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Letters from the Front

A few years ago it seemed like the whole industry had become infected with the Zombie theme. From The Walking Dead to Dead Island and even Call of Duty with the Nazi Zombies mode which would later become a signature staple in the franchise, the genre exploded into mainstream success which would later somewhat kill it off as fatigue set in.

Now, it’s like it didn’t even happen. The industry has somewhat moved on and the Zombie theme has quietly died off with a few games containing the theme and the Call of Duty games as the Zombies game-mode is one of its well-known and iconic game-modes. Since Resident Evil gave birth to the survival horror genre and popularized it and since the original Resident Evil and the franchise, in general, has been about Zombies from the very beginning, they can still use the theme and Capcom is more entitled to run on that steam train of ideas and that is really exemplified by the fact that the zombies in Resident Evil 2 are scary as shit and that is really the main point of the game. Through overexposure and the infiltration of the mainstream, Zombies aren’t scary anymore because everyone is familiar with the theme but in Resident Evil 2, it’s like that overexposure and familiarity hasn’t set in just yet.

Resident Evil 2: remake is a more action-oriented version of the original game, it’s more akin to Resident Evil 4. The game was touched up and brought back for this generation of hardware, rebuilt from the ground up using the same engine as Resident Evil 7 and it’s like a brand new game almost. Very much like the Resident Evil 7 demo, the demo for Resident Evil 2 is a concept of what the final game will be like and it isn’t a final represenation of the full game.

Anyways, I like it and I’m looking forward to the full game release. It’s dark as shit, it puts the horror back into the meaning of survival horror because that term doesn’t mean anything nowadays with games like The Evil Within 2 and Outlast II being more suspense-oriented than actual terror and getting a feeling of paranoia. It brings back that feeling which has been lost over the years since more games in the horror genre has moved into the action or action-adventure genres like Resident Evil 6, Dead Space 3, and others.

Resident Evil 2: remake is a very tight, solid action-oriented remake with a more shooter-centric control scheme and it’s akin to Resident Evil 4 but it doesn’t lose the feeling of paranoia, that feeling of being afraid of the dark, being fearful of what is across that room or what is behind that door, feelings that have been lost in the years since the release of Dead Space and the classic horror oriented games like the original Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 4. Everything is slick with grotesque scenes, gore, blood, and other body fluids and the game has a very dark atmosphere that brings all of these feelings to life.

The zombies do not fuck around and that is a very good thing since the zombies themselves aren’t as scary as it used to be, due to the mainstream success of the genre in the past several years. The zombies are gross, grotesque, nasty and vile monsters that are scary which is, once again, the main point of the game. For about 27 minutes, I was paranoid about what was lurking in that dark room, thinking twice on that dead body lying on the floor, wondering where a Zombie would crawl out from and you don’t actually see a zombie until 10-12 minutes in so from after entering the west wing of the Police Department, you’re in a state of fear because you haven’t seen one yet and don’t know where one will crawl out from. It’s very much a feeling of the fear of the unknown that gets you in those first opening minutes of the demo.

At the end of the demo, I was surprised by how good it is and how juicy everything is. The decapitations, the sound of blood squirting, how every body part blows up with immense and exaggerated pressure. Everything in the demo, down to faces, are luxuriously detailed. The lightning, the dark corridors, the zombies themselves are immensely detailed and all of this comes to life via how Capcom rebuilt this game from the ground up, starting with the foundation and ending with a house made out of bricks that looks really good and the inside of the house looks wonderfully decorated.

The demo is a good look at a proper horror game and I’m very excited to get my hands on the game. It looks fantastic with a good control scheme that I can get behind. If you have access to the 30-minute one-shot demo then go ahead and you won’t regret it.

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