Returning to an old haunt
Last week, Capcom released a demo for Resident Evil 2 and with me being a fan of the series, I had to try it out. The demo had a twist though, you had 30 minutes to complete it. After the 30 minutes have gone, that’s it, you can’t play the demo anymore. You can get around this by making another PlayStation or Xbox Live account if you want to play the demo multiple times.
I played the demo multiple times on PS4 and once on Xbox but what did I think of it? Well, let’s just say I came away from the demo more than impressed.
Gore, beautiful gore
First of all, I want to say that dear god is this game beautiful. Leon looks great, the Raccoon City Police Department (RPD) lobby is grand and the lighting in that room is great. Resident Evil 2 (Remake) is a looker and it knows it is, as every room you go into is gorgeous and they are helped by the fantastic lighting.
The lighting in the demo is phenomenal. The lights in the RPD lobby reflect on the floor and emergency lights illuminate a dark corridor which adds to the unnerving atmosphere. The moonlight from the outside beams through the windows helps to brighten dark hallways and rooms and it’s bloody great.
The zombies look horrifyingly beautiful, their flesh is damaged and decaying. The level of detail that went into the zombies from when they are shambling around; to when they are on the receiving end of your shotgun is insane. They look blooming terrifying this time around when compared to the original RE2 on PS1.
Just stay down
Zombies in the old Resident Evil games are pretty damn easy to kill (except for Crimson Heads in RE1). Pop a few of shots from a handgun into them and they’ll go down. If you’re a pacifist for the undead then you could run around them fairly easily.
The Resident Evil 2 remake brings zombies back and they aren’t pushovers like they are in the PS1 era of RE games. The undead, take a beating before they go down. Shoot them in the head a couple of times with a handgun and they’ll go down. They take around 6-9 torso shots before they are killed, which is a lot of ammo.
I did notice that the number of shots they take before undead are vanquished, varies upon the body type. A thin looking zombie will take about 4 to 5 shots (not counting headshots here) before they go back to being dead. A larger zombie will take 5 or more bullets before they’ll flop to the ground. I love that certain types of zombies will take more punishment before they go down because it stops me from getting comfortable and counting the shots needed to take them down. Still, the best way to kill a zombie is a few well-placed shots to the head.
Resident Evil 2 also features limb destruction. Shoot a zombies leg off and they’ll crawl after you. Shoot an arm off (“Oh he’s got an arm off“. Sorry I had to quote Shaun of the Dead). and they won’t be able to attack you from that side. Shotgun blast one in the stomach and their body will split in half. They will crawl along the floor with their guts hanging out and it’s bloody wonderful.
Zombies are still slow and yes you can still run around them but they take much more damage now. A horde of zombies in Resident Evil 2 is going to be quite honestly terrifying.
The sounds of horror
The music and sound design in the demo were phenomenal and the experience is amplified when playing it with headphones on. The game’s score is deliberately daunting, invoking a sense of dread as you make your way through RPD. The score coupled with a long dark corridor where you can see next to nothing makes for a frightening time.
As mentioned before, the sound design in Resident Evil 2 is phenomenal and I’d put it up there with the Metro series. The rain hits the windows and you can hear the raindrops bouncing off the glass. You can also hear the horrid weather inside the grand RPD lobby. The growls and moans of zombies are legitimately terrifying when playing with headphones on. Seriously, I cannot stress how much better the game is when playing with headphones on, it changes the entire experiences.
Losing myself to the horror
As I was playing the demo I felt like I was losing myself to the game. I was getting so absorbed into it that even though I was in a hellish locale, I wanted to stay. I wanted to explore RPD again and discover all of the new changes that have been made.
Now, this might be because I’ve played RE2 on PS1 a lot but I felt as if I came back home. I know that sounds weird given that zombies are walking around the place but throughout my entire time playing the demo I felt warm like I was sitting next to a roaring fire yet, I still felt that sense of dread because of the undead and what lurks in the dark corridors of the RPD.
The remake of Resident Evil 2 looks fantastic, the sound design is phenomenal, the gore is gorgeous and zombies are cool again. Just over a week left until the full game releases, I can’t wait as it feels as though I’m falling in love with Resident Evil 2 all over again.