Resident Evil 2 Remake (2019)


#1

** I did a search and didn’t find a thread discussing this game but please let me know if I have missed it**

Some minor spoilers about the form of the 1 shot demo are unavoidable in my reflection below. I don’t spoil any content however.

I played the Resident Evil 2: 1 Shot Demo on Friday and I really think they nailed it.

RE2 was a formative gaming experience for me back when I was in the 8th grade. My Friend and I rented it several weekends in a row and played it over and over and over again. The world seemed so huge and my teenage brain was fully invested in the kooky Resident Evil narrative. You have to remember that the series hadn’t gone completely off the rails yet. I don’t remember a lot of the game beyond the opening Police Station area but I do remember the atmosphere and the feeling i had when playing the game. The aesthetic and sensory experience of RE2 has stuck with me over the years.

The 1 Shot demo, for those who don’t know, is a demo comprised of an early gameplay area that is locked to 30 minutes. Once the 30 minutes is up you can not play the demo any more. I was able to complete the snippet of gameplay with 4 minutes left. The experience I had wasn’t quite nostalgia but it was something similar. It wasn’t the version of the game that my brain kept locked away in memory made real with modern technology or anything like that. Instead it was a familiar location and playable character with the ‘Resident-evilness’ turned up to 11. Capcom didn’t skimp on the gore, and there are plenty of inexplicable special keys required to enter certain doors in the police station. The game felt new and unfamiliar despite the fact that I have completed the original maybe 7-8 times over the last 20 years. I can’t wait to see the licker and the Tyrant.

I was surprised to really like the form of the 1 shot demo. Every 5 minutes an achievement pops up so you can keep track of the time. It reminded me that I couldn’t stop to smell the roses (or decaying corpses). By the time the 20 minute warning popped up the demo opens up a bit and gives you a few more large rooms to explore. This made me want to stop and look around and open a few more doors but I knew I had to finish up before the game booted me out. It accomplished its task as a marketing tool by building my interest in the game by showing me a bunch of stuff I knew I couldn’t go see if I wanted to get through the demo. By the end of the demo I had made the decision to purchase the game knowing that it was going to be a well handled new take on one of my formative gaming experiences.

I didn’t know I had this much to say about RE2 and that demo, but here we are.

Is anyone else here looking forward to the RE2 remake?


#2

I think that the 1-shot demo was a really good idea for this specific type of game only, because it pushed me forward through scary areas and allowed me to see more. I’ve never played the original RE2, so the area seems fresh to me and there’s something about the layout and visual design of it that still feels novel in 2019. I like how you can tell it was not built as a police station (apparently it was a museum).

The game looks great and I already like playing as Leon due to the really good touch of VO every now and then as he discovers new things and fights. It makes me feel less alone and comforts me just as talking to myself in a situation like this would.

Some people have commented that the amount of cursing in the game is odd/shocking, and that’s very confusing to me. Is lack of cursing a thing in the RE series that is being broken only now? Is Leon some kind of weird “golden boy” character who’s not supposed to curse? I would if I had his life!

Anyway, I pre-ordered after playing the demo and it feels a little odd to do so, but I really admire this level of thought put into a remake and I want it to be the bar. When Capcom re-released the RE remake as a re-RE-remake a few years ago, I thought they’d never do something like they did for the Gamecube RE again. We’re getting some really in-depth ones recently with Spyro, Crash and Shadow of the Colossus and I’m happy.


#3

Resident Evil never had cursing in it in the past. I really enjoyed it when I was delightfully shooting holes in a zombie and Leon let out an unprompted curse. I think it’s an excellent touch that adds to the immersion in the game. I curse just as much as the next person and believe you me if I was alone and trying to escape some zombies I would be letting the F-bombs fly.


