Reflects on RE 1998 and 2019 map design

One of my various wonders about RE2 was just how much its maps differ from the original, a game I didn’t see anywhere near as much of as the PlayStation releases of Resident Evil. Little to my surprise looks like there’s a website out there with detailed maps and item info for like every RE game ever.

Including maps for the original Resident Evil 2 from 1998 and the 2019 remake. It’s an interesting look back actually.
One of the things I rather like about RE2 is the map design. We’re still off in crazy territory in terms of things like the statue puzzle, and any sense that the RPD was once a museum. But it’s a pretty straight forward design: a balance between simplicity, and the need for content.
The 1998 design feels more like the layout for a real building. Some of the layout changes for 2019 are neat: such as joining the Records Room with a separate Supply Room that links it to both the Operations Room, and the West Central Passage leading to the Dark Room by the west stairs. It was even done in a way that offers different keys for Leon and Claire. But the 2019 building feels less natural in many places.
Combined with the “Trick” to the Operations Room I think this does works kind of well. The 1998 design basically gives you a set of winding corridors to the west stairs and the Dark Room at its base. In the 2019 design this is more literally a winding corridor that discourages you from ever lingering there. Barricades and destruction reek of the place being overrun by zombies, and we see some of that action in the RE3 remake. Because of the barricades and damage: you’ve got to break into the operations room, go damn it the Supply Room door is chained shut, and huff your arse through a window into the West Central Passage.
This puts a lot of pressure on you the get the frigg out of there, and combined with the Supply / Records rooms vs how the old File Storage and Evidence Rooms were laid out: give you escape vectors. Something that matters when not only are the undead out to eat your brains, but Mr.X would like to punch your lights out. For better or worse as much as this layout change improves the run for your life factor: the West Central Passage is the place you go to die. It’s far more complex layout makes it easier to get turned around between the multitude of monsters out to get you by the later phases of the game. But as a consolation we get the Safety Deposit Room. A place you’ll either go to escape having your eyes scratched out, or risk getting chomped just to raid for supplies. Feel free to curse the puzzle loving bastards who hid the replacement caps for the keypad, lol.
The east side is also a growth in complexity but still pretty faithful. The second floor follows this trend mainly gaining more rooms, and the third floor goes from being diddly squat to something more in line with the rest of the station. The basement may as well be starting from scratch, but areas like the cell block  and kennels are much more believable in their scope.
The Sewer system likewise feels more like a started over from scratch, and in the remake was probably the area I spent the most grokking at the map trying to navigate. Where as in the RPD, I mostly was preoccupied with where key items could be found. The lab areas seem more faithful, but are also a spot where the 2019 game becomes unnaturally simple and direct to the point.
Actually, if I was smart, I’d probably find myself a cheap copy of the original game and pop the disc into my PlayStation 2.