SDCC 2018 Hands-On Impressions: Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 2 is an anxiety-sustaining, panic inducing, stress producing terror simulator that immediately reminded me how awful I am with the survival horror genre. Make no mistake, this is not the action packed boulder punch of a game that Resident Evil 5 was nor is it similar to Resident Evil 6. Fans of Resident Evil 7 and the slower,  more methodical gameplay found in Reisdent Evil 4 and, to some degree, Resident Evil Revelations will find themselves right at home.

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Of course the demo would lead attendees into a literal dark room. Of course.

My demo begins with Leon utilizing his sense of duty to walk straight into the absolute disaster that is Raccoon City.  But we can’t just leave and get to safety, we have to walk through flaming cars and screams of citizens being eaten so we can save our fellow officers at the police station.

So we get to the police station, and the lights are off, and the headphones that are supplied for the demo let me hear literally every creaking board and potential lurking threat in my vicinity. I’m armed with what I can only assume is a standard issue handgun and Leon’s sense of justice to explore a police station that I know is teeming with zombies.

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We could go into the scary police station, or you know, we could just not.

I round a corner and I hear a shrill demand in the form of a scream, “Unlock the door!” I make my way over and attempt to pry my fellow officer from the bottom of a gated doorway only to listen to him die as zombies on the other side devour him from the bottom up. Nice.

Naturally this isn’t anywhere near enough to deter Leon from leaving and never coming back, so it’s time to return to the main room.  The dimly-lit hallway we just made our way through is now filled with zombies. Try as I might to mow them down with my underwhelming weaponry, I take two huge hits before I make a break for the other side.

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Our way out of Raccoon City was sitting in front of us the whole time.

Finally we make our way to the police lieutenant who has also sustained injuries from our undead pals.  He tasks Leon with utilizing a notebook we found earlier to solve a series of puzzles that will open up a door to make our way further into the station. In my inventory box that reminded me largely of Resident Evil 7, I’m able to shuffle my items on a grid, combine or use my herbs and double check my ammo. My key items are also on display and I can use the notebook’s hints to find the medallions needed for the unlock. Sadly my demo fades to black and a “Thank you for playing” screen informs me my 20 minutes are up.

My time with Resident Evil 2 assured me that it will be following in the footsteps of Resident Evil 7 and will be a true survival horror game, rather than go back to the action genre that some of the past titles adopted. If you like being terrified out of your mind and constantly worried that zombies are about to take a bite out of you from behind, Resident Evil 2 will be available on January 25, 2019.

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