Leon Kennedy's first day on the job with the Raccoon Police Department turns out to be his worst nightmare when he discovers a dead body in the middle of a street. The city looks abandoned and the night sky never seems to change. A sudden sound, a moan, prompts Leon to turn around -- suddenly he's face to face with the living dead! Meanwhile, a truck driver is bitten by one of these nasty zombies at a gas station and wanders off onto the streets. While Leon runs away from these hideous brain-eating, blood-sucking monsters, Claire Redfield, searching for her brother Chris, accidentally runs into him.
The rookie cop and the girl are chased in Leon's police car until suddenly they crash when one of the dead tries to bite them from the back seat! Suddenly, the truck driver becomes a zombie himself and rams the police car but not before Leon and Claire jump out of the way. A huge wall of flames now separates them. Leon yells "I'll meet you at the police station!" Claire has no choice but to agree.
This opening CG intro was one of the best for any game at the time Resident Evil 2 was released. And, it hasn't changed a bit with this Platinum version. In fact, nearly everything about the new version has not changed since the release of RE2 for the PC. The only new extras you get is the Extreme Battle Mode, a desktop theme pack with screensaver and a gallery of sketches and movies.
The Extreme Battle Mode is an advanced version of the game that starts backwards, where you battle your way back to the police station. The four members you can play are Chris Redfield (from the original Resident Evil), Leon Kennedy, Claire Redfield and Ada Wong. Each of them has his or her own unique weapons arrangement, with the best weapon belonging to Chris -- a Rocket Launcher. However, don't let that fool you. The other items he carries are not as good and may not be useful when he runs out of ammo for the Launcher. You clear each stage by escaping the levels, all the while picking up four mysterious items to complete the game. Again, this is probably the extent of what's new to this RE2 update.
The desktop theme pack with screensaver is a nice addition but is just more stuff for true aficionados of the game. The gallery is full of concept drawings and 3D models as well as movies you can view, but only after acquiring them through gameplay. It's yet another interesting addition but not something that makes this version standout. Those who haven't yet played RE2, though, will no doubt benefit from the additional features included in the new release.
Graphically, RE2: Platinum is no different than the regular Resident Evil 2. This, of course, means that as a standalone product it's very good in that category, yet like other PC translations, you get excellent polygon models but bad background conversions from the PlayStation source. However, it's actually not that bad and is better than the first RE for the PC.
The sounds are great in terms of ambient effects, although I still don't understand why developers need to waste players' time showing the doors opening between each screen. Obviously your hard drive doesn't require the additional time! I suppose it's just there to preserve the feeling of opening a door.
Controls are easy to use and configuration is presented with a new screen where Leon walks up to a mirror and mimics the different movements as you scroll through them. For example, if you're about to change the button or key mapping for drawing his weapon, Leon will get into that position and show you that indeed he's drawing a gun. That way you're not lost as to what that action really accomplishes.
Resident Evil 2: Platinum is actually Resident Evil 2 with added bonuses. The overall package isn't exactly going to attract current owners of RE2, only newcomers who unfortunately didn't play it when it was originally released. But, by itself, it's still a great game with just enough extras to carry over until the third installment of the series takes its place.
For the majority of people who've already played RE2, Resident Evil 2: Platinum would be either just a waste of money or a collector's item, depending on your viewpoint.
Graphics: As with the original Resident Evil 2 version for Windows, the character models are beautiful but the backdrops could have been hauntingly better.
Sound: Excellent sound effects that surround you with frightening ambience using Creative Labs' Environmental Audio. You can hear the moans and groans of the zombies with perfect creepy clarity. Getting the shivers yet?
Enjoyment: Resident Evil 2 and this updated version are one in the same with the excellent gameplay, and Platinum gives you extras -- albeit not many.
Replay Value: Other than going through the two main characters' experiences, you can try the Arranged Mode to get some surprises and another level of difficulty. You can also enjoy the Extreme Battle Mode for extended replay, but after this there isn't much else to play with.
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