#4

I really liked my time with the demo. Resident Evil 2 is a game I played a really small amount of on an N64 as a kid, which is not the optimal way to play that game, but for whatever reason it stuck with me and I think I’m going to give this remake a shot even though I’m someone firmly in the “doesn’t like RE 4” camp. (though after having fun with this demo I’m curious to go back and try again)


#5

If I put a couple rounds in a person shambling towards me and they keep coming, a “fuuuuuuuuck” spanning at least 2 octaves would be coming out of my mouth as I run backward emptying a clip wildly hitting all manner of vending machine and furniture.


#6

Yeah, I remember thinking “oh they’re doing RE4” when I first saw video/stills, but being able to move around while you aim separates it from that style. It’s also really handy for these wonderfully animated and surprisingly mobile “slow zombies” that have a good stumble to them and can get you from the ground.


#7

The animation is incredible and makes combat so fun that I feel like I’m coming to the revelation that everyone else did when RE 4 came out in regards to how tense that shit is. Lining up shots is hard but it feels so good.

The big thing is moving and shooting for me, I think. Moving feels so deliberate and is so severely detrimental to the handgun’s aim that it feels like an important tactical choice rather than just another thing you do. I love it. RE 4 has that to, I suppose, but I think it just took them allowing me to do both at the same time for me to realize it.


#8

Specific gameplay things about the demo that intrigued me:

  • Within the 30 minutes, I found a little satchel that added two inventory slots, which are precious in the first generation of RE games. It’s heartening to see they are going to be less strict with that, but not ditch it completely.
  • Wooden Boards are really interesting. You can choose to add extra security to certain windows, but maybe not all of them. This reminds me of burning certain Crimson Heads with your limited gasoline in the REmake, prioritizing the ones in areas you traverse often.
  • The combat knife is incredibly useful, but has durability and gets stuck in any zombie you use it on as defense against a bite until you kill them. Seems like it’s going to lead to some wacky situations and the durability is another survival horror-y thing to juggle.
  • Having your health show up whenever your status changes is a great touch and an improvement over going to the menu or looking at your animation in the classic games.

#9

I took a different approach to the demo. I know full well I’ll be playing the game when it comes out in a couple weeks, so I wasn’t trying to accomplish anything, just taking my time so I could absorb it. It actually ended with this perfect moment - I get to the weapons locker, pull out the shotgun, load it up, cock it, turn back around… fade to black. I’m still kicking myself for not grabbing that video.

I really only needed it to do one thing, and that’s to assuage my fears that it wouldn’t “feel” right, and it did that spectacularly. It’s so good. Soooo goooood. It’s Resident Evil via Dead Space, to the point that I tried to make Leon stomp on multiple heads.

I will say that I’m a little weirded out by Leon’s voice. Paul Mercier’s RE4 and Matthew Mercer’s follow-up to that in 6 (which is so good it was years before I realized they had changed actors) have come to define Leon’s voice in my head, so this just seems off. But I’m sure it’ll be fine.


#10

Never played the original, and that demo sold me on this remake. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it was going to be either, thankfully, but the atmosphere is just perfect. I am so ready for cheap jump scares, super contrived puzzles in a labyrinthine setting, tense shootouts with dwindling resources, ridiculous plot twists, and all that good, good gore.


#11

I know there is stuff going around about the voice-acting, but what surprised me looking it up was that Leon is voiced by three different people in all three main entries. For some reason I assumed it was always the same dude. Can’t find who is in the new one but I guess they went with a fourth guy.

Haven’t played the demo because I assume I’ll play the whole game at some point. It looks very sick.


#12

Clearly Leon S. Kennedy is an arch-iconic theatrical personality like a Mephistopheles or a Lady Macbeth that many folks would kill to inhabit for just a single showing. :smiley:


#13

Plus the lack of cursing was the one single last thing separating the games from all of the movies that inspired them!

Is this aversion to cursing a new thing or something? When the Castlevania animations came out people were aghast at all the profanity too (and for a British production that one was surprisingly chaste :smiley: ), like what?

