Episode 291: Why the 30-minute Resident Evil 2 Remake Demo is Evil Genius


2018 was already a huge year for gaming. Last year, we got some really great games like God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man (my personal favorite), Red Dead Redemption 2 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, just to name a few. It’s hard to imagine 2019 topping the previous year but it’s starting off really strong! After all, we’re getting Kingdom Hearts III, a game that everyone has been salivating about since the forever, right at the tail end of January. But that’s not the January game I’m looking forward to.

The game I really want to get at the end of the month is the Resident Evil 2 Remake. The original PlayStation game holds a special place in my heart as it’s one of the very first games I was exposed to when I was a mere toddler. It may seem odd that I played it way back when it was released and you’d be right. I didn’t pay the original version; I only watched my brother play the Capcom classic. I don’t remember much about it but, whenever I do see certain scenes from the old game, some of those old memories are triggered and I’m transported back to that time when I would laugh at my brother when he got frightened or I would duplicate the squeaking door sound whenever he would go enter a new area.

But the folks over at Capcom must be really smart because, even though the Resident Evil Remake is already one of the games I’m looking most forward to in the next couple of months, they just had to whet my appetite for it even more. That’s because they recently released a demo of the game, a demo that you can only play once and then never again. I recently got it for my PlayStation 4 and, wow! It just made me even more excited for the full game! Sure, you may think that Capcom is shortchanging fans with this 1-shot demo. But, in my opinion, that decision is incredibly genius.

For those who don’t know the minor controversy behind the Resident Evil 2 1-Shot demo, here’s the gist. Capcom released the demo for all available platforms the full game is going to be released on. The demo is essentially the early part of the game inside the Raccoon Police Station. You control Leon Kennedy, a rookie cop who just so happened to have his first day land on a zombie outbreak. He has to find a way out of the police station safely without the zombie horde killing him.

Now, here comes the part why it’s called a 1-Shot demo. You only have a limited amount of time, 30 minutes to be exact, to go through the demo. Once those 30 minutes are up, you can’t play it anymore. Try as you might to start a new game, the 1-Shot demo will not allow you and you’ll just see the “Thank You for Playing” screen over and over again. Essentially, you can just delete the demo once the time limit has expired because it’s useless. You can probably keep on playing as long as you have multiple accounts but, if you have one, just erase it from your hard drive ‘coz is just taking up space.

A few fans have expressed some anger when this was announced. They mostly expressed their displeasure on the message boards on whatever video game news sites published it. And, honestly, I was one of those fans. It didn’t make sense to just cut the demo so soon. I myself am one of those kind of gamers that likes to take my time when playing because it takes me a while to get accustomed to the controls and how things work in any game. Making the demo be a timed experience means that there’s no time to dillydally! You have to know what to do and how things work right from the get go.

Even with that in mind, I still downloaded the Resident Evil 2 Remake 1-Shot because I still wanted to experience the game for myself, even if it was going to be for a very short time. To be fair, I read that you can actually “finish” the demo in the allotted time, as long as you’re quick about it and you know where everything you need is going to be. Me? I was going in blind! I intentionally didn’t watch any walkthroughs on YouTube or read anything where the items were going to be placed or how to solve any puzzles.

So what happened in my playthrough of the demo? Well, I spent approximately 5 to 10 minutes in the main entranceway just exploring all I can do and figuring out how to aim my gun and even how to run; I wish they laid out the control scheme during the loading screen instead of that scrawl of text. I also got lost walking around the hallways of Raccoon City Police Department since I lost my bearing several times. I didn’t help that I didn’t know what I was supposed to do! I got eaten by a zombie once as well, which was rather humiliating since I know I was mashing the knife button but I just couldn’t get out of the zombie hold!

In the end, my time ran out just as I found the stairs that led to the upper floors. I just spent too much time exploring, which I would think is part of the fun about playing a Resident Evil game in the first place! I just had to look through every nook and cranny, watch all the cutscenes as well as read all the files in detail so I could make sure I didn’t miss anything. In effect, I actually missed a whole lot since there were a couple of levels of the Raccoon City Police Department that I didn’t even get into because I did what I usually do in most games where exploring is imperative: I explored!

But even though I didn’t get to see a huge portion of the demo, I still left strangely satisfied. I did get a good taste of what the full game has in store and it just made me more excited for it. In fact, the idea that I couldn’t go back to it built my anticipation up much more than it would’ve if it wasn’t timed. That’s because there’s no way I can play the demo again and actually spoil the full game by repeat playthroughs of the demo. Everything I didn’t get to see or do is still a mystery. I have no idea what the combination to the safe is nor the padlocks on some of the lockers. I wasn’t able to open up all the lockers that had some goodies since some of the keys were missing. I only had a few minutes with the shotgun, which I loved using for that brief moment in time.

I can’t help but think Capcom really made a tactical move by making the Resident Evil 2 Remake 1-Shot demo a timed event and something you can’t experience again until you get the full game. It gave me a brief taste of what the game was going to be like and, since I couldn’t go about and do everything that I could because of the time limit, I still feel that there’s so much I can do when I actually do play the game. By limiting the playtime for the demo, that just means that there’s so much more I can see when I do get the full game in the future!

That’s pretty genius if you really think about it. Almost like an evil genius.

What are your thoughts on the timed 1-Shot demo for Resident Evil 2 Remake? Let me know in the comments below!

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