A deadly virus engulfs the residents of Raccoon City in September of 1998, plunging the city into chaos as flesh eating zombies roam the streets for survivors. An unparalleled adrenaline rush, gripping storyline, and unimaginable horrors await you. Witness the return of Resident Evil 2.
Resident Evil 2 Remake Beginner Tips and Guide
Resident Evil 2 is an excellent and faithful reimagining of the 1998 classic, and a must-play for any horror fan. However, there are certain conventions to the gameplay that carried over from the formulaic approach of the original; aspects of the gameplay that modern players might not be accustomed to or even inclined to consider. In addition to that, there are more subtle tips that knowing early can streamline the early hours of the game, prior to when you might discover these mechanics of your own volition, and minimize potential frustrating backtracks and missed items. My aim is to keep your experience pure and organic (and thus the most enjoyable) by avoiding any spoilers or ruining any surprises, but also to tip you off to some gameplay elements such as to minimize unnecessary frustration and assist in your overall enjoyment of this stellar horror experience.
This guide will be spilt into three primary sections.
The first is general gameplay tips that in no way elude to the content of the game. Stick to the first section if you want to keep everything as far as enemy encounters and the likes a surprise.
The second section will contain some weapon mechanics and statistics. This will be things like what to use when, and how to properly manage your ammo. Some people might not want to know, so I inculded this stuff in its own section.
The third will be tips on enemy types and their behaviors, and how to handle certain situations you might find yourself in. Be advised when browsing this guide. If you want all the encounters and challenges to be unexpected, steer clear. That being said, I won’t include any info on things like when you’ll encounter certain enemies. Only tips on dealing with them.
Now that you know what you’re in for, let’s get to the strategy.
- Use your map!
Your map is possibly your most valuable resource in this game. Most of the exploration is very non-linear, with exploration-based puzzles and lots of backtracking to locked doors and safes to retrieve items, necessary or otherwise, that you had encountered earlier but now have the means to open. Your map will give you all the info you need, so long as you had obtained that info previously. Which brings me to another tip: Interact with everything! Even if it’s a door that you can obviously tell you can’t open (i.e. it’s chained or something), of a combo-locked locker/safe that you obviously don’t have the knowledge to open. Once you’ve interacted with the locked door/object, it will be shown on your map. Found the combo to that safe, but can’t remember where it was? Check your map! Found a special key, and you know you saw a door for it, but you don’t want to have to run around hoping you remember the wing it was in? Look for it on the map! Backtracking made easy.
Additionally, the color of a room denotes whether it is ‘complete.’ Red rooms are incomplete and either have items you haven’t collected or puzzles to complete. If a room appears blue on your map, you can rest assured that there is nothing left to collect or interact with.
Proper inventory management is key!
The inventory management isn’t as punishing as it was in the original, but it can still be frustrating to run around with filled pockets and the inability to pick up any of the items you come across (especially the important ones!). But first things first, you should never discord items. There is one exception to this: Key items. When they have exhausted their use (i.e. you’ve unlocked every relevant door, and they are literally useless from here on) their icon in the inventory will show a red check mark. This is described in a tutorial pop-up pretty early on, but it’s easily missed if you’re the type to just spam through text without reading it.
The game world will be scattered with storage boxes. These all have an interconnected inventory, so anything placed in them can be accessed from any other storage box in the game. You absolutely must utilize them properly. There’s usually one relatively nearby, regardless of where you are in the game world, and they are denoted on your map. To properly manage your inventory, you have to get used to leaving items that you don’t need in that very moment in the storage box. It might seem inconvenient or obnoxious to have to run back to your storage box when you need ammo, curatives, or a key item, but it can be much less frustrating than passing over items you find in the moment, or permanently discarding something you may have used later because you found something you need now. That being said, if you should have to pass over an item due to lack of inventory space, it will be denoted on the map. Checking around the map for item icons periodically can help you track down resources you may have passed up previously.
There’s more strategy to herb use than just healing!
The herb types and their uses are detailed briefly via a note found in-game, but I’ll cover them here anyway, in case you’re the type to not read the all those paper scraps scattered throughout the game. And for sake of explanation, I will describe player health as being represented in three ‘stages’: Fine, Caution, and Danger. These can be viewed on the inventory screen, and will be briefly shown when your status changes as a result of taking damage.
Green Herb: Basic curative. Using it alone can raise your health one stage in most cases(i.e. from Danger to Caution, or Caution to FIne). Can be combined into piles of two or three herbs, which improve the curative abilities.
Red Herb: This herb cannot be used on its own. If combined with a green herb, it will fully restore your health in addition to the damage reduction.
Blue Herb: Cures poison. Can be combined with a green herb, but there is no special effect gained from the combination. It’s simply the benefits of both in one consumable and requires less storage. If combined with a red herb, it cures poison and provides a resistance to it for a short time.
Combining all the herb types will create a powerful curative that fully restores your health, cures poison, and gives damage and poison resistance temporarily.
Blue herbs are fairly plentiful, and I managed to not get poisoned once in my entire first playthrough by using blue+red+green combinations at opportune times.
