resident evil 2 one shot demo cover

My experience with the one-shot demo of Resident Evil 2

Written by Ryan Noble

We’ve all been frothing at the mouth for the Resident Evil 2 remake since its announcement and now it’s finally almost here. But, not without keeping us turning in our graves a little bit longer with an interesting and quite unique one-shot demo. In this demo, you’re allowed 30 minutes of gameplay – nothing more, nothing less. Whether you complete the demo or not is irrelevant.

Once you’ve played for 30 mins, the demo ends, you’re treated to a new trailer, and then you can never play the demo again. If nothing else, it will get people talking and keep them hungry for more.

Here’s how my one-shot demo went down…


Oh no. It’s already amazing. It’s too much.

I’m standing in the Raccoon City Police Department (RPD) as Leon Kennedy for the first time in two decades and it’s just how I always hoped it would be.

Everything is exactly as it was back then, setting off the strongest sense of nostalgia in me, but everything feels different, too. More modern. Less clunky. And so damn easy on the eye.

Click images to enlarge

As I walk, or more accurately, creep, though the halls of the RPD, there’s so much atmosphere that I could sink my teeth into it. Leon automatically flicks his torch on when it’s dark enough and it sways over the chaos of the corridors, lighting up broken windows, fallen shelves, walls and floors smeared with blood, and the odd body or two. I keep my eyes on those.

Despite knowing that the clock is ticking on my demo time, I can’t help but slow down and just take everything in. I feel like I’m seeing Resident Evil 2 for the first time all over again and it’s thrilling. I want to stop and explore every single room and every shadowed hallway, admire every zombie as it shuffles its way towards me, and read every note left behind – there might be a code to a locker or safe waiting for me in there, after all.

There’s no time for that, though, because zombies can burst through doors after you and they can really gang up if you’re not careful. Thanks to especially resilient zombies, even having an abundance of ammo – I had 50 bullets at one point – can leave you with the urge to run. In those cases, Capcom recommends listening to your gut and keeping it moving.

While you could take the time to slowly pick off the undead, one by stubbornly-reanimated one, sometimes it’s better to run around the danger and into the next area in search of ammo, firepower, healing supplies, or whatever item you might need to progress. Resident Evil 2 puts the ‘survival’ back in survival-horror, and running is often the smart choice.

This idea itself isn’t a new one for the more classic Resident Evil games, but it seems to be handled well in the remake, creating claustrophobic rooms and corridors that are slowly filling up with the undead – including those banging on the windows of the police station. If you don’t manage to find boards lying around to reinforce these windows, it’s only a matter of time before they join the horde that’s already hunting you down.

On top of that sense of dread are the usual things you’d expect from Resident Evil, from solving elaborate puzzles that have you searching all over for keys and emblems through to careful inventory management. Be honest, you enjoy sorting out your inventory as much as I do.

In the end, getting only 30 minutes with a game that I’ve been dying to play was painful, but a smart choice by Capcom. Having my playthrough cut short – I’d just found a key that would open multiple locked doors I’d been passing – has left me hungry for more. It’s all I can think about. Even writing this piece is hard because it’s making me want to play the demo all over again. You’ll understand when you play it for yourself.

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Resident Evil 2 is a game you need to play. If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume you’re one of two types of people:

1. You love the original Resident Evil 2 or the franchise as a whole, in which case this remake looks to be bringing back everything you loved about Resident Evil 2 and giving it a beautifully-modern form without dodgy camera angles, plus a corpse-load of atmosphere.

2. You love horror games and are interested in the fuss around the Resident Evil 2 remake. You should be. Even without the nostalgia that will have gamers swarming to this game, there’s something magical here. Hordes of the undead. Unforgettable creatures and characters. Insanely fun plots. You’ll never forget it.

That was me trying to play it cool... I’m excited, sue me. Resident Evil 2 is released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on 25th January 2019. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll meet me at the Raccoon City Police Department with as many guns as you can get your hands on.

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