Which Character Should You Play as First in Resident Evil 2?

Should you play as Leon Kennedy first in Resident Evil 2, or go with Claire Redfield instead?

At the very start of Resident Evil 2, you're asked to select the campaign of either Leon Kennedy or Claire Redfield, and it's this character that you'll play as until the closing credits. In this guide to Capcom's stellar remake, we'll be walking you through deciding which character to play as first out of Leon or Claire.

But if you instead need help with any other areas of making it through Raccoon City alive, head over to our Resident Evil 2 walkthrough. Here you can find our complete beginner’s guide to the game, and much more.

Should You Play as Leon or Claire in Resident Evil 2?

For those not in the know, Resident Evil 2 (2019) features two campaigns for its lead characters, just like the original game did back in 1998. When you select ‘new game’ from the main menu, you’ll be given the option of playing as either Leon Kennedy, or Claire Redfield.

Leon is a rookie police officer, who was due to start in Raccoon City right around a week ago. Since he’s heard nothing from his post in the city, he’s decided to head on down, and see what’s up. As for Claire Redfield, she’s a college student on the hunt for her missing brother, Chris Redfield, protagonist from the original Resident Evil.

No matter who you pick to play as in Resident Evil 2, you’re going to encounter the other character right near the beginning of the game. Leon and Claire meet up at an overrun gas station just outside of Raccoon City, and drive into the city from there. This is where the characters become separated, and the two campaigns take their form.

Although there’s one campaign for Leon, and another one for Claire, they don’t actually differ all that much. For example, both characters meet Marvin Branagh in the police station, and have to make it through the underground parking lot. There are some differences in locations between the two campaigns, but we won’t spoil them here.

Simply speaking, it really doesn’t matter who you choose to play as first in Resident Evil 2, because you can start a new campaign straight after as the counterpart character. People have always debated whether Leon or Claire’s stories are ‘canon’ in Resident Evil 2, and it certainly seems like everyone generally chooses to play as Leon first. This might be to do with the fact that Leon being in the police station instead of Claire feels more logical, since this is where he was meant to be coming to work.

If it's more content for Capcom's remake that you're after, head over to our essential Resident Evil 2 tips page. Alternatively, you can hit up our page on how to unlock Fourth Survivor in Resident Evil 2 with the enigmatic Hunk, our article on how to unlock the magnum in Resident Evil 2, or our Resident Evil 2 Leon's desk locks guide.

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