While the one-shot demo was brief, there was more than enough time to explore Racoon City Police Department and get familiar with some of the new gameplay mechanics and locations. And there’s also enough time to see the realistic damage modeling yourself, which is incredibly gory and strangely satisfying. There was a lot to soak in and if this Demo is any indication, Resident Evil 2 will be an early front runner.
Movement in RE2 is fluid as you’re able to evade zombies easily and can actually clear obstacles by moving toward them. You have a 180 degree turn, which is really useful when moving down those tight corridors. If all else fails, you could try to run past enemies, but you’ll more than likely get grabbed and take some serious damage. A defensive weapon could prevent this, but those can only be used once and they’re scarce.
Shooting is over the shoulder and if you want to line-up precise shots, you’ll have to stop completely until the reticle tightens up, but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll be precise as the enemies animations can tend to make their movements unpredictable. Taking up too much time may end up actually getting you caught. While headshots are the preferred method of dispatching zombies, it can take up to 3 to 4 bullets to permanently put them down. Dismemberment may to prove be the best course of action, so aim for the legs and once they fall, you can either move in for a melee kill or run past.
Using your knife however will cause it to degrade and eventually it will break. This is a nice wrinkle as it prevents you from knifing every zombie to death as you could in previous entries. As you move throughout RPD, you will come across boards that can be used to barricade broken windows. This will be useful in the main game, as you can prevent zombies from entering certain areas so that you can traverse safely. There aren’t many safe areas as the entire police department is crawling with zombies, so this is nice way to prevent those pesky respawns.
Visually this game is shaping up to be stunning. Animations are excellent, zombies react to where they are damaged and will move accordingly, the lighting or lack thereof adds to the tension as you will get really familiar with your flashlight, and the sound design is fantastic. Honestly, I spent far too much time in the Demo dismembering zombies and exploring rather than focusing on the objectives because I figure I can do all of that later. This may be how I play when RE2 releases in a few weeks, but this was a great taste of what’s to come.
Download the Demo now and remember, you only have 30 minutes and then it will end regardless of where you are. You can pause as this won’t affect the timer, but it is best to play this when you have uninterrupted free time.
Oh look, a creepy doll. Wonderful.