Anyway I’m so excited about this. Resident Evil 2 holds a special place in my heart. I loved the original RE of course but like holy shit, the demo really managed to duplicate the same feeling I had as when I played RE2 for the first time. The gore and the resilience of the zombies is awesome and I’m glad they committed to that instead of having them go down too easily. It reminds me of House of the Dead 2 where you have to shoot them right between the eyes to kill them fast and anything less just blew chunks of the head/body/whatever off as they keep coming. I love it.

I was living in this suburban part of New Jersey when I played RE2 when it first came out and it had this exact police station from RE2 and hell it’s New Jersey so we were all obsessed with horror stuff forever. The police station near where we lived (it’s unfortunately in a new building now) was located inside what used to be an old elementary school and they would hold community events at and around it too. So it literally had that exact weird mix of modern office area, weird art installation, gothic revival hallway, modern office.

New Jersey man, I never want to live there again but hell yes living in literal 80s horror movie land. Surrounded by shit in all directions like that police station, Shadow Lake, Witches Hollow Road, the Marlboro Psychiatric Ward that they closed in the 90s and just let everyone out of that literally also had an abandoned slaughterhouse on the property, my high school had a police firing range at the far ends of its property with the range facing the school, all the weird decrepit stripmalls and hotels that used to be on 35 where the neo Nazis would hang out, Shades of Death Blvd., random Twin Peaks shacks in the woods, what a fuckin’ state.

I’m so hype for this, and keeping the demo limited to 30 minutes was pretty cool, I was glad I still had time to look around at stuff. I didn’t manage to fight the Licker but I was able to get the shotgun and at least see it. I love the amount of guts and gore in the game, it’s like perfect and you can tell they really went back and studied Day of the Dead/etc. zombie flicks and built the look of it around that and it’s great to see that level of craft is still around for the series. After RE5 and 6 in a row I didn’t think Capcom still had it in them. Here’s a relevant thing I wrote about this a while ago - I think a big part of what makes RE good is that it doesn’t just shamelessly rip off stuff from the movies that inspired it but genuinely made their own little story and world that complements it. Like the original Resident Evil could have easily been released in like 1983 and you wouldn’t even need to change anything in it. The early to mid-90s saw a lot of developers come into their own in that respect while the rest faded away. It was an interesting time because the FMV craze was happening with people trying to make games feel more like movies, but stuff like Art of Fighting or Resident Evil or Super Castlevania IV are way more cinematic and well thought out in that regard compared to Night Trap or Immercenary.

Anyway again regarding this demo I love love love love that you can use the knife as a defensive weapon and have to retrieve it after and all the little extra bits of visual density like how the main lobby has a ramshackle triage and stuff. I wasn’t expecting the game to do such a good job of making the situation feel completely fucked even though you have a good amount of ammo and so on. But still LOL the knife+tape thing right out of RE7, why can’t you just slash it? :smiley:


#14

I played the demo last night, and I don’t have a ton to say that hasn’t already been said, but I was legitimately surprised by how scary it was! I was expecting RE4 from the trailers, but this seems closer to RE7, which is great! (I love both games btw, RE7 is just much scarier.)

Also, @NeoRasa, I thought I would point out that Capcom wasn’t immune to the FMV craze. The original RE had an FMV intro, and it’s incredible:


#15

I don’t think ANYONE was immune from 1993-1995 no matter how the actual game was built. :smiley:


#16

What a wonderful time in games history! It’s hard to imagine something so incredibly dumb being embraced so universally these days. Now we just get actively harmful stuff integrated into every game.


#17

:heart_eyes: Super Castlevania IV

That FMV intro was so good.


#18

I am a huge fan of the original Resident Evil 2. The first PlayStation will always be my golden age when it comes to my own video game memory. Tomb Raider, MGS, FFVII all cast a long shadow and RE2 equally so. My friend and I became obsessed with Resi when it first came out, he was always into the haunted house setting of the first game but I always loved the story of the 2nd game and the ways in which the two campaigns interlinked to tell this epic story.

