Caution: Spoiler warnings, even though nothing much past the start of the game is spoiled. Anyways, there it is, so don't complain.

Resident Evil 2 (Biohazard 2), developed and published by Capcom, is the sequel to the terrifying Resident Evil, the perennial game of zombies running amok due to a biological weapon experiment gone horribly awry.

Like the first game, you can assume the role of two different characters: Leon S. Kennedy, a fresh-from-the-academy Raccoon City police officer, and Claire Redfield, Harley-driving sister of Chris Redfield, one of the characters playable in the first RE. Each scenario is played on different discs, and you can start as either Claire or Leon. Each character has certain puzzles they have to solve, and special weapons you can only find while playing as them (Leon does not get the Grenade Launcher, for instance). Once beating the game one time, you can start from the beginning with the alternate character on a different path with different puzzles.

Resident Evil 2 occurs three months after the first. Chris Redfield and the other members of Raccoon City's STARS (Special Tactics And Rescue Squad) have left the city for Europe in order to investigate Umbrella Corporation, the company responsible for the massive bio-viral outbreak in a mansion (which turned out to be an Umbrella-owned laboratory) outside of the city. The virus in question is the experimental bioweapon T-virus, which turns humans into mindless, flesh-eating zombies. STARS singlehandedly quelled the "Mansion Incident" and destroyed the lab, wiping the T-virus -- and all of its hellish creations -- off the face of the earth.

However, this has not stopped the Umbrella Corporation. They have been hard at work recreating the T-virus, and have invented the G-virus. An accident deep underneath the city involving this new bioweapon has now turned Raccoon into a ruin, populated only by the undead. Leon and Claire, almost the only survivors, must escape while fighting their way through hordes of demonic creatures.

Needless to say, this game is scary as hell -- do NOT play it in the dark your first time through (or do, if you're into being freaked out). The gameplay is relatively simple, though the controls are hard to get used to, especially simply turning and running. Unlike most games that have any kind of guns used as your primary weapon in them, the key to survival is to conserve ammunition and run whenever possible -- fighting, unless you have tons of bullets, grenades, what have you -- should not be the primary option. The police department that most of RE2 takes place in requires more exploration and discovery than outright combat. Oftentimes you'll find yourself pulling your hair out wondering where the heck you can find a special key of some kind.

Now that it's out under the Greatest Hits label, you can find Resident Evil 2 brand-spanking new for a mere $15 -- a great price for a great game. It paved the way for many more future Resident Evil games: Resident Evil 3: Nemesis; Resident Evil Code: Veronica; and Resident Evil 0.

Rated M for Mature (animated blood & gore, animated violence); released November 21, 1998 for PlayStation. 1 Player.

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