Watch us play through the Resident Evil 2 remake’s 1-shot demo

Gare – Sunday, January 13, 2019 9:50 PM
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There are still a couple weeks left until the release of the Resident Evil 2 remake, but those wishing to sample this reimagined version of the legendary survival horror game are able to do so right now in a bite-sized format: by playing a demo that comes with a 30-minute time limit. And trust me, those 30 minutes go by real fast.

Upon starting a new game in the demo, you are unceremoniously thrust into the Raccoon City Police Station’s iconic main hall, and from there, the clock is ticking. The game even goes out of its way to remind you of its limited nature with helpful – or rather, stressful – achievement popups such as “5 minutes played”, “10 minutes played” and the like, just to make sure you know exactly how much time you still have left. Or to pressure you into rushing towards your goal even faster as you desperately try to cram as much zombie goodness into your precious 30 minutes as possible. That minor annoyance aside, I came away from the demo feeling very satisfied. The game may not be an exact carbon copy of the original, but it doesn’t need to be; while there are enough familiar elements in here for old-school fans, the remake gave me the impression of a game that does its own thing as a strong, standalone title and won’t simply rely on sheer nostalgia to make its mark.

Resident Evil 2 (2019)Platform: PC, PS4, XBox OneGenre: Survival HorrorDeveloper: CapcomPublisher: CapcomRelease: 01/25/2019Right off the bat, the police station has a markedly different feel to it, being much darker and more menacing compared to the original, with Leon having to use his trusty flashlight to get around – until he finds a light switch, anyway. There are some new gameplay mechanics as well, such as the ability to pick up wooden planks and barricade up windows as a countermeasure against particularly nosy flesh-eaters – but don’t feel too relieved just yet, as zombies are now capable of bursting through doors as well (in the original, you simply needed to enter another room and you’d be safe). Other aspects of RE2 felt reminiscent of the GameCube remake of the first game. The combat knife can now be used as a last-second emergency weapon to stab a zombie that’s already grabbed hold of you, thus preventing Leon from taking a bite to the neck. Unlike in the RE1 remake, though, the knife isn’t lost forever and can be recovered from defeated corpses – do note, however, that it does have a durability bar and will break with excessive use, meaning you can’t rely on it forever. I also enjoyed how helpful the map screen was, letting you know whenever there were more items to pick up and more things to investigate in a given room. And if you’re concerned about having to spend most of your play time running away from zombies, don’t worry: other than your basic handgun, the demo even features a shotgun and just enough ammo to let you test out the game’s RE4-inspired – and otherwise very satisfying – combat system.

Overall, it is unfortunate that I couldn’t explore every single room to my heart’s content to get a better feel for the new features and additions, but if this 30-minute demo’s purpose was to make me hungry for more, then mission accomplished, I suppose. In any case, if you’re interested in my complete playthrough of the demo, do check out the video below:

Resident Evil 2 will be out on PS4, Xbox One and PC on January 25.


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