Race against time: impressions of the 30-minute demo of Resident Evil 2

Half an hour in the same police station.

January 11, Capcom has released a free demo of Resident Evil 2 – at the time of this writing, it was released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and is about to appear on Steam.

The players have access to the same part of the game, which was given to journalists at E3, but there is more content in the “probe” than in the gameplay videos on YouTube. True, there is a catch: you can play the demo only for half an hour – after this time the game turns off and you can’t run it again on the same account.

The demo leaves an exceptionally pleasant experience: it is beautiful, atmospheric and, most importantly, terrible.

It all begins in the police station: as in the original, on the day of arrival at the new service, Leon Kennedy discovered that a zombie virus was raging in Raccoon City.

The first thing you notice is sound. In a remake of a new soundtrack: the legendary music from the police station was replaced by a dark ambient. But the game perfectly conveys the feeling of a place: the space literally “breathes” – the electronics buzz quietly, the lamps buzz, and somewhere in the distance something uncomfortably cracks and squishes.

According to producer Capcom, they used binaural recording to create a sound palette – all the rustles, squeaks and groans were recorded using two microphones to create a real stereo effect (something similar was in Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice), and this is noticeable.

At the same time, the design of the locations in every way reminds of the original: the statue itself stands at the entrance to the station, and the door arrangement is almost one-on-one as in the 1998 game.

Many puzzles will seem familiar to fans of the series, but for the most part, all the content in the remake is new. In this case, developers are constantly flirting with those who remember the old game: walking down a long corridor with windows boarded up, and so was looking forward to what is about to Leon everywhere reach for hand or to the last fear the emergence of liquor , but nothing happens – the enemy attack, when do not expect them.

Despite the references and similar plot, the remake of Resident Evil 2 is a completely different game. “Tank” control was replaced by a convenient camera from behind, and shooting here is the same as in other modern third-person shooters – from the relatively recent RE2 games, it is easiest to compare with The Evil Within. Here, too, there are always enough ammunition close to each other, and enemies do not even die from several hits – Resident Evil 2 is true to the precepts of the horror from Shinji Mikami.

Leon has ceased to be like a 3D dummy: now he doesn’t keep silence all the time, but reacts vividly to what is happening. When the zombies continue to move forward, even after the third shot in the head, Leon will begin to lament, and once in the dark corridor – to calm himself out loud. Thanks to this, you understand much more clearly that you are playing as a novice cop: it works great for immersion.

Another noticeable difference from the second part is a large number of dark locations. In 1998, there was no question of any dynamic lighting, so the levels in Resident Evil 2 were fairly light: otherwise, the players would simply not see anything.

In the remake, most of the police station is in darkness, and it is really scary to play because of this. Enemies are usually heard first: when someone nearby starts wheezing, you have to frantically search in the dark for the source of the sound.

And still the remake became noticeably more cinematic than the original – there are quite a lot of cut scenes and all kinds of small contextual animations in the spirit of Naughty Dog games in the demo: then Leon has to move the collapsed closet, or crawl through a narrow window.

The only problem with the demo is its length. If you slowly explore the location, then the allocated half an hour is enough to go on the strength of half of the “probe”. And you can’t play the demo without an internet connection – it means you have to go for uncomfortable tricks if you want to run 1-Shot Demo again: for example, create new accounts on consoles or on Steam.

In theory, this should stir up interest in the game, but in reality it just causes irritation: in order to reach the ending, the demo version has to be run away – skip the cutscenes and rush through the locations at breakneck speed. And this pace is very poorly suited measured Resident Evil 2. Separately, I want to note the technical side of the game: RE Engine, used by Capcom in Resident Evil 7, produces an amazing picture even on old revisions of consoles with a stable framerate. On the PC, the system requirements are also not very harsh . From Resident Evil 7, the remake got not only the engine, but also the interface – in the new Resident Evil 2 it is almost identical.

Resident Evil 2 demo looks great and sounds: if the quality of a full game does not differ from that shown in 1-Shot Demo, then one of the best remakes of classic games is waiting for us – in the beginning of 2019 the strongest contender for the title of the game may appear.

It seems that with all its innovations, RE2 is still “the same” Resident Evil, terrible and uncomfortable. It’s nice to see that Capcom continues to return the series to the roots: Resident Evil 7, despite the first-person view, was a real survival horror, and the RE 2 demo shows that the Japanese company is not going to deviate from the vector given by the seventh. Exit remake will be held on January 25.


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