RESIDENT EVIL 2
Surviving by the skin of our teeth in everyone’s most anticipated remake yet
“We turn to Birkin, take a deep breath and shoot straight into the eyeball”
The moment we finished our previous hands-on session roaming the halls of the Racoon City Police Department as rookie police officer Leon S Kennedy, we wondered when we’d get a chance to play as Claire Redfield. Turns out we didn’t have to wait long.
Claire arrives on the outskirts of Raccoon City in search of her missing brother, ex Special Tactics and Rescue Service member Chris Redfield. Instead she finds a destroyed city infested with zombies. Along the way she meets Leon, but they’re soon separated following an accident. Agreeing to meet up at the police station, they head off in different directions to look for survivors.
Our demo starts a fair way through Claire’s campaign in a more linear affair than our time with Leon, so we follow the only path available to us. Already packing a knife, a revolver, a submachine gun and a grenade launcher we find ourselves in an abandoned office. With that type of weaponry we know to expect a confrontation. We pick up the supplies dotted around and take the elevator down to a lower level. With flashlight in hand we descend a flight of stairs and into an engine room of sorts. This is where we meet Sherry, and as we offer to lend a helping hand, she says we’re in fact the ones who need help. Turning around we stand face to giant eyeball with a mutating William Birkin. Brandishing a large pipe, he swings and destroys the platform we’re standing on. We fall to the level below and prepare ourselves for a fight.
We immediately unload our bullets on Birkin, specifically aiming for the bulbous eye growing on his shoulder whenever possible. Admittedly we miss more shots than we’d like, and find ourselves running dangerously low on ammunition. We run around the pathways in search of more supplies, finding ammo, healing herbs and a grenade so we head back into battle. The barrage of firepower doesn’t seem to be having the desired effect and Birkin still isn’t going down.
We can’t help but wonder if we’re doing something wrong. At this point we’ve used up all our healing items and are left with only three bullets in our revolver. We search one last time to see if there’s anything we missed. Nothing. We turn to Birkin who’s still hot on our tail. With the prospect of going up against him with a knife hope drains from our bodies. We take a deep breath, aim and shoot straight into the eyeball. He wails and stumbles over the railing, falling into the darkness. Luck, it would seem, was on our side.
This intense battle, which echoes ones from the original Resident Evil, reinforces the idea that this will be a true survival horror game. You’ll need to search everywhere for ammunition and supplies to have any hope of making it out alive.
Following the battle with Birkin we’re properly introduced to Sherry and promise to help reunite her with her mother. A little walk and talk later and we arrive in the police station car park and in the presence of the despicable Chief Irons, who after beating and tying up Claire, kidnaps Sherry. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: these cutscenes are phenomenal, and really raise the bar as high as it’s ever been for Resident
Evil’s narrative chops. The original Resident Evil 2 went down in history as one of the best survival horror games ever made so it’s only fitting that its remake would honour that.