Bangkok, Thailand – Probably the longest line at the recently concluded PlayStation Experience 2018 was Capcom’s Resident Evil 2 remake. After the smash-hit that was Resident Evil 7, they went back to its roots and into the nostalgic and atmospheric halls of the Raccoon City Police Department in the demo that can be played during the event.
Here’s our first impressions on the game. Bear in mind that this is based from the demo and not the final product. So changes can be made.
Right off the bat, our main boy Leon (who happens to be on the first day of the job, lucky) is whisked back into the very familiar Raccoon City Police Department (RCPD). I have to say that it never looked better. Everything is like as I remembered it before – The desk, foyers, marbled floor,and the iconic statue in the middle… Its all here and remade beautifully in a baroque, dark and gritty HD fashion. You can now cue Celine Dion’s “Its All Coming Back to Me Now” at this time.
Gameplay-wise The Reach for the Moon Engine, which was originally used in Resident Evil 7 is ever-present here. With this remake, the all-too familiar fluid motion and naturalism of RE & is definitely back. What I liked about Resident Evil 7 and I’m sure a lot would agree, is how the game really felt natural. From the simple stuff like opening doors, interacting with the environment, utilizing weapons, it felt so seamless and I’m happy know that they retained that element here in the remake.
But to me honestly, as great as this system is, what definitely made it a tad better is incorporating the 3rd person perspective, adding a sense of dynamic realism which makes it feel even more scarier this time around.
The retained gameplay elements also translated well during combat. Like the original, you have a sense of urgency and scarcity when it comes to inventory space and bullet management. With that in mind, some neat fight-or-flee decisions can be made – Will you waste that bullet to down that zombie? Or would you rather just get the heck out of there, saving those precious ammo. Though both are viable options, as always they can come with a trade-off; Left too many zombies loitering around a certain area? They can definitely mob you when you go back at a later time. Those simple elements alone are enough to give you the feeling of fear and survival – and I’m happy to report that it is all back here again!
To cap this on another positive note (and to address some fears), yes we all know that this is a remake of a classic… So the PlayStation One vets might not get “as surprised” because they already played a ton of the original. What I will say is this, after just playing the demo, it really felt like a very evolved take on one of the best games out there. The familiar and expected feeling is obviously there, but all the stuff I mentioned is done in such a refined manner that this modernized take on Leon (and Claire’s) journey is definitely worth your time.
A lot of positive expectations were riding on this game especially when it was announced. It really did felt like they took the best parts of Resident Evil 4 (over the shoulder gameplay) with the remarkable and very thematic atmosphere handed to us from Resident Evil 7. And from the looks of it, 4 and 7 seems to be a winning formula. I personally can’t wait until I get my gory little hands back on this familiar feeling. Because it really felt like I was taken back to a significant part of my childhood-early adolescent days. And that is always a good thing.
Resident Evil 2 will be available for the PlayStation 4 and other relevant platforms early 2019.