I’ve played Resident Evil 2 about a zillion times, and that’s not even an exaggeration. I had it for PS1 and PC. My brother and I beat every scenario so many times that we were speed running Leon’s first scenario and getting finish times that are just a couple minutes off the current world record.
So when starting Resident Evil 2 Remastered I kind of got a little cocky. Not only did I decide to play through as Claire Redfield, who always had things tougher than her male counterpart, but I also thought it would be a good idea to play on Hardcore my first playthrough. This mode eliminates the autosave feature and only allows you to save the game with an ink ribbon and typewriter. What’s more, the scarcity of ammo and the amount of bullets required to put those undead suckers down are ridiculous. Even when I was being stringent with my slugs, I still couldn’t keep my mags fully loaded for long.
But it was an incredible experience!
I’m roughly three hours into my game so far and I spent almost an hour without a save thanks to my tendency to save too often in the beginning. I thought I’d find more Ink Ribbons. I don’t know why I thought that. Needless to say, the fact the first zombie killed me twice should have been an indication that playing through on Hardcore first time around was not a good idea. However, I persevered, and even managed to stay alive through some ammo droughts. It’s all about knowing when to fight…and when to fly!
I probably don’t need to point this one out, but if you see a Licker — it’s time to spread your wings!
They call Resident Evil survival horror. Well, I’ve never felt like I was trying to simply survive so much in a game before playing this. My toes were curled into fists the whole time and I got so uptight some of the jumpscares almost sent me through the roof.
The most memorable instance being when I went to the door on the second floor that leads to the library. I got into a habit of opening the doors a little and looking inside before I went in anywhere. At this point, I was on Caution with no ammo and I hadn’t saved in forty five minutes. As I held the door opened and looked around a girl zombie came gnashing for me out of nowhere and the door slammed in my face in the process. I flew out of my chair like a rocket went off in my ass!
The first two hours of my experience were a learning curve. After my first couple of deaths very early on, I didn’t hesitate to run when the situation warranted it. I started playing very smart, very careful, and before I knew it I was finally starting to gather up a decent amount of Flame rounds and 9mm bullets. Alas, as is common with the Resident Evil series, when one acquires ammunition and some healing herbs it can only mean one thing…
Feast your eyes on this beauty.
The initial Birkin introduction is one of those moments I don’t think I’ll ever forget in gaming. Thankfully before I reached him I was able to find an Ink Ribbon and it settled my nerves knowing I wouldn’t lose all that progress. Everything I’d been through, the clawings, the bites, the long period spent without ammo and healing items, would have been wasted. If that had happened it would have felt more tragic to me than hearing my goldfish died. It was a growing experience. Somehow, my nightmarish hour of survival and fisty-toes had prepared me for the first big challenge the game has to offer.
I kicked the absolute crap out of Birkin’s deformed ass!
It was an intense boss fight. My advice — don’t stand still too long. Shoot for the eye, then the head, and run! Oh, one more tip, don’t try to hide in the steam…
At this point, I probably should have taken a break. But I was in too deep. I was invested. I was going to play all night if I didn’t die.
Sadly, my death came swift after Birkin. I fled from two lickers and a horde of zombies in the basement, as I had no ammunition left to take any of them out and wound up running myself into a corner where I was devoured by a ferocious licker who didn’t want to share with the zombies.
I did manage to evade several early on in the game by using flashbangs. Although, sadly, they were all gone after my fight with Birkin. Now I’m worried that through claiming my triumphant victory in battle that I have lost the war. My ammo is all but spent, and there are so many nasties down in the basement that clawing my way out might not be possible. But, fuck it, I can always try running.
To wrap this up, I will say that I love the game. Throughout my first play, I felt totally immersed in this world of undead horrors that I’ve loved since childhood. Capcom have done a tremendous job and I can’t wait to see what else is in store!
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