First a bit of backstory. Like all good stories. This one starts long ago…well…last year…
So it’s my birthday soon and that means treats and games! As a slightly early present my wife very kindly bought me Red Dead Redemption 2 a couple of weeks ago with her remaining double nectar points. She’s a lovely lady because she hates video games lol
Then the Black Friday Sale starts on Xbox and I spot a couple of games I really want: Modern Warfare (Obviously), Wolfenstein: Youngblood (mainly because I’m a huge fan of the series and I want to see where the story goes) and, of course, the aforementioned Resident Evil 2 Remake.
Now all of these are reduced but like most average working families these days, money isn’t exactly something we have in abundance. So I’m looking at these games based more on what we can afford right now. Modern Warfare (£59.99) yeah that’s a no. So it’s a toss up then between Youngblood Special Edition (£17.49) or Resident Evil 2 Remake Special Edition (£17.48).
I’ve been playing games properly since the early 90s which means I owned a PlayStation.
My father had consoles before that one that I remember but it wasn’t until the PlayStation that I really started playing games as a hobby and with interest and passion. I say this to try and explain my leaning towards Resident Evil because I played the full series on PlayStation all the way through to current gen (Xbox One for me). Apart from Resident Evil 7 which I’ve never gotten around to buying.
It’s due to this nostalgia that I really wanted the special edition of the game with the original soundtrack swap. I also played the 30 minute one-shot demo (more info on that here) and was hooked on the new game engine and style of play.
Anyway, Mrs says yes so it gets purchased and once downloaded, I’m giggling with glee. I start up the game and revert to the original soundtrack and even the sound of the menu’s flood my brain with childhood memories.
I am SO excited to finally play this game!
Most of you will know the premise of Resident Evil but for the minority that don’t I’ll give a brief explanation.
It’s set in a rural city in America, Raccoon City, owned and ran by the Umbrella Corporation. On the surface Umbrella is a pharmaceutical company and has a good reputation with the people. Scratch below that though and you’ll find military contracts and genetic experimentation.
In the first game, a strain of experimental virus gets released in a remote mountain facility under the estate of the city’s founders, the Spencers. The virus (codenamed T-Virus) has extreme side effects that cause people to take on mindless, extremely violent and cannibalistic behaviour. The T-Virus is spread via contact; bites, scratches, etc. And it soon makes it’s way into the city…
This is where the Resident Evil 2 picks up
We’re introduced to two new characters: A rookie cop named Leon Kennedy on his first day joining the R.P.D. and Claire Redfield, sister to hero of the first game Chris who has been missing shortly after he returned to Raccoon City at the end of the first game.
The game itself was unique back in the 90s as it came with two discs and therefore two full games. Each game disc was tied to a character and held two scenarios each. The first scenario for each character and the second which depended on who’s scenario you completed first. Each scenario was a full run through of the game following each character and what you did in scenario one would affect what happened in scenario 2.
Looking back it’s a pretty ingenious system that I don’t really recall ever being used again. Essentially, it gave you four full playthroughs of the game in order to see everything and how things affect each scenario. That’s not even beginning to mention the endgame unlockables such as new weapons and even new scenarios with alternate characters.
With all of that out of the way, it’s time for glimpse into my gameplay….
I’m in gamer heaven!
A few zombie jump scares in and I’m enjoying the game. The tension of the newer zombies and slightly altered layout playoff well against the released nostalgia of being back in the Raccoon City Police Department and the familiar yet eerie music in the background only adds to this nostalgic tension.
Lickers appear! Holy crap they look horrifying but I can sneak past and conserve my ammo!
Oh shit zombie dogs! They’re a bit more difficult to put down because they won’t stay bloody still!
There’s Birkin mutated by the G-Virus! He’s scarier than I remember but we see him off relatively easy.
It’s Resident Evil as I know and remember but upgraded to today’s tech and controls. It’s great!
There’s a helicopter crash and fire and atmosphere and I love this game! Let’s put the fire out so we stop that damn fire alarm! Now that’s done, I’ll just head back upstairs and check to see if there’s anything useful in the wreckage of the chopper.
Holy shit….that man monster just lifted the helicopter with one hand and he’s walking right at me! How could I forget about him! I scream and run back into the courtyard. He’s hunting me slowly like Jason Voerhees. It’s terrifying!
HOW COULD I FORGET ABOUT THIS GUY!
I don’t remember being this scared of him. I bait him, run in a big circle and back up the stairs. I miss the doorway. HOW!? I try again and get through, sure he’s somehow right behind me now. The music isn’t helping.
My nostalgia is ruined. I’m terrified. I run and keep running. There’s no loading screens to trap him behind!
WHY ARE THERE NO LOADING SCREENS!!!!!??!!
I make it back to the main hall and slow. It’s okay, he can’t get me here. This is a safe space! It has a typewriter and everything. So I start to relax and then find my cop friend has died and is now a zombie. How sad that I have to put him down and boy does he take a lot of headshots. I reload and sigh. Now where do I have to go again?
I look up, there’s the Tyrant calmly walking down the main staircase across from me! WHAT!!!!! THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A SAFE ROOM!!! I scream and run up the opposite stair case and crash through a door leading into the library. I head up some more stairs. The loft will be a good place to lose him. I can head back downstairs and leave him wandering around above me.
There’s a licker! Screeching at me because I’m sprinting away! It flies at me but I manage to dodge and it howls it’s frustration after me as I continue running. I imagine the Tyrant just crushes it under one massive boot!
I find the stairs and run down them then double back into the second floor shower room. Pleased with myself. He’ll head down the stairs because that’s where I have to go and he’ll follow game code! Hahaha! I step out into the darkness of the second floor corridor and feel comforted. I’ve killed the zombies and there are no lickers. I calmly turn the corner and there’s the Tyrant at the opposite end stomping towards me…..
HOW!?! WHY!?! WHA-!?
My mind garbles and I turn and run back done the staircase. All the way down. I run into another licker in the downstairs corridor. How did you get down here!!! I’ve already cleared this corridor! A shotgun blast blows it out of the air and I carry on running! Footsteps thundering behind me! I break out back into the main lobby!
“It’s not safe anymore!” I blubber to myself and keep running back into the darked corridors. Keep heading down, I tell myself. Find the doors locked with club key, I’m sure they’re in the basement or where they upstairs? I don’t care I’m not heading back that way. Not when there’s the Tyrant stomping around.
I make it back to the parking lot. I blow away four zombie dogs with a shotgun blast each. He’ll have heard that I thought. I stand in the centre of the parking lot. Unsure of which way to run when I hear him. I look up. Dust falls from the ceiling as his footsteps boom. He’s on the floor above. He’s above me. Walking around. Searching. I’m being hunted….I’m going to die down here….
I shouldn’t have bought this game…. I’m scared….
I never even imagined that the remake of a cheesy 90s Japanese horror game could be made this well. The game had me reminiscing my childhood. It had me tiptoeing slowly in fear. Firing in a blind panic. Screaming and running. It’s amazing!
Then we get the announcement that blew my mind.
You can read more on our coverage of the initial reveal here.
Resident Evil 3 Nemesis has been remade in the same engine. My all time favourite RE game is coming to current consoles and this time the Nemesis is an even more terrifying presence. He continually stalks you instead of appearing at set pieces. He’s faster and smarter than Mr.X. He can use a variety of weapons when he’s hunting you.
Ah man this is going to be great!
You can also check out our other coverage of Resident Evil Project Resistance here.
Did you play RE2 Remake? What did you think of it? Are you excited for the RE3 Remake? Let us know in the comments below.
As usual, for all things gaming stay tuned to ABG!
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