Red­field gets a fright, and brings out the big guns

Our lat­est hands-on with Res­i­dent Evil 2 proves Claire-ing is scar­ing

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - THE BIG 10 -

Like a corpse that just won’t stay dead, you’ve al­ready heard us moan and groan on and on about just how good Res­i­dent Evil 2 is look­ing. And we’re jus­ti­fied. It’s a re­make that packs so much fun, Cap­com has dropped the ‘Re­make’ from the ti­tle. The rein­tro­duc­tion of Leon Kennedy and Claire Red­field feels so fresh here, it’s more of a reimag­in­ing than a re­make.

While we saw Leon Kennedy ex­plor­ing the ru­ined Rac­coon City po­lice de­part­ment on his first day on the job at E3, in our most re­cent time with the game Claire Red­field has also found her way to the sta­tion. Af­ter the events of the first game her brother Chris has gone miss­ing and, be­ing the good soul she is, she’s set out to search for him, com­ing up against the Rac­coon City zom­bie out­break in the process.

Of course, be­ing the lit­tle sis­ter of a badass STARS agent, al­beit a miss­ing one, Claire’s a bit of a rebel her­self (she even rides a mo­tor­cy­cle, so you know it’s true). She’s more than ad­e­quately kit­ted up by the point in the game we get hands-on with, tot­ing a pis­tol, a sub­ma­chine gun, and even a grenade launcher. And she’s a crafty char­ac­ter too, able to whip up some acid rounds to pop into the grenade launcher be­fore go­ing into bat­tle.

TANKS A LOT

The game’s be­ing made in the RE En­gine that was de­vel­oped for Res­i­dent Evil VII: Bio­haz­ard. A sim­i­lar craft­ing sys­tem is present, mak­ing Resi 2 as easy to get to grips with as the sev­enth en­try in the se­ries was. Yet it all trans­lates per­fectly into a third-per­son ad­ven­ture, where Leon and Claire are very much present in front of you, en­sur­ing you flinch as you watch them get grabbed by glis­ten­ing zom­bie fin­gers and then mauled.

The early Res­i­dent Evil ti­tles were well known for their tank con­trols, but move­ment here feels free and easy – though that doesn’t mean our

he­roes will be duck­ing and weav­ing ef­fort­lessly around zom­bies. A re­turn to third-per­son this rein­ven­tion of Res­i­dent Evil 2 may be, but sur­vival is still very much the name of the game. Move­ment isn’t a chore, but you nonethe­less need to be care­ful and mea­sured as you ex­plore the dark­ened sta­tion, con­stantly wor­ry­ing about what’s hid­ing around the next cor­ner, or what might be com­ing up on you when your back is turned.

G WHIZZ

Not that Claire has to worry too much about sneaky zom­bies in our hands-on ses­sion. Af­ter tak­ing some time to get the hang of how she moves, we en­counter Sherry, a young school­girl who’s hid­ing out in the sta­tion and has man­aged to sur­vive on her own. When we ask if she needs help, she warns that we’re ac­tu­ally the one who should worry, and then we’re set upon by a hulk­ing, half-mu­tated mon­ster zom­bie with a mas­sive, creepy eye em­bed­ded into his arm. Groan­ing about Sherry, it’s the G-virus­mu­tated form of Wil­liam Birkin, Sherry’s fa­ther – now sim­ply known as “G”. He’s a pain in the de­cay­ing neck through­out the game, fur­ther mu­tat­ing as time goes on.

From this redo of Claire’s first en­counter with him it’s ap­par­ent how much the dev team has been The Resi se­ries has a lot of awe­some fe­male pro­tag­o­nists. Claire Red­field is one of the best. able to step things up with this freshly pol­ished ver­sion of Res­i­dent Evil 2. Just like the stun­ningly grim zom­bies that haunt the halls, G is grotesque – a true mon­stros­ity in 4K. Struc­turally he’s the same as in the orig­i­nal game, but now he glis­tens stick­ily, and there’s a real sense of depth in that enor­mous, flick­ing, blood­shot eye.

In this form, it’s hard to tell where G be­gins and Wil­liam ends. Ev­ery groan and move­ment looks pained. But he’s in full-on at­tack mode, lum­ber­ing quickly at us, smash­ing away with his huge arm. One nasty at­tack when we get too close sees him grab Claire’s head in his squelchy hand, and once again we can’t help but wince as he sav­agely comes at Claire, and yelp as he gets too close for com­fort.

It’s a strug­gle to main­tain dis­tance as we jug­gle our in­ven­tory and weapons around in a mad panic. How much ammo can we af­ford to plug into him? we won­der, be­fore de­cid­ing, of course: all of it. He’s just too scary. He soaks up bul­lets be­fore we re­mem­ber the grenades. Get­ting

HOW MUCH AMMO CAN WE AF­FORD TO PLUG INTO HIM? WE WON­DER, BE­FORE DE­CID­ING: ALL OF IT.

a small mo­ment be­fore he charges at us, we fire away. He’s soaked in flames, moan­ing in pain, and we get a brief mo­ment of respite.

PO­LICE STORY

Af­ter we man­age to break away from G-Birkin this time, Sherry in tow, we bump up against yet an­other ob­sta­cle – the car park’s in lock­down (mean­while, else­where in the sta­tion, Leon is try­ing to find a se­cret exit). Be­fore we can make it through, we’re stopped by Po­lice Chief Irons, who has an is­sue with Claire hang­ing out with Sherry. He’s a piece of work. As if Claire doesn’t have enough on her plate as it is.

Res­i­dent Evil 2 is very much a game of two halves, with more unique mo­ments for its char­ac­ters’ cam­paigns than in the first. Both Leon Kennedy and Claire Red­field have found them­selves caught up in the midst of the zom­bie out­break for dif­fer­ent rea­sons. Get­ting back be­hind the con­troller for both of them feels so new and ex­cit­ing, even though we’ve done it be­fore. Per­haps re­vis­it­ing its roots for this reimag­in­ing is just the be­gin­ning – this fresh twist on the clas­sic for­mula proves old school Resi can come back to life much more eas­ily than we first thought. What would you like to see from the se­ries? Tell us at opm@fu­turenet.com.

G is real night­mare ma­te­rial. Why is that eye on his arm even there?

Claire pokes around the sta­tion, search­ing for clues on the miss­ing Chris.

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