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Resident Evil 2's time-limited '1-shot' demo is live

A nostalgic but refreshing whiff of evil

As far as bad first days at a new job go, you can't really beat Leon Kennedy's - go on, try the new Resident Evil 2 remake demo and tell me I'm wrong. Released somewhat later today than expected, the thirty-minute demo for the upcoming horror rework is live. It weighs in at a hefty 7.2gb download, and expands to slightly larger than that. Grab it here on Steam - you've got thirty minutes to play (after setting up your controls and settings), and the download disappears on January 31st. Below, some quick thoughts on the all-too-short demo and a little teaser trailer.

First, this isn't the Resident Evil 2 I grew up with. It may be following the same story beats, but this is a whole new game that feels like a hybrid of Resident Evil 7 and 4, mechanically. I played the demo with mouse and keyboard, and was surprised at how slick the UI was. Once I inverted my controls, everything just felt natural. Aiming is sharp, and almost everything is controlled by just the left or right mouse buttons, plus the occasional tap of the space bar. 'Intuitive' is the word that springs to mind. Ever play Dead Space? It feels a lot like that, but a little smoother.

Watch on YouTube

The demo also looks great and runs excellently, at least on my (admittedly fairly beefy) Geforce 1070-powered gaming laptop. The very top graphics settings even outstrip my 8gb of VRAM, which is surprising, but it ran silky smooth at otherwise-max settings after I dropped shadows one notch to free up that extra little bit of memory. While dark, Leon's flashlight cast's enough diffuse light to illuminate most of the scene, however dimly. There's no pixel hunting thanks to clear highlights on nearby usable items, and the gore effects are exceptionally chunky. It's a looker, in a dilapidated, zombie-infested kinda way.

There's more to do in the demo than you could reasonably achieve in the thirty minutes. I took no damage in my half hour of play, killed a great many zombies and was moving at a brisk pace. Ammo was never a concern, but I managed to permanently lose my knife by using it as an 'escape' item after being grappled by a zombie. Don't be like me - that knife is a source of endless easy damage on downed undead. Take a bite if you have to, but keep the blade. Don't worry about ammo conservation, either. My demo time ended with a good 40 bullets in reserve, no zombies spared.

I gotta say, I'm looking forward to this one even more now. The Resident Evil 2 remake launches January 25th. Find it here on Steam and Humble for £45/€60/$60. Word is that there are already trainers floating around for the demo to disable the time limit, surprising absolutely nobody.

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