Resident Evil 2 feels like the best kind of déjà vu. You’ll undoubtedly recognise characters and locations in Capcom’s long-awaited PSone revival, but this PlayStation 4 remake is still very much its own game. We recently got to go hands on with Claire Redfield’s portion of the campaign, and while our demo was restricted to a boss fight and a few cinematic cut-scenes, we came away ready to play through the full thing.
For those of you that don’t know, the Japanese publisher’s retaining the branching stories of the aforementioned redhead and Leon S. Kennedy, although it’s structuring it like two campaigns running in parallel. Their stories will, of course, overlap, but each protagonist will get to see different parts of Raccoon City. Our demo revolved around Sherry Birkin, the daughter of scientist duo William and Annette Birkin.
For those of you who’ve played the game before, you’ll know that poor ol’ Bill has been conducting some experiments on himself – and he’s grown an oversized eye on his shoulder blade. This demo was designed to showcase the remake’s combat, and it’s reminiscent of Resident Evil 4, with tight corridors and limited ammunition paving the way for a white knuckle experience. Despite being armed with a grenade launcher, we definitely felt that Señor Birkin had the upper-hand, and it was fun trying to reverse the odds.
All of the staples that you’d expect from Resident Evil are present and correct: you have to combine herbs to create potent potions, and there’s obviously a limit to how many items Claire can stuff in her leather jacket’s magic pockets. The visuals are impressive, with the RE Engine maintaining a sturdy framerate while still throwing some generous effects on the screen. The motion captured character models are a particular highlight, though the more realistic faces may split fan opinion.
The acting, and cut-scene direction in general, is a step above even Resident Evil 7 as well. Our demo ended with Sherry Birkin and Claire held hostage by a rotund police officer who we assume is Brian Irons. It’s a really tense scene that had us on the edge of our seat, and we just wanted to keep playing once it faded to black. To be fair, we were already sold on this remake, but playing it for a few minutes has left us counting down the days until 25th January.
Have you played Resident Evil 2 on the PSone, and are you looking forward to the remake? Aim for the eyeball in the comments section below.