Video Game publisher, Capcom, once again sets their presence at SDCC. This year the company is treating attendees to the E3 demo of the Resident Evil 2 remake. Last night, I jumped at the chance to get hands-on with the game and find out if it’s shaping up to be every bit the gem the original was on the PlayStation.
As you step into the shoes of a bright-eyed idealist cop Leon Kennedy again, the changes immediately hit you in the face. The game’s initial police station setting is gritter and prettier thanks to RE2 being built on the same tech Resident Evil 7 was. It uses that new power to create a fear-driven experience based on unlit corridors laced with bodies you just know are going to get up off the ground and attack you. It may not be a first-person view but it’s every bit as scary in moments where it’s nearly pitch black except for the cone of your flashlight.
Perhaps the biggest hurdle is the nostalgia factor, if you played the original, you can’t help but think you know everything about what’s around a corner. Capcom solves this problem by re-writing some of the bits that made Resident Evil memorable with arguably bigger moments. In one instance Leon fumbles around in the dark until he comes upon a fellow officer trying to escape the zombie masses under a shutter door. He’s literally pulled apart before your very eyes.
Knowing Capcom is taking away pieces of the original RE2 just to mess with you gives it a unique kind of tension where you think you know until you realize you don’t know jack about what’s about to go down in Raccoon City’s police department.
My biggest question about RE2 had to do with something the game can’t really do anymore. Part of what made the PS1 game special was the fact that if you put in the second RE2 disc first and played the game with Clarie in the beginning, you played a different game/story. It was fun and added value to the RE2 package. After speaking with a Capcom PR rep at the booth, we found out the game won’t have that particular mechanic though it will allow you to choose whose story you dive into between Claire Redfield and Leon Kennedy but ultimately wind up in the same place.
We can also confirm typewriters are still there along with the mutant gator and there’s still spiders of some kind (ugh). Resident Evil 2 defined what survival horror was up until the series went in an action-driven direction. Resident Evil 7’s swamp family setting and first-person view choice put it back on the right path, but Resident Evil 2’s remake is looking to push new territory in survival horror.
This weekend, if you’re going to SDCC stop by the Capcom booth in Hall A to play the RE2 demo. The waits will be long but the reward will be RPD good.
RESIDENT EVIL 2 launches on Xbox One, PC and PS4 January 25, 2019.