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Resident Evil 2 Walkthrough - Complete Guides for Leon and Claire's Campaigns

Here's our complete Resident Evil 2 walkthrough, taking you through the campaign as either Leon Kennedy or Claire Redfield.

Resident Evil 2 is divided up into two main campaigns: one for police rookie Leon Kennedy, and the other for college student Claire Redfield. In our Resident Evil 2 guide, we'll be providing you with all the information you need to make it from start to finish in either character's campaign, going all the way through the police station, the parking garage, and more.

We’ve spent our fair share of time with the ambitious Resident Evil 2 remake, and it’s certainly something special. If you want to read our complete thoughts on the game, you can head over to our Resident Evil 2 review.

Resident Evil 2 Walkthrough

In the detailed sections below, we’ll be dividing our guides on Resident Evil 2 into different sections. Firstly, we'll be highlighting all of the chronological walkthrough guides for the different levels in Capcom's remake.

In Resident Evil 2's opening section, both Leon and Claire find themselves stranded at a gas station, and are quickly engulfed by the hordes of undead. It's not an easy opening for either character, but this section plays out exactly the same, no matter which character you opt to play as in your first playthrough of the game.

For a full walkthrough of the gas station segment of Capcom's game, make sure to head over to our Resident Evil 2 prologue walkthrough.

Things don't start out well for Leon or Claire. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Capcom

Next up, once you've made it through the opening gas station segment, Claire and Leon will need to tackle the Raccoon City police station. It's complete with a dying Marvin Branagh, and a rapidly increasing population of zombies.

For all the help you need to make it through this early section of the game unscathed, head over to our Resident Evil 2 police station walkthrough.

The RCPD is already full of zombies. Lovely. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Capcom

After you've first met the dying Marvin inside the police station, you'll need to track down three unique medallions around the huge building. This is quite the challenge for both Leon and Claire, and once again this section of the game plays out exactly the same for both our lead characters.

For a list of all the locations in which you can find the medallions, including how to unlock them from the statues that house them, check out our full Resident Evil 2 medallions guide.

You'll need the lion, maiden, and unicorn medallions in the RCPD. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Capcom

Once you're done with finding the medallions, it's time for the first boss battle of Resident Evil 2. For this fight, Leon and Claire will be throwing down against the monster that was once the scientist William Birkin, underneath the police station.

For a full guide on how to take down this mutated creature as easily as possible, you just need to check out our Resident Evil 2 Birkin boss guide.

Big ol' Birkin, baby. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Capcom

Next, Leon needs to make it out of the parking garage, and Claire needs to venture fourth to rescue Sherry Birkin from the clutches of police chief Irons. Although their goals are different, both characters need to obtain two electronic devices, to solve a puzzle that's holding the parking garage key.

For a detailed description of how you can solve one particular puzzle that's barring off both characters from claiming one of the electronic parts, check out our Resident Evil 2 Clock Tower puzzle guide.

This is one of the electronic devices you're after. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Capcom

If you opted to play as Claire Redfield for Resident Evil 2, then you're going to be stepping into the shoes of Sherry Birkin after this segment. As you can probably imagine, Sherry doesn't have anything in the way of weapons for her section of the game, and escaping from Irons can be really tricky to pull off.

For a complete guide on how to complete this unique segment of the game as easily and quickly as possible, head over to our Resident Evil 2 Sherry Birkin walkthrough.

Seriously man, leave the kids out of this. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Capcom

Shortly after Sherry's playable section of the game has concluded, Leon and Claire will be down in the sewers. This area is an absolute maze, and can potentially suck up hours of your playthrough if you don't know where to go.

If you're looking for a solution to one of the trickier puzzles in Resident Evil 2, that occurs near the end of the entire sewers section, check out our Resident Evil 2 chess pieces guide.

There's six total chess pieces to find in the sewers, for some reason. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Capcom

But at the end of the sewers section in Resident Evil 2, you'll once again be fighting everyone's favorite mutated former scientist. That's right, William Birkin is back once again to make life particularly unpleasant for both Leon and Claire.

If you want all the information you need to complete this boss encounter in the remake as quickly as possible using a crane, then head straight over to our Resident Evil 2 Birkin sewers boss guide.

You'll need to whack Birkin with a crane to finish this fight. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Capcom

Once you're through the sewers section of Resident Evil 2, it's time to head into the heart of Umbrella's entire operation. The greenhouse section of the laboratory can be a real headache to get through, with hidden codes needed for terminals, and various locked doors.

For a detailed walkthrough of this section of the game, complete with control terminal codes and information on how to correctly obtain the herbicide, check out our full Resident Evil 2 greenhouse walkthrough.

