It's been a painfully long time coming, but finally, after two decades, a return to Claire and Leon's tooth-and-nail struggle to survive the onslaught of undead in Raccoon City has crossed the line from fantasy to reality. As it did with the reconstruction of the Spencer Mansion in 2002, Capcom has, once again, set the gold standard of what to expect from a remake.
Pixel by pixel, Capcom has lavished care and attention on bringing back iconic characters, locations and story beats responsible for making the original Resident Evil 2 a survival-horror landmark, and while some elements have been switched, swapped or cut entirely for the sake of modern game design (no more giant spiders), the sheer volume of lip service paid to Resident Evils past and present instantly makes those misgivings melt away.
From self-referential in-jokes involving sandwich chains named after a certain beloved S.T.A.R.S. member, to tributes referencing vintage menu screens, Capcom could have easily have skimped on the minutiae embedded in every corner of Racoon City, but they chose not to.
The fact the developers went the extra mile to insert some of the cheekiest Easter eggs you'll ever see in a video game? That's a rare level of dedication we're lucky to see once in a blue moon.
11. Where'd You Get Those Peepers?
In order to witness this small but no less welcome throwback to the original Resident Evil 2, you'll have to unlock the true ending by completing either Leon or Claire's B scenario. That, of course, entails facing off against Birkin's hideous fifth and final form aboard the last train out of Raccoon City, so be sure to keep a few rockets spare or risk getting chomped on.
Regardless of your preferred method of dispatch, once you've fought Birkin off for good, a brief close-up shot of his sole, bulbous eye will precede the fiery death that awaits him. If the nightmare-inducing image above looks familiar to your seasoned survival horror eyes, it's because you saw it 20 years ago on the original game's menu screen.
It's the little things that count.