We’ve played a bit of Claire Redfield’s campaign previously, but we weren’t going to turn down another 30 minutes of Resident Evil 2, were we? Capcom’s crafty 1-Shot demo gives you a full half-hour with its remade campaign, and while it’s nowhere near enough to offer any conclusions about the resurrected sequel, we really enjoyed our brief time.
The demo is, of course, set in the Raccoon Police Department lobby – an iconic location for fans of the PSone game. It looks and feels familiar, but it’s new at the same time; there’s still the goddess statue overlooking everything in the centre of the building, but there have been small layout tweaks elsewhere. Most importantly it looks stunning – a real visual feast.
Much like the very likeable Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and the upcoming Devil May Cry 5, performance capture once again takes centre stage, and the jury will be out on the look of iconic characters like Leon S. Kennedy et al. To be fair, the facial animations fall far and away short of the likes of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Detroit: Become Human, but we like the realistic art style.
It does make the whole thing much more gruesome, and when a police officer is torn in two, you may find yourself squinting through your hands. The excellent lighting means that there’s tons of tension, though, and as Leon crosses his hands to operate his torch and pistol in unison, you’ll feel both awesome and vulnerable all at the same time.
Running at 60 frames-per-second, we’ve been particularly impressed by the way that enemies move; the zombies shuffle in an unnerving manner, and popping them with a shot to the face forces them to stumble backwards. It feels like you’re doing actual damage, which is something that far too many games fail to get right.
It’s all slow-paced shootouts and puzzle solving in this opening hour, and the gameplay is much more reminiscent of Resident Evil 4 than the game it's based on. Where the likes of Resident Evil Revelations 2 felt quite low-budget, though, this is a real high quality production – the environments are densely detailed, and there are tons of mini set-pieces, like zombies jumping through glass.
Perhaps our only criticism at this stage is that you’ve definitely played this kind of game before: it’s a slow-paced third-person shooter with an emphasis on exploration, much like most modern Resident Evil games or even The Last of Us. That’s not a criticism, though – merely an observation. Upon watching the teaser trailer that runs at the end of the demo, we simply can’t wait for the full thing now.
Have you tried Resident Evil 2's demo yet? What are your thoughts on the game? How much of the demo did you make it through?