As for the bad first days of a new job, you can not really beat Leon Kennedy. Go on, try out the new Resident Evil 2 remake demo and tell me I'm wrong. Released later today than expected, the 30-minute demo is live for the upcoming horror rewrite. It weighs in at a hefty download of 7.2 GB and gets a bit bigger. Get it here on Steam – you have thirty minutes to play (after you've done the controls and settings), and the download will disappear on January 31st. Here are some short thoughts on the too short demo and a small teaser trailer.
First, this is not the Resident Evil 2 that I grew up with. It may follow the same story beats, but this is a completely new game that mechanically feels like a hybrid of Resident Evil 7 and 4. I played the demo with mouse and keyboard and was surprised at how smooth the interface was. After turning my controls around, everything just felt natural. Aiming is sharp and almost everything is controlled by the left or right mouse button and the occasional tap of the spacebar. "Intuitive" is the word that comes to my mind. Ever played Dead Space? It feels a bit like this, but a bit smoother.
The demo also looks good and runs fine, at least on my (admittedly rather beefy) Geforce 1070-powered gaming laptop. The superior graphics settings even outperform my 8GB VRAM, which is surprising, but it silky smoothed out in the maximum maximum settings after dropping the shadows one notch to free up a bit more space. At dark, Leon's flashlight throws enough diffused light to illuminate most of the scene, albeit faintly. There's no pixel hunt thanks to clear highlights near usable objects, and the Gore effects are exceptionally clunky. It's a viewer, in a run-down, zombie-infested way.
There's more to the demo than you could reasonably achieve in the thirty minutes. I did no damage in my half hour of play, killing many zombies and moving at a brisk pace. Ammunition was never a problem, but I could permanently lose my knife by using it as an escape aid after being caught by a zombie. Do not be like me – this knife is a source of endless light damage to downed undead. Take a bite if you must, but keep the blade. Also do not worry about receiving the ammunition. My demo time ended with a good 40 balls in reserve, without zombies.
I have to say, I'm looking forward to this even more. The Resident Evil 2 remake kicks off on January 25th. You can find it here on Steam and Humble for £ 45/60 / $ 60. It's said that there are already coaches floating for the demo to disable the time limit, which will not surprise anyone at all.