Resident Evil 2’s 1-Shot Demo is Both Terrifying and Great

It’s been roughly 21 years since Resident Evil 2 launched on the original PlayStation system, bringing suspense and gore to players across the globe.

And now with updated systems, Capcom aims to release a remake of Resident Evil 2 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, with a 1-Shot demo available now. Although limited to only 30 minutes of playtime, we’ve played that very demo and let’s just say it scared the crap out of us.

Here’s our impressions:

The Resident Evil 2 1-Shot demo absolutely scared the living crap out of me – and wearing headphones, with the volume turned all the way up, did not help one bit! But this is exactly how I wanted to experience Resident Evil 2, and I’m really happy Capcom was able to deliver on that front.

Graphically, Resident Evil 2 is very impressive. Characters obviously look much better than the 1998 release, and Resident Evil 2 is incredibly gory, which hits the spot for those looking forward to being grossed-out. All I can say is that the limited demo was fantastic and I can’t wait for the full release! – Peter Lopez

Not being a fan of survival horror, my initial exposure to Resident Evil was 2017’s Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. Biohazard scared me throughout, but I appreciated the graphical fidelity that the RE Engine brought to the title.

The Resident Evil 2: 1-Shot demo is running on the same RE Engine and compared to the original, Capcom has done a fantastic job of make the familiar feel new.

Like the Biohazard demo you can explore the level and find clues and items to help you complete it. Unlike the Biohazard demo, the 1-Shot demo only lasts for 30 minutes. This added to the tension that the demo already had and I’m not ashamed to say that I didn’t complete it.

A demo is meant to be a demonstration of a game and this 1-Shot demo really showcased what the RE Engine can do. I’m not sure if I personally will be playing Resident Evil 2 Remake when it releases on January 25 but I will be looking out for gameplay videos of other levels.– Patrick Okolo

I didn’t grow up with the Resident Evil franchise, I have fond memories of going over to a friend’s apartment in college and playing some Resident Evil 2 and having a few laughs, so I thought I was prepared to face the survival horror in the 1-Shot demo. I was pleasantly surprised that while they left the entry area of the police station mostly the same, they changed enemy placement, updated the gameplay, and added a new level of fear and gross-out I haven’t seen in years.

Upon my first entry into the Raccoon City police station, I felt slightly cocky, because I remembered the lay of the land relatively well. The map looked just like I remembered it, but I was mistaken. This time around I found there were a lot more zombies that could come out of anywhere, and rooms where you first encountered a licker no longer holds the terrifying beast. I found this new placement of the enemies to be nice, because I personally felt like I would have grown bored if they didn’t do something to fix the problem.

Another quality of life improvement I’m glad they worked on was changing the gameplay from a fixed camera with tank controls to an over the shoulder perspective, where you can actually move when you shoot. This one mechanic, in my opinion, fixed every problem I had playing the original version, as well as the modern remakes of the initial Resident Evil games. This new perspective also added to the scares, since I was up close and personal with the zombies, as opposed to feeling like a distant observer.

I’m glad to see they didn’t pull any punches this time around, because for the first time in years, I was actually scared of a survival horror game. When I saw the first officer die, I literally gasped and lurched with the initial shock of what they had done to him. After this moment, I knew that I was in for a world of horrors. Zombies could break open doors or jump out of almost anywhere. I never felt safe, even if I was in a room that I thought had no zombies, and this feeling was what I want out of a title in this genre.

I loved this demo so much, that at the time I am writing this, I have already preordered the Digital Deluxe Edition. – Dawson Helton

I hate the traditional Resident Evil tank controls and roll my eyes at those who defend them. This new demo was never on my radar because I remember the original games and never wanted to play anything that controlled so poorly. This demo only made it to my system after being told it controlled more like Resident Evil 4, and to my absolute shock I could actually move while aiming!

My one major hangup aside, I was able to enjoy my 30 minutes with this new demo. I played on an OLED with a surround sound setup, and the graphics and sound design were superb. The spatial sound effects were effective at both increasing the tension in general, but also letting me zero in on exactly where that next zombie was coming from.

Though it was fun enough, I still have big problems with the game. Inventory management is something that just doesn’t have a place in video games for me in general. It’s super boring and just wastes time, and that’s readily apparent in RE2. It’s only marginally realistic. You couldn’t combine three boxes of ammo in just a couple seconds in real life. RE2’s inventory serves to limit your capabilities to make you have to think about using up those bullets. That’s fine, but I feel it can be handled better by just having less resources available on the map instead of forcing a tedious inventory system on me.

Aiming felt very imprecise. I even tried turning on aim assist and saw no noticeable difference. It’s sluggish and imprecise. Again, I know this is by design but the game is hampering my skill for the sake of manufacturing tension. The zombies already take seemingly 6+ headshots before they drop for good, so the game may as well let me shoot accurately.

So will I play the full version of RE2? Probably not. It’s looks great, sounds great, but plays like a Resident Evil game, just with better controls. I don’t have fond nostalgic memories of RE2, and don’t feel I’ll be missing out by skipping this. -David Quigley