I recently played the 6-gigabyte demo of the Resident Evil 2 remake on my Xbox One downloaded via Xbox LIVE. It was a one-shot demo limited to only thirty minutes of play time.
So how was my experience? I focused mainly on exploration of the Raccoon City Police Station and orienting myself with the game’s controls (and the 3rd-person view on exploration and shooting).
Having played RE2 on PlayStation way back in 1998, I found it stunning that the in-game environment rendered in full 3D polygons the look of the police station from the old game. Of course, not everything is 100% replicated. There are noticeable changes like re-arrangements of the certain furniture, items and even parts of the layout of the interiors. Clear to say, if you are a very avid RE2 gamer who pretty much memorized the placings of items in the 1998 video game, do not expect to find them the same in the 2019 remake.
Regarding controls, in my view RE2 feels very similar to that of Resident Evil 6 which was the last RE game I played. The 3rd-person view approach on movement and shooting are there. That being said, I find RE2’s shooting-and-moving mechanism inferior to that of Gears of War games with regards to response and precision. Not necessarily a bad thing and I do understand that the lack of response and precision is meant to enhance the claustrophobic feel for gamers. Resident Evil 2, after all, is Capcom’s attempt to revive survival horror seriously.
More on shooting, there is a balance between precision, impact and movement. There I was as Leon aiming at an approaching zombie while slowly walking backwards (to keep a distance). I took a shot at the zombie’s head while moving, the shot did not affect him. When I stopped moving, aiming became more precise (I noticed the on-screen target mark adjusting) and my shots hit the zombie better on the head and body.
Speaking of zombies, they are slow moving but are noticeably faster compared to their 1998 counterparts. Once near you, a zombie can take a sudden move forward to grab and bite you.
What I found intriguing is that when I was caught between two zombies, they both grabbed me and attacked me at the same time causing further damage to Leon’s health. I wonder what would happen if, let’s say, Leon got caught between two Lickers in a similar situation.
On exploration, the move into the dark portions of the police station using only a flashlight to see ahead is a nice touch. I ended up moving cautiously as I explored the rooms and other things to search for useful items like a key, first aid spray, etc.
And then there is the discovery about what happened to the police station. One police officer I tried to save died losing half his body as zombies from the other room grabbed him. Then there is another police officer who helped Leon survive from suffering the same death.
Because I focused more on exploration and getting used to the controls, my 30 minutes ran out without reaching the end.
So how do I feel after playing the one-shot demo? Personally I am not keen on buying Resident Evil 2’s release on January 25. I will observe first how the game will perform critically with the game review writers, the bloggers and of course the feedback of the many gamers who play it.
I do remember the overall feel of Resident Evil 2 on PlayStation in 1998. The first part was all about orientation, exploring the police station and finding out how Raccoon City got overwhelmed with zombies caused by the deadly, artificially made virus. Then as the game progressed, locations changed and more characters entered the plot, the pace quickened, the action became more intense and there was that sense of adventure as well. It remains to be seen if such things will happen in the overall narrative of the RE2 remake.
Thank you for reading. Please share this article to your fellow gamers and Resident Evil fans. Feel free to comment below and if you enjoyed this article, please press the like button below. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is available for ordering in paperback and e-book format.