Resident Evil 2, so I bought it for the PS4. Well, in just under four days, I completed it seven times with a platinum trophy, including in the seemingly daunting Hardcore mode.

A Superb Remake

For once, I must say I largely agree with what I’ve read: Resident Evil 2 is an excellent remake that retains the spirit of the original while updating everything for the modern day. Graphically, it’s truly a spectacle, and in terms of difficulty, it remains faithful to the past without descending into moments of frustration. Resident Evil 2 is (at least on the first playthrough) a challenging game (more difficult than average), but not prohibitive. I don’t want to write a full review; just know that I really enjoyed the title, even though the B campaign, which I would describe as an alternate universe version (it can’t run parallel to the first game due to its inconsistencies), didn’t excite me much, as it’s a continuous recycling. In short, not a very elegant way to extend the longevity. Regarding the original, I don’t really know (nor do I care much, truth be told) how the situation was, as I played it about ten years ago on the PS3 and rushed through it; I remember very little (note: I just put the original RE 2 on my PS3 again today for a direct comparison and I would say it can still be considered an interesting and atmospheric game, but the controls are panic-inducing…). Anyway, back to the point, the Extreme mode of Resident Evil 2 Remake aims to be old-school: no auto-saves, only ink ribbons to save the game manually, fewer pouches to expand the inventory, and enemies that kill you with about two or three shots. Difficult?

However, from a technical standpoint, it surprised me, and the atmosphere, especially in the police station, is excellent!

Extreme… or Maybe Not

So, to achieve the platinum trophy, I had to complete Resident Evil 2 in Extreme mode practically twice: once with Leon and once with Claire (and, as I mentioned before, there aren’t significant differences between the campaigns, whether you choose Leon/Claire A or Leon/Claire B). One thing that surprised me about the remake is that those darn zombies never die. Well, they do die, but to kill them, you need to unload a ton of bullets (a single classic headshot like in The Walking Dead doesn’t cut it). This, of course, can be a problem, and the best strategy seems to be stunning them and fleeing. However, the game allows you to exploit a trick: infinite ammunition. By completing the adventure in Standard mode with an S ranking, which is basically doing a speedrun (which took me about two hours with Leon and an hour and a half with Claire), you unlock a pistol with infinite ammo. Not a super powerful weapon, true, but it significantly simplifies clearing a room of the undead. So yes, I played in Extreme mode with the infinite ammo pistol. In short, yes, I’m a bit silly, but only to a certain extent. And what worried me weren’t the “regular” enemies, but the boss fights. In reality, they didn’t give me too much trouble. In the Leon run, I only died a few times in the last two, while with Claire, I had a “perfect” run: I never died!

Resident Evil 2 in Extreme mode, in fact, is quite manageable. Once you know the game inside out and explore thoroughly to gather as many resources as possible, learning to save them for boss fights, the experience flows without too many obstacles. I thoroughly enjoyed Claire’s campaign with all the tranquility in the world. And the ink ribbons? I won’t say you can save whenever you want, but almost. There are more than enough of them. In both playthroughs, I used the same number of saves, namely eighteen (and I still had several ribbons in the item box). What terrified me was something else: the power going out (because that’s a deep-rooted fear) or the PlayStation 4 ejecting the disc (a prank it often pulls on me), forcing me to start from the last save. Fortunately, nothing like that happened, and Extreme mode proved to be a walk in the park (okay, okay, fine, the infinite ammo helped).

I’m not a big fan of Ada’s new look… and not even her Italian voice acting; however, the Italian dubbing, overall, is quite enjoyable: a plus for immersion!

The Fourth Survivor

Now let’s move on to this extra mode. I had read that completing it would likely be the most challenging trophy to obtain. The mode is indeed considered quite tough. Essentially, you have to navigate through groups of infected creatures from the sewers to the police station with a predefined arsenal. The arsenal is respectable, but the threats are numerous, and reaching the end unscathed is far from easy. The first time I tried The Fourth Survivor, I made it to the second floor of the police station, but I was torn apart by a group of zombies. I can’t tell you exactly how many times I retried, but it wasn’t too many. I think we’re talking about a number around four or five. In fact, I expected it to take much more time. The final sections are swarming with creatures, and it’s practically impossible to survive without using grenades. The challenge is to avoid wasting them too soon. And if we add that once you reach the police station, that charming Mr. X starts chasing you, the situation gets a bit more complicated and injects quite a bit of excitement. This task isn’t an easy one, and like everything else, a good dose of luck is needed. For once, luck was on my side, as the second time I reached the final part, I completed the mode in 10 minutes and 10 seconds. An unexpected victory. I thought it would definitely be worse… so that’s good!

EXTRA: two trophies require finishing the game without using a single healing item and without ever opening the item box. Impossible? Certainly not. If you play on the lowest difficulty level, these challenges are difficult only in theory; in practice, you just need to remember not to accidentally perform these actions, as they’re not actually very complicated.

Mr. X is more of a nuisance than a real problem

Beyond these modes, Resident Evil 2 Remake turned out to be a great experience, so much so that I feel like getting my hands on Resident Evil 3 Remake as soon as possible. Even though it seems less successful, I think I’ll get it sooner or later. However, for now, I want to sum up RE 2 Remake in these words: satisfying, engaging, visually stunning, short but intense—this is Resident Evil 2. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

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