Friday, June 22, 2018


Well...we're now well into the aftermath of E3 2018 and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by some of the new games on display - Cyberpunk 2077, Sable, Ghosts of Tsushima - they all look interesting and I definitely want to try Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.  One game in particular though has me excited more than I would have thought possible, the Resident Evil 2 remake.

Out of all the Resident Evil games RE2 is the one I've played the most.  The first time I tried it I was using a rental PSX with no memory card.  As such I couldn't save my game, and dying meant starting over from the very beginning.  Despite this limitation, I almost made it all the way to the underground labs, but got eaten by the giant crocodile in the sewers.  Eventually I bought a Playstation of my own (along with a memory card), which allowed me to make it to the finish...or so I thought while the credits ran.  As it turns out Resident Evil 2 is meant to be played twice, once as Leon and once as Claire (or vice versa).  The locations are the same, but item/enemy types and locations change between playthroughs.  NPCs and plot progression also change a bit depending on whether the player is Leon or Claire.  So, after doing complete playthroughs for both characters I got the real ending.  Much to my surprise though there was a special challenge that can only be unlocked if both playthroughs are completed with "A" ranks.  Basically this entails a mixture of finishing the game quickly, making few saves and using little to no first-aid sprays.  After doing all that it's possible to play as the "Fourth Survivor."  This bonus content is short and intense, requiring careful resource management.  It's also possible to attempt the same challenge as a floating man-sized block of tofu armed with nothing more than a knife.  No...I'm not making any of this up.  So after about five playthroughs plus extras, you'd think I'd never want anything to do with the game again, right?  Actually, if we're being totally honest here, yes, I've never had a strong desire to return to RE2, especially since there were fairly similar experiences to be had with spin-offs and sequels such as Resident Evil: Nemesis and Code Veronica.

That was a long time ago though and this new version of Resident Evil 2 seems to be a much bigger overhaul than what was done for the original Resident Evil remake.  I wonder to what extent the layouts have been changed?  Raccoon City Police Station seems largely the same in all it's impractical glory.  The usual suspects are also represented in the form of lickers, Mr. X and (of course) large numbers of zombies.  What about NPC interactions and weapons though?  Is it completely in the third-person like Resident Evil 4, or is it possible to play first-person like Resident Evil 7?  Will it remain as action oriented as the PS1 version of Resident Evil 2 or will this version lean harder on the horror elements?  At the very least it appears the story will be presented a bit differently.  In particular, I like how Leon isn't quite so cocky due to being a rookie at this stage in the franchise timeline.  Plus, it'll be fun to run around in the shoes of old favorites...I'm not so sure about playing as an oversized piece of tofu though...

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