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