With the remake of Resident Evil 2 being less than a couple of weeks away, Capcom released a timed thirty-minute demo to give a quick taste of how the game will play. When I went through the demo, I didn't speed through it however I made sure to play with gust as I was always moving, while still attempting to take everything in. The demo is from a very early portion of the game that has been shown in multiple trailers of the game, which features protagonist Leon Kennedy arriving at the essentially devastated Raccoon City Police Station. Here are my impressions of what I got from the demo.
The controls felt like Resident Evil 4 and 5, but with the ability to move and aim like Resident Evil 6 and the two Revelations games. This is the best of both worlds, as it has the feel of tank controls from older entries, but without feeling as stiff and limiting. The only weapons that I got to use in the demo were a handgun (Matilda) and a combat knife. While I found shotgun ammo, I sadly didn't find the shotgun. While the zombies are incredibly slow and lumbering like they used to be, they not only take a lot of headshots to kill, but if they do manage to grab you it will take off about half of your health.
Generally, the older Resident Evil games before the fourth entry offered limited ammo pickups and encouraged the player to not kill every encountered enemy. The game gave me a lot of ammo to use, however this may be due to the fact that there are sections with many more zombies, combined with the fact that the game may procedurally generate enemies, and the with how many bullets the zombies can take. So it may just be a way to balance everything in a new way.
The game also keeps some features exclusive to Resident Evil 2 like ammo crafting, and obtaining wooden boards to block zombies from breaking in through windows. There was one puzzle that I found that I had to finish to progress. Despite finding an in-game document that had hints for it, I didn't solve it before the demo ended unfortunately. Lastly when an item is picked up, the inventory screen comes up and you decide where to put the obtained item or whether to just put it down for the time being.
Graphics and Sound
This game uses the RE Engine, which is what Resident Evil 7 and the also upcoming Devil May Cry 5 runs on. While Devil May Cry 5 looks great with the engine, Resident Evil 7 shined even more with it, and now this game does as well (it is in the name of it after all). The colors are dark and fitting for a horror game atmosphere, but still keeps the in-game models and scenery amazing to look at. The characters I've witnessed so far, look almost like real life people. Granted the faces of the characters can somewhat reach "uncanny valley" territory, however this is still the early attempts at facial scanning in video games, so this may just be a result of still getting used to the new technology. Not to mention, the demo is possibly from an older build so it could change. One thing that is slightly disappointing, is that the game is said to only run at a constant 60 FPS on PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, while RE7 seemed to have constant 60 FPS. Though this is probably due to seeing more of the character model all the time, combined with more enemies on screen, and larger environments which is understandable.
While this should be expected, the voice acting from what little I heard is much better than the original Resident Evil 2, along with probably the parts of Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles that featured parts of RE2's story within it. Leon will sometimes talk to himself to psyche himself up, and yell expletives when a zombie appears or when he attacks it. On one hand this somewhat breaks up the tension, but it is also mildly comedic and it also helps push the fact that Leon is a rookie cop on his first day. As for the music that I heard, it was great ambience for a horror game, however it also was fairly generic especially when the original Resident Evil 2 had a very dynamic soundtrack. This can be remedied with the deluxe edition that includes the original music, though it would've been nice if they tried to remake the old music.
While it was such a short experience that I couldn't replay, I feel it was enough to get a taste of what to expect from the game. Not to mention, I at least can jump into the game with a more fresh feeling. From what I played, this is shaping up to be the best Resident Evil game since possibly Resident Evil 4 even if it won't be perfect or as revolutionary. It feels like the perfect blend of old and new ideas of the series, while retelling a game in a way that sticks to the original while adding a new spin on it. Coming out this January 25th, Resident Evil fans may be in for a glorious gory treat.