Beyond that, the damage reduction should not be underestimated.
I’ve found that if you have a group of enemies you need to get through, and fear that you can’t spare the ammo, a very viable strategy is to just try to run through them, and once you’ve neared death, use a G+R, or G+R+B for a full restore and resistance that will almost assuredly get you through the rest of your enemy horde without looking too worse for wear. Which brings me to my next tip.
You WILL get hurt!
Surviving in this game is not a matter of not getting hurt. It’s a matter of knowing when you can afford to get hit, and when getting hit might be a necessity given your current resources. It’s certainly tempting to to try to eliminate every threat in front of you, but this isn’t a run-and-gun game where you’re going to have the ammo necessary to eliminate all targets as long as you can aim. Sometimes, you gotta take the hit to keep going.
- The Delux Weapons
If you pre-ordered the game or bought the deluxe edition, you’ll have various models of a pistol called the Samurai Edge available to you early on. They do provide certain early advantages over the Matilda pistol, such as clip size. Additionally, each has a unique stat.
Albert has the highest base pistol damage (it’s not a huge increase, but it’s something).
Jill can draw at twice the speed, lending itself to quick reaction shots.
Chris tightens the reticle twice as fast, making consecutive precision shots easier to land.
All that being said, a fully upgraded Matilda is still a well-averaged choice, and probably preferable to carry around over any of the Samurai Edge models, unless you just really like their appearance.
Speaking of Matilda upgrades, at some point you’ll acquire a stock that allows the pistol to fire a 3-round burst. To some, that may sound like a bad decision, taking your pistol from single-fire to burst (the fire mode is not togglable beyone removing the stock). However, you can still reliably single fire a stocked Matilda by lightly tapping the fire button, and making sure you don’t hold it down. The reason I suggest keeping the stock on is that if you need to stun an enemy, and are stuck with pistol rounds, the burst fire at close range can be quite effective.
Melee Weapons and Grenades
Melee weapons have durability, which is a new concept in the core Resident Evil series.Using them will degrade them over time, and they eventually break.
Do not be tempted by melee combat. It is entirely ineffective, with the exception of trying to cripple an enemy that’s in a stunned/downed animation and can’t take advantage of your close proximity. Enemies recieve no recoil from melee damage, and you’ll only guarantee yourself getting grabbed by trying to slice up zombies.
The primary use of melee weapons is as a defensive failsafe. When getting grabbed, if you have a melee weapon or grenade in your inventory you’ll be quickly prompted with a button press to use the item and save yourself the damage. Grenades are highly ineffective when used in this method, and if you have the health/curatives to take the hit, it’s almost always preferable to using a grenade. Knives used in this method stay lodged in the enemy. If you can incapacitate them and the weapon isn’t broken by the use, it can be retrieved from the body. Although, depending on the situation, getting your knife back isn’t always an option in the moment.
Critical Hits and Killing Zombies
I made a daring choice to include this info in the second section, despite it containing some info on zombie mechanics and how to deal with them. There’s a stark difference between killing zombies and what I like to call incapacitating them.
What you might be tempted to think is a dead zombie is likely simply incapacitated. It lies there motionless, seemingly a non-threat, but it will reanimate. Maybe in a few moments, maybe the next time you pass through that area. But it’s not “dead.”
To kill a zombie, you need to land a critical shot on its head (the basic zombie’s weakpoint). Their head will blow apart, in an obvious affirmation that they’re not getting back up.
Each weapon has its own critical hit chance. For instance, all of the pistol models have extremely low critical hit chances. Thus, you might get lucky and incapacitate a zombie in a couple shots to the head from a pistol, but actually killing a zombie permanently with a pistol is a rough game of chance. I’ve spent anywhere from a couple bullets to near entire clips just trying to get a zombie’s head to pop. Bottom line, trying to kill with a pistol is ineffective.
Rather, should a pistol be your prefferable – or only – option, you should go for crippling shots. Zombies in this game are reactive to where you damage them. Knee-capping zombies will almost always require considerably less bullets, and if they’re not permanently crippled, they will at least be stunned momentarily, allowing you to slip past.
The shotgun doesn’t have as high of a base damage as you might expect it to, but it does have a strong crit chance; ~50% at base, and ~90% fully upgraded. This means that one of the best ways you can use your shotgun is clearing out rooms/hallways that you know you’re going to be navigating often, and don’t want to deal with the enemies. Get up close and put a shell in their face. You’ll get easy kills.
Enemy Tips and Advanced Game Systems
- Zombies, and thier Various Elements
They are persistent. Enemies you leave in a room will be there when you next return. Any damage you inflicted them with, or knife you left in their chest will be there too. I touched on that briefly when I mentioned that zombies you incapacitate but don’t kill will likely reanimate the next time you enter that room. This has many implications, and will segway into my next tip nicely. Because more enemies will spawn over time. And if you let them pile up, you can basically give up on any chance of smoothly traversing that room later. So…
Plan your routes, eliminate enemies strategically, and use the boards!
