Resident Evil 2 Remake Gameplay Preview: The best survival horror ever?

Capcom’s remake of the original Resident Evil remains a horror masterpiece and, to many, the best game in the series. Today, it maintains a level of stunning visual quality that its tried-and-true scares still terrify. It’s an undeniable classic, and now, a remake of its equally beloved sequel is in the making. Say hello to Resident Evil 2 Remake. We’ve played it, and it’s coming in January 2019.

We’ve compiled everything you need to know about Resident Evil 2 Remake including all the latest news, trailers and our hands-on gameplay preview.

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What is Resident Evil 2 Remake?

First announced back in 2015, Resident Evil 2 Remake is intended as a modern iteration of the 1998 release. Fans have been requesting the project for years, and following the success of the original Resident Evil and Zero remasters, Capcom is finally listening.

Resident Evil 2 Remake release date

The remake was announced at E3 2018 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC and will be launching on January 25, 2019. That’s pretty soon, and we can’t wait.

Resident Evil 2 Remake Gameplay

Anyone who played Resident Evil growing up has the same story. Telling horror stories to our friends of hiding behind a blanket through fear of the next zombie-filled room, a control scheme that did everything to make things even more terrifying. The trouble was if ever you tried showing someone unfamiliar with the series what it was that petrified you, the tale got lost in translation because the thousands of words you painted became a picture of pixels lost in a bygone era.

Fans, for what feels like the longest time, have been screaming for a Resident Evil 2 Remake, so much so that they took it upon themselves to make one several years ago before Capcom put a stop to it for reasons that have now become clear. Capcom’s new Resident Evil 2 is everything fans have ever wanted it to be, it has the potential to be the pinnacle of what the classic vision of the series could hope to become. Get ready to re-enter the world of survival horror in its truest form.

The brief gameplay demo at E3 2018 takes place in the police station, and it’s immediately clear this isn’t just Resident Evil 2 with prettier graphics, although thanks to the RE Engine which powered Resident Evil 7 it is utterly gorgeous. Capcom wants to make a Resident Evil 2 that plays with fan expectations, therefore things will look familiar, but feel ever so slightly different.

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resident evil 2 remake

The Licker, for instance, won’t appear as he did on the roof of the corridor. Items won’t be in the same place, and now, zombies will pop up in new places to keep you constantly terrified.

And the game is incredibly scary. While Resi 2 lost its edge on account of muscle memory for veterans, the 20 minutes I experienced were horrific. The east corridor of the station was almost pitch black without Leon’s torchlight, and Capcom’s amazing sound design meant every clang and crash had me spinning around looking for the source of the noise, petrified at what I might see.

Resident Evil 2 uses an over-the-shoulder camera similar to Resident Evil 4 and 5, though it’s closer than those, making the experience feel even more visceral. It offers a similar control scheme to both, too, but offers a much greater fluidity to the tank controls that means moving around feels so much better both in and out of combat. Movement on the left stick is very smooth, feels faster and allows you to walk even while bringing up Leon’s gun. Aiming is also quicker, which can be a blessing and a curse. When in a frantic panic, trying to get that headshot while petrified of the rapidly approaching zombie can be very tough.

The game is also incredibly violent, blood is all over the precinct, and every bullet that hits a zombie sees an incredible amount of splatter. The zombies too are immensely detailed, the best I’ve ever seen in the series and probably the best zombies I’ve seen in any game. They are genuinely scary to look at, as their jaws draw for a chomp on Leon’s neck, it’s wince-worthy.

Capcom has also done some amazing things with the camera during encounters. As a zombie grabs hold of Leon, the camera swoops in even closer to get you even closer to the bite. I frantically smashed every button possible trying to avoid the chew, but you’re powerless to stop the bite, it’s purely to show every gory detail. It’s as amazing as it is gruesome. After the bite, blood will also stay on Leon’s neck after the zombie falls back. And as Leon is being bitten, his health box will pop up in the lower left to show the extent of the damage. It’s all done to keep you in the action and not forced to jump into a pause menu to see how much damage each bite deals.

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resident evil 2 remake

First Impressions

I, along with every other Resi fan, have waited the best part of 20 years for a remake of Resident Evil 2, and I don’t think any of us could have expected something this good. The incredible visuals, pitch perfect controls and a wonderful balance between familiarity and reinvention mean this is a game that needs to be marked in everyone’s calendar as the one to watch.

Maybe watch it from behind some comfy cushions, though.

Resident Evil 2 Remake trailer

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