One of the two codes you'll need in the greenhouse section. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Capcom

If it's everyone's favorite rookie cop that you've been playing as in Resident Evil 2, then you're going to be faced with a particularly tough final boss to finish off the entire game. For a detailed guide on how to take down this monster, head over to our Resident Evil 2 Leon's final boss guide (no spoilers here).

If you thought that the ending for Resident Evil 2 was a bit brief, that's because you haven't reached the final, secret ending that the game offers. There's actually nowhere in the game that points out the true ending, and so it's really easy to miss.

For all the information you could possibly need on how to unlock the secret ending in Capcom's remake, head over to our Resident Evil 2 true ending guide.

Finally, there's an extra mode that shipped with Resident Evil 2 when it first launched back in January. This is the 4th Survivor mode, and it stars the mysterious Hunk as a playable character.

If you're a bit stuck on how to unlock this extra mode, or if you need a full walkthrough for the elite mission, check out our Resident Evil 2 4th Survivor guide.

The 4th Survivor stars Hunk, who's a bit of a hunk. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Capcom

What Does the Resident Evil 2 Remake Change?

If you, unlike me, have actually played the original Resident Evil 2, then you might be wondering just how Capcom has improved upon the classic, and how they’ve modified the gameplay for a modern audience. For a start, Resident Evil 2 blends past elements of the series together, bringing in a new third person camera that hovers just behind the shoulder of the character you’re playing as.

If you’re thinking that Resident Evil 2 might play like Resident Evil 4, you’re not entirely wrong when you look at the camera. But in this game, Leon and Claire can still move and strafe from side to side while aiming, and they’re not locked into one place while aiming a weapon. Likewise, there’s no laser target here for your guns, and you’ll be using a hovering reticle to aim your pistols, shotguns, machine guns, and other firearms.

There’s also no loading screens when moving through doors, like in the remake of the original Resident Evil. Capcom hasn’t stuck religiously to the formula of any one past game, and they’ve instead blended together elements of past games, as well as whole new ideas, to take this remake in a new direction. Check out our gameplay snippet above, for an idea of how Resident Evil 2 plays.

Resident Evil 2 Remake Story Primer

So, Resident Evil 2 stars the original characters of Claire Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy, reprising their roles from 1998. The original game marked the debut of both characters in the Resident Evil series, and they would both go on to bigger things (particularly Leon with Resident Evil 4).

Leon turns up to his first day on the job as a cop in Raccoon City late (tut tut). Whereas in the 1998 original he’d been on a bender after being dumped by his girlfriend, in the remake of Resident Evil 2 he’s, uh, just showing up to work late. He’s a bit of a sloppy timekeeper, and this is the only plot detail that Capcom has retconned going into the remake.

Hello Leon! | Capcom

As for Claire Redfield, she’s on a mission to track down her missing brother, none other than Chris Redfield, the protagonist of the original Resident Evil. Nothing about Claire’s story has been changed going into the remake of the classic, and she’ll once again very quickly find herself embroiled in a fight to protect Sherry Birkin, the child of the mutated William Birkin, near the beginning of the game.

Hey Claire! | Capcom

Resident Evil 2 Walkthrough Tips

So, you’re stepping into Resident Evil 2 for the first time. The first, and perhaps most obvious, advice is to make every bullet count. You’re going to start out with nothing but a pistol in the opening sections of the game as Leon and Claire, and it’s important to always aim for the head.

Secondly, you’re going to want to leave your shotgun, or any other weapons, as a last resort. Pistol ammo is the most common type of ammo to find in Resident Evil 2, so use the pistol first, and save the shotgun for when you’re either dealing with multiple zombies shuffling towards you at once, or a big boss battle.

The W-870 shotgun. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Capcom

This might be a new reimagining, but Resident Evil 2 still has hallmarks of the series’ past. There are going to be tons of doors in the game that only open with a specific key, that you’re going to need to find. In other words, if you truly want to explore every inch of the game, then there’s going to be a lot of backtracking once you discover keys for doors you’ve already gone past.

Finally, there’s the combat knives. You’re presented with a very limited amount of combat knives throughout the campaign of Resident Evil 2, and you can press the left bumper to use a knife to get out of a zombie biting into your shoulder. But, when you use the combat knife, it breaks, meaning you’re going to have to be pretty stingy with how you use up your combat knives.

The essential combat knife. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Capcom

As of right now, this is a complete compilation of everything you need to know going into the remake of Resident Evil 2. Be sure to check back on this main page in the future, as it’s here that we’ll be listing any additional guides on that we add over the coming days and weeks.