A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Resident Evil 2 is a violent and bloody action game for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. This is the latest chapter in a long-running franchise that has spanned multiple games, toys, and movies. Using guns, explosives, and knives, players kill zombies and other monsters, while the zombies and monsters use their teeth and claws to kill humans. All of this killing results in copious amounts of blood, gore, and dismemberment that's often shown in graphic detail. The dialogue includes the words "a--hole," "s--t," and "f--k." There are also posters of women in bikinis hanging in a guy's office.
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What's it about?
In RESIDENT EVIL 2, you're a woman looking for her brother who finds herself in the middle of a zombie outbreak. Or, if you'd prefer, you can be a rookie cop who shows up for his first day to discover the city has been overrun by zombies. Either way, this updated remake of the 1998 classic survival horror game has you using your trigger finger, your observational skills, and your problem-solving abilities to try to survive the horror of a police station filled with monsters. Players will need to solve a variety of puzzles to gain access to new areas and acquire additional firepower, which will help as you face off against stronger and stronger monsters.
Is it any good?
While so many remakes of classic games go the faithful route, even if the original's mechanics are now dated, this version of a classic horror action game thankfully takes a more modern approach. In Resident Evil 2, you play as your choice of two characters who find themselves trapped in a police station during a zombie outbreak. This is scarier than it might sound, since not all of the lights work, but surprisingly, the floors really make the creepy sounds of the undead echo in weird ways. A remake of a classic 1998 survival horror game, this version of Resident Evil 2 boasts more intuitive controls, updated sound and visuals, and some major changes to what happens and where the puzzle solutions and keys are located. It's also a lot bloodier than the original, though mostly because graphics are more detailed than they were 20 years ago. Similarly, there are more zombies to contend with, courtesy of a new mechanic that has them crawling through open windows unless you use wooden planks to board up these openings.
But not everything has been modernized. As in the original (but not more recent installments of this franchise), your ammo and healing items are in short supply, and you can't carry a lot of stuff anyway. This means you have to think on your feet as to whether you want to fight or take flight, and it also adds to the tense vibe. Which is why, even with the modern controls and presentation, this is a return to form, because you're really trying to survive the horror. And while fans hoping for a more faithful remake won't be happy about the changes, those who'd prefer modern controls will find this version of Resident Evil 2 to be as compelling as the original was back in the day.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Resident Evil 2 affected by the fact that your enemies in this game are zombies and other monsters? Would the impact be intensified if you were fighting humans or animals?
If there was a disaster on the level of a zombie apocalypse, would you know what to do? Are you and your family prepared for less fantastic, but just as dangerous, natural disasters?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Capcom
- Release date: January 21, 2019
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language
- Last updated: March 21, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.