The Resident Evil franchise has had a massive resurgence with the critically acclaimed release of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, along with the rereleases of past Resident Evil games with HD facelifts. It was announced during E3 of 2018 that a remake of the original Resident Evil 2 would be getting the RE7 treatment and be coming out early this year. With only 2 weeks left before the game is set to be released for Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC, a 30 minute demo called 1-shot which throws you right into the mix as Leon after entering the Racoon City Police Department. Don’t let the name The demo is all business when it comes to the name 1-shot as after your time’s up you cannot replay the demo.
Nightmare Eye Candy
As soon the demo began, I was immediately transported back to when I was younger. I remember sitting on my bed playing Resident Evil 2 on my Nintendo 64 and trying to work with the clunky tank like controls and figuring out all the puzzles. The 1-shot demo of Resident Evil 2 takes the classic Police Station and adds a beautiful new high definition look giving it more detail while keeping the eerie feel that only Resident Evil can provide. As you walk around you see boarded up doors, messages on the walls warning of the impending doom, and as you put yourself into Leon’s position you can feel their fear as your read it.
Hello Fear, It’s Me Taylor
As you begin going down the pathway that would lead to game progression, the fear begins to kick in. You are now controlling Leon walking down a damp, dark hallway inside a building and the weather outside is calm and clear, so how did this water get here? You don’t need to put yourself into Leon’s position to know that at this point, both you and Leon are on the same page where you have no idea what’s going on. This is where immersion comes in, because you can truly put yourself in his shoes and your movements begin to mimic what you would really do. I found myself moving slowing and looking around, soaking up all the environment, because I needed to know what was going on around me. I needed to know of any hallways, doors and items in my vicinity. I was Leon and I cared if he got hurt and how well supplied, he was.
Something Old, Something New
If you have ever played Resident Evil Zero, then you’re familiar with the “feel” system. This is where you could pick up and put down an item, and it would stay there forever as well as be shown on the map. Resident Evil is known for backtracking and really needing the map just so you can find the quickest way back to where you need to be, this is also true for items you may not need at the time of finding them but maybe down the road. There will be times where you are going through ammo, and bleeding from multiple battles and you just need some life and ammo. Going back to your map, you can see where there are available green herbs and ammo laying around and then plan the best pathway to them.
The Headshots, They Do Nothing
The year is 2018 and it has been a pretty well-known fact that blunt force attacks to the head kill zombies. When dealing with any zombie game, you should always aim at the head to reduce the number of shots needed to take it down. This holds true in most games, but it seems like Resident Evil 2 needs you to possibly be a crack shot for this to hold true in this game. I took my time and shot zombies in the head numerous times only for them to continue coming after me. In all fairness the game may want you to aim directly at the center of the head to be counted as a true headshot. As I right this I am looking back at past zombie encounters via cutscene and I’m realizing that this just may be the case. I’m going to chalk this up to the developers adding a little more fear by making you better at aiming in a high-tension situation.
Hidden Loading Screens Are Gone
What would a Resident Evil game be without the slow creak of an opening door, not knowing what was on the other side. What we didn’t know is that was pretty much a loading screen hidden behind a premade cut scene and they’re also gone in Resident Evil 2. The face that these are missing aren’t a huge deal and most people would take not having those over the 30 second load screens that happen here and there through the game, but then you’ll get the Resident Evil fans who say it’s not a proper remake without them. In my opinion they were a nice touch back when consoles weren’t as fast as consoles today, and maybe if you get one later in the game it would be a fun throwback but I’m ok with not having them.
I’ll Probably Be Sick On January 25
Even if I didn’t already pre-order this game and have it downloaded on my Xbox One X, there is no doubt that I would be purchasing this game day one. Solely based on how amazing Resident Evil 7 was and the 30 minutes I was able to enjoy in this demo, there is no reason for a fan of these games not to purchase it. Even if your first Resident Evil game was Resident Evil 7, I’m confident enough to say that you are most likely going to be buying Resident Evil 2. The game is a proper throw back with polished graphics and back ground music that brings you directly into Racoon City. If you have a chance to do so, please play both the demo and the game with a good pair of headphones on in a dark room, you’ll enjoy it a lot more.