You’ll often find boards around the game world. These can be used to board up windows that lead to the outside, mainly found in hallways. Zombies will stream in through these windows, albeit at a relatively slow pace, and gradually fill the room with more and more problems to prevent travel. However, if you board up the windows, it will prevent additional zombies from entering it, allowing you to theoretically secure a room. Study the interconnectivity of the map, and make note of rooms and halways that you imagine you’ll be passing through often. If it has windows, board them up, and if you can spare the ammo, kill or cripple the zombies located there so you can more leisurely pass through later.
You’ll know them when you see them. As mentioned in some in-game documentation, they are blind, but with heightened hearing. It’s best to walk around them whenever you can. Keeping a slow pace should let you fly under their radar, but you’ll have to get creative should you ever come across a licker and a zombie together. Killing them with anything short of a frag or magnum rounds is a dangerous prospect, and using such valuable munitions is likely a waste in most cases. Dumping a handful of shotgun shells at close range will likely result in a kill, but it’s essentially impossible to not take a hefty amount of damage yourself.
Their proximity detection also seems to be limited. I’ve personally had a licker sniffing my toes, but didn’t react to me so long as I remained stationary.
Concussion grenades are an effective stun, and can bail you out of a situation with multiple threats outside of just the licker.
Ivy are plant-zombie fusions can be extremely lethal if you let them get close. They move relatively slowly and aren’t too tough to maneuver around.
Don’t reveal the spoiler if you wish to be surprised by the weapon mentioned here.
The big man himself. Dealing with Tyrant can be extremely frustrating or extremely fun, depending on the type of player. If you’re a seeker of true horror thrills, I highly recommend skipping this section and simply experiencing if for yourself. If you’d prefer to be prepared, read on.
Sections of the game that involve this big brute can be maddening, as he completely disrupts your ability to explore casually. Everything becomes a race against a constant threat, hurdled with split second decisions on how to addres the problems in front of you while keeping one step ahead of the persistent menace somewhere nearby. He will relentlessly chase you down when he has vision of you. But keep that in mind. His actions are based on his senses. When you’re within line of sight, he will menacingly walk in your direction, looking to deliver some devastating punches.
If you manage to break line of sight, he begins searching. And it’s not a matter of aimlessly checking room after room. He listens for you much in the same way you might listen to those terrifying footsteps growing ever-closer. Any sound you create (well, most sounds) will assist him in honing in on your location. Running, firing, even the sounds an enemy might make in reaction to your presence. These will all assist Tyrant in locating you. If you suspect he’s nearby, always try to make sure you have some sort of circular path to navigate around his pursuit. Whether that be a series of inter-connected rooms, or some obsrtuction in a single room.
If you can lead him in a circle, you can keep him from preventing you in getting where you need to go. And remember, aside from his final appearance, he cannot be killed. Don’t go dumping all your rounds and tossing all your explosives thinking you’ll just get him out of the way and go about your business. He can be stunned, and even disabled for a short time. But he will get back up and keep coming after a very brief respite. Should you be forced into close quarters, such as a dead-end, it’s best to find something with high damage and hope you can get him into a recoil animation before he slaps you. If you take a punch before he flinches, you’ll most likely be able to get off the floor and sprint past before he winds up another one.
Another tip is to combine your map knowledge with the ability to hear Tyrant exploring the area around you. It can be difficult to guess exactly where his footsteps are coming from using sound alone. But for example, if you were huddled in a hallway where you have vision of any door leading into that hallway, and you hear Tyrant open a door nearby. If he were in the hallway, or about to enter it, you’d be able to confirm that visually.
If no door is open, he’s somewhere nearby, but you’re clear (relatively speaking) to get the hell out of there. One final tip, which can significantly lessen the stress of Tyrant chases, is in most cases, especially the first instance of being chased around the RPD, he will not follow you into safe rooms (rooms featuring a typewriter and storage chest). The exception to this being the main lobby. You can cut a chase short, or wait for him to pass you buy and get behind him, by strategically taking advantage of safe rooms.
I decided to write this guide up in the hopes of fulfilling an interest in survival tips without completely taking the element of surprise out of a game that relies on it to truly be a great experience. After looking at some impressions of the game, watching a handful of other people playing it, and seeing things that they just didn’t catch, or frustration turning into disinterest, I began to worry that there might be people having a less-than-amazing experience with the game. That, to me, is saddening, because as a longtime fan of horror and the Resident Evil series, I thoroughly enjoyed this game, and I want others to be able to enjoy it to the extent that I did.
I found myself wishing I could tell these people “if you’d just do this, you wouldn’t be having such a tough time.” So, here we are. This is hardly exhaustive, as there is plenty to discover yourself, and I haven’t even everything the game has to offer yet. If I manage to think up some other basic tips that might help someone who may be new to the series/genre, or is having a tough time and not fully enjoying their play, I’ll come back and add it. In the meantime, do yourself a favor. Avoid walkthroughs, looking up solutions and the like. There’s a lot to be found and unlocked etc. in this game, and plenty of reason to replay it. Experience the game, before you worry about completing it. It will be much more memorable down the road.