Capcom has been on a roll lately, with the company re-emerging as a top contender in the industry after years of taking a few heavy hits. After the massive success of both Monster Hunter World and Resident Evil 7, the Capcom team are now striving to deliver even more amazing content, and one of them that we’re excited for is none other than Resident Evil 2. For those who may not know, Resident Evil 2 is a complete makeover from the original back on PlayStation in 1998, with revamped graphics which use the brand new RE Engine, and an over-the-shoulder camera for a more third-person feel, which dates back to Resident Evil 4. Resident Evil 2 isn’t just a full remake, it’s an entirely brand new experience to the series! We had a chance to sit down with the game at Tokyo Game Show via the Capcom Press Event, and boy were we thrilled to dive in.
Resident Evil 2 - Announcement Trailer
Unlike the older RE titles, that place the camera in a fixed position and require the player to use tank controls to maneuver around the map, Resident Evil 2 is more free-form and provides you with a more third-person, action-oriented experience that totally suits the vibe of the game. The demo that we spent a lot of time with was the Claire portion of the story, in which you need to help a little girl get out of the building, but run into trouble along the way. The minute we put the headphones on and dived in, we knew exactly what we were in for: the jump scares and the surprise attacks that enemies are always known for. As you walked around inside the building everything just felt so real, and for that reason it made the experience even more terrifying. Doors would creak when you tried opening them, you’d hear footsteps above you in the vents, or walk into a washroom and randomly run into a licker devouring a corpse. All of these moments created so much tension and in the demo we played, we weren’t able to save via the typewriters, making things a lot more unforgiving.
Item hoarding is just as important as ever, and learning how to strategically organize your inventory to keep slots open for rare items is paramount. We ran into a mini boss battle during the demo as we had to save the small girl from an enormous grotesque-looking zombie, with an eyeball protruding from out of its arm —obviously, you needed to shoot the eye to take him out. The demo supplied us with a shotgun, handgun, and Uzi to take him down. The shotgun proved to be the most deadly as we were able to grab specific rounds of ammo by mixing together different ingredients. For example, mixing gunpowder with acid gave you acid rounds, and then there were explosive rounds that engulfed the enemy in flames. Visually, this game looks incredible and just seeing it all in action looked almost lifelike, which really goes to show you the great lengths Capcom took in order to really deliver a truly horrifying experience. Of course, the sound effects and ambience are just as scary, as you just never know what’s about to jump out at you, no matter how prepared you are.
The demo was about an hour or so, and gave us a really good idea of what to expect in terms of the story. For those who have played the original, you will most likely be familiar with how some of the story pans out. Sadly, we didn’t get a chance to dive into Leon’s story, but we’ve seen so much of his scene through gameplay footage that Claire seemed the more fitting to try out. Claire’s missions are more cerebral and require you to do a lot of exploration in order to take full advantage of situations that lie ahead. Her missions do have a lot more action than Leon’s and are actually more fun.
One new and interesting addition to Resident Evil 2 is in the map, where now the game will show you just where you’ve been by highlighting rooms by color. This is a huge improvement over past RE titles because when it came to backtracking, going through the same corridor or room was really disheartening and slowed down the pace of the game. Now, the game will tell you exactly which rooms you’ve already entered and which ones still require some searching in order to find items, or unlock specific things. A red room indicates that the location you’re in is still unfinished and that there’s more to be discovered before progressing. Blue indicates that you’ve already cleared the room and there’s nothing significant that you need. It makes your life so much easier and less stressing, and helps to progress the story even further without taking too much time.
Our Experience + Final Thoughts
While our time with Resident Evil 2 was short, it was most certainly a very sweet one and we’re more than thrilled to get our hands on the full game, once it releases in January of next year. Anyone who’s new to the RE franchise will also fall in love with Resident Evil 2 because it really takes on a path of its own, allowing you to truly discover the RE world in a brand new way. Veterans of the series will of course find themselves at home but will definitely find enjoyment in the new map system, along with the over-the-shoulder perspective for a much more enriching experience.