RE the REmake. I can’t believe:

A) It comes out 20 years after the original - I was 11 when I played RE2 for the first time. I played the demo that came with the director’s cut of the first game, I played the 20 minute demo that came with the Official PlayStation magazine, I got an advance in my pocket money, so I could get RE2. At the time this game cost £50 in the UK (About $70 in US), it was so much more expensive than other games because of this sharing mechanic between the two discs - the Leon/Claire campaigns. I was broke all summer.
B) We were getting a GC styled remake to Resident Evil 2 - ever since seeing how Capcom remixed elements of the first game so masterfully for the remake, I think all fans have been asking for a similar treatment to the 2nd game.

So the demo:

Overall I really liked it. First of all the timed demo was a cool idea - it reminded me of that original demo for the original game. I guess from a marketing perspective, it generates more hype and amps up the fear as players are both encouraged to keep moving against the time limit and the fact that death could end the experience at any moment. I was on edge the whole time and I knew the licker was coming and was dreading facing it.

Controls: I was starting to worry when footage eeked out and it looked like RE4. Having had the formula remixed and refreshed by REVII I was a little concerned we were going to have a more action orientated reworking of 2. However, I think it manages to do the same thing as the GC remake but also take the format of the RE4 era of games and do it’s own thing with it that hearkens back to the spirit of the early games. It plays like RE4, dare I say it RE6 (because of the strafe), but it feels much slower in pace as if matching the speed of the zombies. The shooting is where you feel it the most, the way you have to stand stationary to close the crosshairs, there’s a little bit more patience there when gunning down zombies and landing the head shots. Throughout RE4 to RE6, the gunplay only got faster as if to match the other shooters on the market.

Also the gore is pretty detailed and adds to the horror, the guy you find who has clearly been ‘licked’ was just gross. But added to this, the bullet damage you do to the zombies is pretty detailed. I used the shotgun on one guy, blasted him in the chest, and there’s just this red hole in his torso that looks horrific. I think it works well to convey the power of your weapons next to the power of the undead, how they can still move at you despite the violence you throw back at them.

Environment - A big part of the appeal of the GC remake was the reimagining of the classic environments but also the way the designers added to it. One minute you’re in one of the rooms you remember, next minute your exploring this pathway, ‘I don’t remember this being in the game’, then you have to run away from Lisa Trevor and it’s awful. The police station looks pretty much the same. I’ll always remember the room to the side which is decorated for Leon’s first day, it just has this classic look to it, feels like a used office within this old building that has seen some days. I guess the way in which the games were made in the past with 2D backdrops gave artists greater freedom over the environments or the way they looked. It must have been difficult adapting them to 3D.

Character - I think my first impression of seeing Leon again was remarking how young he looked. Leon’s always been my favourite Resi character, not because he’s particularly brilliant as a character. Leon’s always been a haircut. Plus he got the shotgun. And the magnum. I don’t think any of the games have truly great characters, the closest they came to presenting a good character was probably daddy Baker in REVII at least if you dive into the background lore. In RE2 Leon is basically baby blue boy scout fighting for his life in a nightmare situation. There’s kind of a love story in which he gets his heart broken by Ada, he takes a bullet for her and everything, but other than that That’s perhaps the only endearment you needed to like the character. Once RE4 kicks in it’s all quips, suplexes, saving the president’s daughter and hitting on your handler, who would look so much hotter if she didn’t wear glasses…

It’s probably a bit too early to tell, but presumably they’ll be going more into the story and I echo what others said, the way in which he talks to himself when lining up shots is great. Even Marvin feels more fully realised. Give Marvin an Oscar. Wonder if there will be a mercenary mode in which we get to play as Marvin?

If I had one criticism it’s that when you press start on the title screen it doesn’t go - [BONG] Resident Evil… Two. But that’s me just being an entitled fanboy.


#19

Definitely. This Leon is a beautiful young man. A beautiful shiny skinned police rookie.


#20

On the topic of this game, I have a real problem playing games with spiders. I know the first RE had spiders (where I stopped playing it). Does this one?