There may be those of you, for whom Resident Evil 4 was your introduction to the series. So you may have only heard tales of how unhelpful the camera angle was. Let me assure you, everything you heard was true. Perhaps a story will enlighten you.
I was playing Resident Evil 2 (for the N64) one eve, and was working my way through Leon Kennedy's (yes, the cop from RE4) Scenario B (when you beat the game with one of the two characters, you could then start a new game from that file, playing through as the other character, giving you a different side of the events). I'm snooping around the police chief's office (FYI, police chief, total freak), when I hear the customary bellow of the large fellow in the trenchcoat (that's him in the picture there, chasing a character from a mini-game) that's been hounding me. Why he keeps bellowing when he gets near, I don't know. He's not particularly agile, so maybe he just keeps stubbing his toe.
Anyway, the bellow, combined with the tense music, tells me I'd better go find him and shut him down. I leave the chief's office, and begin charging down a narrow hall. The camera opts to place itself at ground level, directly in front of me. While this would be very handy if I was being chased, it fails to show me that the large fellow is waiting just behind the camera, ready to deliver an Aparo-Batman-level backhand to Mr. Kennedy. That was a bit of a surprise. And an annoyance.
All that complaining aside, RE2 was an enjoyable introduction to the series for me, and was generally scary for the right reasons (the sense that you could round any corner and meet an enemy) more often than for the wrong ones (you ought to be able to see what's coming, but the camera screws you over). It's much like all the other Resident Evil games: run around and kill monsters while searching for keys and trying to figure out who would build a police station with so many trap doors and secret exits that can only be accessed by finding stone tablets done in an Aztec motif.
You've got two playable characters: Leon, who comes to town to start his new job as a member of the Raccoon City P.D., and winds up running around with a mysterious (older?) woman named Ada, and Claire, who's here looking for her brother, and winds up having to protect a young girl named Sherry, who some of the monsters seem very interested in. I remember a gaming magazine saying that Leon had the tougher battles (due to weaker weapons), while Claire had harder puzzles, which I didn't find to be true. I generally found a lot of Claire's weapons sort of ineffective (the grenade launcher was OK, but it's range was a little limited for my tastes, the bow gun was kind of a joke, just to see how many could stick in a zombie before it would react). Leon was packing a handgun, shotgun, and a .44, each capable of being upgraded. I loved that upgraded magnum. Nasty recoil, slow firing, but it made the zombies' heads explode so nicely, with just one shot.
I'll admit, my most feared opponent in the game wasn't any of the bosses, or really big monsters - though Trenchcoat Guy could be a pain - but the enhanced Dobermans you'd run into. My first encounter, I blasted one with a shotgun, feeling pretty good about how I handled that before it got too close, only to see it get back up, and proceed to rip me apart, jumping back and forth so quickly I couldn't line up a shot on it. After that, feeling rather stressed, I called it quits for the night. At which point I opened the door to my room and stepped out. At that time, my room was at the foot of the stairs to the basement, where the den was. My mother was going to bed, so she'd turned off the lights in the den, and emerged from the shadows just as I stepped out of my room. The jump I made was a tad embarrassing.
I'm not going to try and tell you that Resident Evil 2 was better than RE4 or anything silly like that. It was a good game, no doubt, but it still had those annoying gameplay tics that made everyone so happy when they'd finally been dealt with in RE4, camera angle chief among them. But it did have that spooky atmosphere, and I always enjoyed the parts where you could check out a video monitor, even though you always wound up seeing that one of the major monsters was in the same room as you. There's a point when you're trying to get a freight elevator working and that happens, where you see Trenchcoat Guy shambling your way, then he notices the camera, and the screen goes to static. Even though I was confident I could handle him, that still sent a little charge through me.