“No mat­ter how many times we shoot this zom­bie, it gets back up again”

XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - RESIDENT EVIL 2 -

emo­tion­ally, and also pro­vides a mo­ti­va­tion for Leon to con­tinue to risk him­self in the out­break, rather than just get­ting the hell out of Rac­coon – some­thing that was just not re­ally con­sid­ered too much in the orig­i­nal. It also helps in show­ing real di­men­sions to the main pro­tag­o­nists Leon and Ada – some­thing that the se­ries has oc­ca­sion­ally strived for, par­tic­u­larly in the heav­ily story-led episodic

Reve­la­tions2, which also stars Claire. Here, the writ­ing of the new Res­i­dent

Evil2 is top-notch. But rest as­sured, if you’re a fan of the se­ries’ schlock­ier, B-movie aes­thetic, there’s still some of it lurk­ing be­low the sur­face as Leon still de­liv­ers choice lines like, “Chew on that, you son-of-a-bitch!”

Down and dirty

We fol­low Ada down into the city’s sew­ers. They’ve never looked so dis­gust­ing. As Leon slops his way through the city’s sub­ter­ranean crap­pipes, we’re ever-alert for mon­sters of course – and it’s not long be­fore we get an earth­quake-level rum­bling and a glimpse of… some­thing huge… pass­ing by in an ad­join­ing sewer.

It’s an­other nod to the orig­i­nal, in which Leon is chased down a sewer by the gi­ant al­li­ga­tor. It’s a nice touch for all those who re­mem­ber it the first time. The al­li­ga­tor is not the only faith­ful re­turn. Ada Wong’s im­prac­ti­cal heels and slip of a red party dress (did she come from an ac­tual party? Does she al­ways dress like that?) also re­turn, as we take con­trol of the mys­te­ri­ous agent for the next sec­tion of our playthrough. This fo­cuses on puz­zles as Ada chases evil sci­en­tist An­nette Birkin, the wife of T-Virus cre­ator Wil­liam Birkin. Ada has some neat tech that can be used to hack into and change the flow of fuse boxes and power ter­mi­nals, and trace power ca­bles to their source.

Pretty soon, Ada’s stuck in a locked con­trol room with no way out, and a sin­gle zom­bie. This is the first time in the playthrough that we ac­tu­ally get close to one of the sham­bling dead, and it’s quite the eye-opener. Ada only has a hand­ful of rounds in her hand­gun. No prob­lem we think, re­mem­ber­ing how easy it usu­ally

is to off a soli­tary zom­bie with one well-aimed bul­let through the brain. These zom­bies just won’t stay down. They’ll godown, but no mat­ter how many times we shoot this one through the eyes, it gets back up again. We try shoot­ing out its legs, but it’s still crawl­ing around try­ing to nib­ble Ada’s high-heels. And now we’re out of ammo. We have to lo­cate the source of the door lock’s power, so we can switch it and es­cape – not easy when you have to keep one eye on where the lit­tle an­kle-biter is while he crawls around try­ing to snack on our calves.

It’s a nice turn­around for the se­ries which had at times be­come more about the ac­tion, par­tic­u­larly with

5 and 6. Now, one sin­gle zom­bie is enough to cause you sig­nif­i­cant prob­lems, and a fair de­gree of scares.

Ex­it­ing the room is out of the fry­ing pan and into, well, a room full of zom­bies. Here we re­ally strug­gle, as we have to use Ada’s de­vice, called an EMF Visu­al­izer, while try­ing not to get eaten by half a dozen of the things. Af­ter a num­ber of deaths and restarts (pun­ish­ingly back to the first room again), Ada solves her puz­zle and we’re on our way. But now we’re out of the fry­ing pan, via that room full of zom­bies, and quite lit­er­ally into the fire. An­nette Birkin has Ada trapped in a fur­nace. The clock is tick­ing down – we have one minute to stop its ig­ni­tion us­ing our very best puz­zle-solv­ing skills. Can any­one smell burn­ing?

Things get Claire-r

The next part of our playthrough puts us in Claire’s shoes, and be­gins in the same park­ing lot as Leon’s. This time Claire’s be­ing fol­lowed around by An­nette and Wil­liam Birkin’s lit­tle daugh­ter Sherry – an ally by this point. Un­for­tu­nately, we meet an Um­brella stooge who wants to take Sherry back to her par­ents against her will, and she only agrees when he threat­ens to kill Claire. He, we later dis­cover from a pic­ture in a news­pa­per that’s ly­ing around the po­lice sta­tion, is Po­lice Chief Irons – though 1998 gamers will recog­nise him in­stantly, with an HD makeover of course. Irons takes Sherry away, but we no­tice that there are some con­ve­nient-sized ac­cess hatches and holes in walls that a small per­son can crawl through – as with Natalia, the child who helps Claire in Reve­la­tions2 by ac­cess­ing such spa­ces – so we’re think­ing that Sherry may have a sim­i­lar role. We’ve been

above Cutscenes are su­perb, with con­vinc­ing an­i­ma­tion and voice act­ing.

res­i­dent evil’s most mem­o­rable mo­ments ABOVE Claire’s never looked love­lier, or dirt­ier, than with the ben­e­fit of Xbox One X’s vis­ual ca­pa­bil­i­ties. BE­LOW It’s a Tyrant, and it’s bloody dif­fi­cult to kill… help!

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