The Resident Evil 2 remake is real. The long-rumored project feels like it’s been in development since the beginning of time, but we’ll finally be able to play it when it drops on Jan. 25th. The 1-Shot Demo, a unique quicklook that gives you 30 minutes on a timer, is available for anyone that’s curious about this survival-horror experience, but we’re going to try and provide context when it comes to this highly anticipated remake. Here are 10 things you might want to know before diving into this completely remixed version of RE2.
If you’re looking for secret solutions for RPD locks and safes, check out the full guide here.
#1: Raccoon City Is Completely Rebuilt From The Ground Up
This isn’t the same Resident Evil 2. Unlike the Resident Evil 1 remake originally released on Gamecube, this is not a straight remake with added elements — this Raccoon City has been completely rebooted, revamped and remade. Almost every room in the game has been changed in some significant way. There is more story, more cutscenes, more events, and each major area has been remixed to make everything more cinematic.
#2: The Zapping System Is Gone
The original RE2 featured a unique mechanic that asked you to play as two separate characters to get the entire story. That’s still sort of the case here. Instead of replaying the game twice (once as Claire, once as Leon) you’ll experience the entire story in chronological order, switching between the two heroes in specific scenarios designed for each.
#3: It’s A Mix Of RE2, RE6, and RE7
The gameplay is just like RE4/5/6, but most resembles the free-movement controls of RE6. Made with the RE Engine, it looks a lot like RE7, with similar menus and grungy graphics. And, of course, it’s all in service of remaking RE2. The remake feels like a best-of Resident Evil mash-up, combining elements from all the best games in the series. This isn’t a straight action-game like RE4/5/6, but it isn’t exactly the tank-control survival horror of RE2.
#4: Zombies Are Tougher Than Ever
Zombies are deadly enemies in RE2. They might be slow, but their bites hurt. Unless you destroy the head, these undead bioweapons will just keep coming for you. As an added feature, you can blast off arms or legs with powerful enough weapons, or cut them apart when they’re down. If you see a corpse, you can bet that it’s a resting zombie, ready to jump at you.
#5: The Knife Can Stop Incoming Zombie Bites
The knife is a handy tool in RE2. It isn’t just for melee attacks, like in RE4 — it also allows you to counter zombie bites. When a zombie grabs you, you’ll have a short window of time to counter-stab the zombie. You’ll temporarily lose the knife if you do that. Make sure to recollect the knife after the counter move. Knives are also limited quantity resources, as they’ll eventually break as you use them in combat.
#6: You Have Limited Inventory, But You Can Expand It
Yes, the limited inventory is back. Leon starts with eight inventory slots, and you’ll be able to drop off unwanted items in an Item Box for storage. Like in other RE games, the Item Box appears in almost every save room, and all the Item Boxes are linked. You’ll also find useful pouch upgrade items that increase your total inventory space. There are multiple small pouch upgrades — this isn’t the original RE2, where you’ll only find one inventory upgrade. There are at least available in the RPD building alone.
#7: Save Rooms Are Remixed, And You Get Unlimited Saves
Right at the start, you’ll see that the game has changed. The main area of the RPD becomes a central save hub with an Item Box. You’ll also see that the typewriters don’t require inkwells to save your game. This changes in Hardcore mode — RE7 included a special difficulty mode that brought back limited save files, and so does the RE2 remake. If you play on Hardcore, you’ll need to track down Ink Ribbon items to save at typewriters, just like the original.
#8: Collect Gunpowder To Mix Ammo, Herbs To Heal & Boards To Slow Zombies
Gunpowder and ammo crafting returns from RE7 and RE3. By mixing gunpowder, you’ll be able to cook up different types of ammo — whatever ammo type you need, you can create. Generally, the best ammo requires more gunpowder, so don’t expect to craft up lots of shotgun ammo without a steady supply.
Like the classic Resident Evil games, you’ll find herbs. You can use them to heal, or mix them together for different special effects. Mix Green+Green for extra healing, Red+Green for a full heal, or Blue+Green to heal and cure poison effects.
Finally, there’s a new mechanic in RE2 that lets you board up windows. If you find wooden boards, you’ll be able to hammer them onto the windows. This will slow down zombies trying to break into the RPD building from the outside. Use your boards wisely!
#9: The Shotgun Is Your Best Friends
The Shotgun can be found in the RPD Armory room. Once you acquire the Armory Keycard, you’ll be able to open the shotgun case. And the shotgun is a very handy weapon. It has the power to blow off zombie heads with a single shot — just like the original! You’ll want the zombies to get really close for the full effect, and popping undead heads is just as satisfyingly gruesome as it used to be.
The shotgun can also blow out zombie guts, break arms or legs, and generally obliterates anything you shoot at. Just check out the zombie guts physics for yourself. It’s very, very gross.
#10: Hunk and Tofu Return!
Best of all, Hunk and Tofu return in RE2 remake. In the original game, Hunk, an Umbrella soldier, is playable in a special bonus mode. And, even more ridiculously, you can play as a living block of Tofu in the same, even-more-difficult mode. Tofu was actually the test model for RE2 — a big white block to represent the main character’s hit box. Tofu became a character himself, and even gets a little hat in the remake.
Hunk becomes available after completing both scenarios and earning an A Rank in at least one of them. Just like in the original game. To get Tofu, you’ll need to replay the scenarios six (6!) times. That seems like overkill, but Tofu was one of the original ridiculous secrets in gaming.