I had watched George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead at a ludicrously young age and, against all odds, came away with a fascination for the macabre so imagine my elation upon discovering the Resident Evil games.
Let me start off by saying RE2 is my favourite in the series. I spent enough time inside RPD’s corridors that my parents had wondered if I had developed an unhealthy addiction—I absolutely had! It wasn’t long before I’d found my way to Jill Valentine’s terrifying neck of the
woods city where my ravenous need for horror was free to feast upon the game. Back then the fact that I was wandering around Raccoon City after having spent most of my time inside RPD blew my mind and every second I spent gunning down zombies and running away from Nemesis was euphoric. Alas, it’s been 21 years since then and all good things must end… Except they don’t because the RE2: Remake exists and RE3’s own remake is just around the corner which I’m sure we’re all excited for. Anyway, if you’re like me and you can’t wait to revisit the streets of Raccoon City where danger—and endless supplies of fun—lurk around every corner, then good news! There’s a demo you can play right now on the PlayStation Store!
Hitting the Streets
I sat grinning as the demo loaded, eager to jump into Raccoon City once again. Resident Evil 2: Remake was an excellent game, but it never let me stay in the streets for too long. This time is different. Jill Valentine’s story isn’t afraid to leave us desperate on the street surrounded by threats, and I couldn’t wait to experience it. The demo quickly loaded and my anticipation hit a new high as Nemesis stood looking menacingly on the Start Screen.
A short cutscene plays introducing me to Mikhail, Carlos and our girl Jill. Everything looked great in the RE Engine but. having played RE2:Remake recently, I wasn’t all that blown away. Soon enough though, the cutscene ends and Carlos says we should go up to the surface to “gear up”. He doesn’t have to tell me twice. I quickly exit the train car, grab the ammo on a nearby bench, and bolt for the stairs. On the way, I can’t help but notice how well the level designers have done to make the place look not only lived in but also like panic had just set in.
Finally, I’m outside. I stop to look at the various objects littering the ground, but I don’t have time to appreciate it before a zombie lunges at me. I unload several bullets in its head before it falls to the ground. This isn’t my first rodeo though, so I train my gun on the now fallen zombie once again and fire several more rounds. Moving further through the streets, I’m introduced to more zombies and several locations that are unreachable now, but I know I’ll be visiting later.
I don’t want to spoil the rest of the demo, but the main aim is to put out the fire that is blocking your progress.
Just like Claire and Leon, Jill too has received a more updated and era-appropriate redesign. Some might not like the new look, and I’d forgive them for sticking to their guns. Jill’s classic outfit definitely had its perks, but her new look is more fitting of an apocalypse. A sensible tank top and durable jeans has replaced her classic tube top and short skirt combo, however her colour scheme remains unchanged. Aside from a wardrobe change, her face has also had an upgrade. 2002’s HD remake of RE1 saw Jill take on the appearance of model Julia Voth, but this time she’s taken on Sasha Zotova’s face instead.
Now, I know a lot has changed for Jill, but trust me when I say she’s still the same badass heroine from the original games. From the very first cutscene, she appears calm and collected despite the anarchy that is unfolding above her. She even keeps her cool as Nemesis bursts out of a solid brick wall ready to attack her (he stole that move from Mr. X).
Jill Valentine is one of my all-time favourite female characters in gaming and Capcom has done an excellent job recreating her from current gen consoles.
(By the way, if you really must have Jill’s classic outfit then you can get it by pre-ordering!)
RE2: Remake did a fantastic job portraying the looted and deadly streets of Raccoon City in its first 10 minutes of gameplay, but I was quickly ushered towards the RPD. The next time I get to explore the street isn’t much later, but the game only allows me to see one small section before I end up in the sewers. This time around, I took my time and explored every inch of the streets before moving on to the next area. I noticed at least 2 yellow padlocks I could not interact with, but I assume I’ll be able to unlock them and claim whatever they’re protecting in the full game. I also noticed some small dolls scattered throughout the demo. Much like the Mr. Raccoon dolls in RE2, I assume there will be a trophy tied to shooting these “Mr. Charlie” dolls.
There are plenty of dark corners and hidden alleyways in Raccoon City and when I explored them, I found there was almost always some form of danger lurking but a worthwhile reward such as shotgun ammo. There’s even an optional building I could enter once I had some bolt cutters.
Every step I took I was expecting an appearance from Nemesis, and the more time that went by without him showing up had my heart racing. He’s just as terrifying off screen as he is on. Eventually, he makes an appearance, and it is, indeed, absolutely horrifying. He’s holding a zombie by the neck as some tentacle takes over its head. The demo didn’t reveal what exactly he was doing to that zombie, and I had no time to speculate as he quickly made a beeline straight for me. I’ve had no trouble dealing with Nemesis in the past, but my time with this demo had me gripping my controller in panic as he chased me down with seemingly little effort. Every time I felt like I had put enough distance between us, a tentacle would wrap around my leg and drag me back towards him. Nemesis was relentless.
RE2: Remake rekindled my love for survival horror games, and I am more than certain that RE3 will add a healthy dose of fuel to that fire. Now if only someone can make a decent enough horror movie to revive my love for horror movies.
If you haven’t played the RE3 demo yet, I highly recommend setting some time aside so you can sit down and get stuck in.