ESGS 2018: Resident Evil 2 Remake Impressions

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Capcom showed up once again at this year’s ESGS and featured two games at the show floor: Resident Evil 2 Remake and Devil May Cry 5. The RE2 demo featured a playthrough for both Leon and Claire gameplay; The portion of the demo given to Leon gave a slight more focus on exploration, while Claire’s section was all about a boss fight.

The 10-15 minute demo (Claire and Leon playthrough combined) expressed similarities to previous titles such as Resident Evil: Revelations and Resident Evil 4. Tank-like controls do not make a return — if anybody is worried — providing players with plenty of mobility and an over-the-shoulder camera angle.

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The eerie atmosphere of the original Resident Evil 2 remains intact. Leon’s demo consisted of a few zombie encounters and a police officer who’s been severed from the waist down. Before we got a taste of the gunplay, we got to roam around the main hall of the Raccoon City police station which teased several puzzles. Puzzles are a staple of classic Resident Evil games, so it’s nice to get a teasing reminder that the final game will feature them, even if we unfortunately didn’t get any to solve in our demo.

Claire had it rough in this demo, as it’s all about her battling a monstrosity with a huge eye in its right arm. Her section starts you out with some weapons before meeting Sherry for the first time. The scared little girl says that Claire “needs help”, and soon after, the cat and mouse boss battle begins.

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It was a tense fight simply because ammo was scarce — just like as it always has been in the most vintage installments of Resident Evil. Missing my first shot with my grenade launch was depressing and it was all about keeping your distance from the creature swinging wildly as it gets closer to you. When it got close, I pressed the left trigger to use a combat knife to break free from the hold. Doing so, is an action of last resort though, as it consumes the full durability of the knife.

I wanted more out of the demo Capcom provided, as 10 to 15 minutes isn’t enough to provide a satisfying portrait of Resident Evil 2 Remake. Moreso when a lengthier Devil May Cry 5 demo stands right beside it, but it still leaves a positive impression that the Resident Evil franchise will be worth revisiting when it ships next year.

Resident Evil 2 comes out on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on January 25, 2019.