Shacknews Best Graphics of 2019 - Resident Evil 2

The graphical fidelity of Capcom's RE2 remake drives home every creeping footstep and grisly kill.

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Since the advent of the games industry, every new video card, graphics engine, and generation of gaming hardware has raised the quality bar for graphical fidelity. That makes choosing one title in a year of hundreds as much an art as a science. When pondering this choice, our crew selected games whose graphics served their themes and gameplay. That made the audiovisuals of Capcom's Resident Evil 2 remake a clear standout.

By any metric, "RE2make" is a looker. It's photorealistic, yet also subtly stylistic. Streets, buildings, rooms, and corridors look like they could be set in the real world--not that any sane person would want to live in them. Zombies, rotted dogs, William Birkin's increasingly warped and mutated body, and Mr. X seem of our world yet cut from the pages of darker, grislier comic books such as those inked by Frank Miller or Dave McKean.

The devil is in the details. The shiny slickness of rainwater on Claire's red leather coat. The stomach-churning gore of the zombie you find in the west hallway of the police station, its upper jaw connected by thick, glistening tendons. The foreboding atmosphere of the RPD's main lobby--dimly lit, with bloodstains and barricades that speak to the horror that took place there, and that will take place again. The cavernous spaces and abnormal cleanliness of Umbrella's secret underground laboratory. The shadows and vomit-inducing waste of the sewers.

Too often, high-fidelity graphics result in models and settings that look too shiny. More plastic than organic. Resident Evil 2's RE Engine is a powerhouse as suited to third-person horror as 2017's first-person Resident Evil 7. Its environments evoke verisimilitude while still being suitable to video game antics. I love the look of this engine, and can't wait to see--and be reduced to a gibbering crybaby by--Nemesis in 2020's remake of Resident Evil 3.

Miss any of the other 2019 awards? Check out our Year of the Games: 2019 article to get caught up on all of the winners.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at davidlcraddock.com and @davidlcraddock.

From The Chatty
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    December 30, 2019 9:00 AM

    David Craddock posted a new article, Shacknews Best Graphics of 2019 - Resident Evil 2

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      December 30, 2019 10:35 AM

      Good looking game and amazing engine for sure BUT those animations...

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          December 30, 2019 10:53 AM

          Well that’s nightmare inducing.


          And just to be clear I’m taking about the 30fps animations if you are standing more than like 15 feet away from the moving thing. It’s like they turn into stop-motion and it sucks :(

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            December 30, 2019 10:54 AM

            Oh... I kinda liked that. 😶

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              December 30, 2019 12:51 PM

              The stop motion animations or the nightmare fuel?

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                December 30, 2019 1:39 PM

                The stop motion-like animation quality.

                Like, to be clear, I think it's a technical limitation of the engine/console hardware streaming in LOD to make room for high-fidelity animation for closer assets. I get it. I just think it looks cool. It's almost like getting to see just the key frames of a hand animated model play out.

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                  December 30, 2019 1:44 PM

                  Yeah it'd be one thing if it was a stylistic choice but coupled with all the realistic looking and moving nature of the game they really stand out and look odd.

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      December 30, 2019 10:52 AM

      Their implementation of screen space reflections was pretty bad. I ended up toggling them off because of the artifacts they introduced.

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      December 30, 2019 12:14 PM

      It looked fantastic for sure, but I wouldn't put it above Control for graphics. That game was insane, especially if you had the ray tracing enabled.

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        December 30, 2019 1:30 PM

        Theres been some questionable picks this year for the best of... it all comes down to opinion but objectively speaking....

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      December 30, 2019 1:42 PM

      really weird pick

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      December 30, 2019 2:17 PM

      Yeah I think you guys are all smoking crack on this one. YOMV for sure ... but wow.

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      December 30, 2019 5:19 PM

      You mention the best graphics yet don't mention the hamburger at the beginning?!??!?

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        December 30, 2019 6:36 PM

        That earned an entirely separate award.

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      December 30, 2019 6:18 PM

      I should c9 this bad boy

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