E3 2018 Hands On – Resident Evil 2

The streets are ready to run red once again as Capcom is reviving the PlayStation era classic, Resident Evil 2, for a new generation of gamers. Players will once again guide Leon and Claire on their mission to escape the evils which lurk around every corner of Raccoon City. New gamers will be able to experience one of the greatest horror stories ever told in a video game in this rebuild, while veterans of the series will enjoy this modernized take on the fall of Raccoon while getting the added benefit of having a nostalgia infused layer of enjoyment.

My 25 minute E3 demo was a scene taken near the beginning of the campaign. I took control of Leon Kennedy, who has already at this point met and separated from the other protagonist, Claire Redfield. The demo charges you with exploring the Raccoon City Police Station in search of survivors and also answers to what nightmares have wreaked havoc on the all but abandoned station. Doors are locked and barricaded, hallways are empty and the lights flicker to give a heightened sense of tension that was never this foreboding in the classic game. Capcom has worked overtime to not only remaster this game, but to ensure that they push the power of the current generation of consoles to provide a truly frightening and grotesque experience.

While much of what you may remember about RE2 remains the same, including herbs, crests to unlock secrets and even the series staple typewriter, there are significant system improvements that enhance the experience and keep things fresh. For example the game controls just like Resident Evil 4, with a camera that pursues your protagonist over the shoulder.

Another noticeable feature is the hit detection and enemy damage systems. The undead are significantly stronger and more relentless, and a head shot is no longer a guaranteed takedown. If you’re aiming between the eyes but your shot pulls left of center for example you will blow a chunk of the zombies temple off and they will continue forward. In certain situations a single round to the kneecap will guarantee to drop the enemy and allow you time to run passed. Strategy and ammunition conservation is once again a part of the Resident Evil experience and you must plan accordingly.

The fact that Capcom has rebuilt and modernized this horror classic is incredibly exciting and this E3 showing is only a sliver of what we can come to expect from the finished product. I cannot wait to explore every shadow and face every monstrosity awaiting me when Resident Evil 2 launches in January on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One systems.

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