Resident Evil 2, known as Biohazard 2 (バイオハザード2 Baiohazādo Tsū?) in Japan, is a survival horror video game originally released for the PlayStation in 1998. Developed by Capcom as the second installment in the Resident Evil series, its story takes place two months after the events of the first game, Resident Evil. It is set in Raccoon City, an American community whose residents have been transformed into zombies by the T-virus, a biological weapon developed by the pharmaceutical company Umbrella. In their escape from the city, the two protagonists, Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, encounter other survivors, and are confronted by William Birkin, the mutated creator of the G-virus, a more powerful variation of the T-virus.
The gameplay of Resident Evil 2 focuses on exploration, puzzle solving and combat, and features typical survival horror elements such as limited saves and ammunition. The game's main difference from its predecessor is the "Zapping System", which provides each player character with unique storylines and obstacles. Developed by a team of 40–50 people over the course of one year and nine months, Resident Evil 2 was directed by Hideki Kamiya and produced by Shinji Mikami. The initial version of the game, commonly referred to as Resident Evil 1.5, differed drastically from the released product and was scrapped at a development stage of 60–80%, after being deemed "dull and boring" by the producer. The resulting redesign introduced different settings and a more cinematic story presentation, supported by a soundtrack that employs "desperation" as an underlying theme.