RESIDENT EVIL 2 / BIOHAZARD RE:2

Nowadays, if there's a successful and moddable third-person action game, you can rest assured that eventually Nier: Automata's 2B will be modded into it. It happened recently with Sekiro, it's happened in Monster Hunter: World, and now (thank god!) you can play as 2B in Resident Evil 2 Remake.

The work of modder TXYI, the '2B Claire' mod does what the name implies: it replaces Claire with 2B. None of the movesets have changed—it doesn't change up the gameplay at all—but I can hardly imagine her moveset slotting nicely into the corridor-laden world of Resident Evil.

The mod replaces the Noir DLC costume, and comes with the warning that using FluffyQuak's mod manager is "highly recommended". Thanks to DSOGaming for the heads up. 

Here's a few more screenshots courtesy of mod uploader zhongyingjie.

Tom Clancy’s The Division™ - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (RPS)

Rural life is disgusting. All those shrubs and trees, how awful. You should pack your checkered pouch and head into the big smoke. The shining cities of videogameland are calling to you, and the team of the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, will be there to help you get settled in to your disgusting, overpriced flat no matter which giant urban maze you choose. Trust us, life is so much better in the city.

Ignore the rats. You’ll get used to them.

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RESIDENT EVIL 2 / BIOHAZARD RE:2

This feature originally ran in issue 332 of PC Gamer magazine. If you'd like to read more great features like this, consider subscribing

Drive north from Capcom's headquarters in downtown Osaka, along the Tosabori River, and in about 20 minutes you'll see a unique red-bricked building with a domed roof. This is the Osaka City Central Public Hall, one of the city's most beloved buildings and part of the inspiration for the Raccoon City Police Department in Resident Evil 2. This iconic setting, which fans count among the series' best, was confidently reimagined in the 2019 remake, and this is the story of how it was designed.

Enter the Central Public Hall, which was built in 1918 and is an important cultural centre for the city, and you'll find polished floors, towering pillars, ornate detailing, and a vast church-like ceiling—the same kind of grand architecture Leon and Claire see when they escape the zombie-ravaged streets of Raccoon City and enter the RPD's impressive main hall. All that's missing are the blood splatters and groans of distant zombies. 

Capcom's long-awaited Resident Evil 2 remake is a masterclass in updating an old game for a new audience. It retains the spirit of the PlayStation original, released in 1998, but uses modern technology to make it feel genuinely new and exciting. An important part of the remake's success is the newly realised RPD building—a setting that's just recognisable enough to feel like the same place, but much more evocative and atmospheric. 

"Our goal was retaining the feel of the original building, but also to increase the sense of scale and realism," says Resident Evil 2 remake director Kazunori Kadoi. "I was confident players would respond well to this, and I didn’t feel any particular pressure to live up to the original game."

Although the original main hall was a flat pre-rendered image, and the new one is fully rendered in 3D, they both create the same feeling of dread and mystery—that this might not be the safe haven the characters were expecting after all.

Kadoi explains that the architecture of the station, both in the original and the remake, was inspired by the Gothic revival style. Popularised in the west in the 1700s, this architectural movement was an attempt to revive medieval Gothic architecture—particularly in religious buildings. And there's a definite cathedral-like feel to the RPD main hall, which could easily double as a place of worship if you inserted a few rows of pews.

Culture shock

There's also an uncanny quality to the station that I think comes from Raccoon City, an American city, being viewed through a Japanese lens. If the station had been designed by a western studio—one that is perhaps more familiar with the kind of bland government building police departments usually operate out of—it might not have been quite so idiosyncratic and memorable. I mean, how many police stations do you know with a giant marble statue of a goddess behind the reception desk? 

This statue is something Kadoi felt was important to bring back, as well as the eerie stuffed animals found in the office of the corrupt Chief Irons. The statue is noticeably bigger in the remake, dramatically lit by moonlight streaming through glass windows in the ceiling. "I wanted to carry the statue and the taxidermy animals over to the new police station,” he says. "But at the same time I wanted to make changes that would make the gameplay more fun, and make the station feel more like a believable space."

Kadoi explains that, because of advances in graphics technology and player expectation, videogame settings have to be more believable today. When I first played Resident Evil 2 as a teenager, I never questioned the fact that the RPD was headquartered in an elaborate old building filled with arcane puzzles. But these days, Kadoi says, people question this stuff more, which led to additional backstory being written for the station. 

"The building in the centre of town wasn't always a police station," reads a tourism pamphlet you can pick up in a waiting room. "In fact, it used to be an art museum. Various features like the unusual clock tower and the goddess statue in the main hall remind us of a bygone era." This idea is also reinforced by the oil paintings, old statues, and other artefacts you find littered around the station—often in storage rooms with dust sheets draped over them. Wherever you look there are clues to the building's past.

"The RPD main hall has some weird gimmicks, like hidden passages that wouldn’t be conceivable in a normal police station," says Kadoi. "So I think positioning them as part of a more attraction-oriented space such as a museum or gallery makes that more convincing and believable within the game world." Of course, a lock-and-key system based around playing card suits is still weird, even for an old building like this, but it's a little less distracting thanks to this added touch of world-building.

Another important design element for the new station was, despite the shift to an over-the-shoulder camera, keeping the same feeling of suspense created by the original’s fixed camera angles. "Creating a sense of space you can't see into was part of the fixed camera angle system in the original game," says Kadoi. "But in the remake we used blind corners and darkness to set up a similar feeling, as well as directional audio to give you a sense that there is something out there, but you can’t see where it is yet."

Light source

One of the most dramatic differences between the 1998 and 2019 police stations is the use of lighting. For the most part, the original station is brightly lit. But in the remake, many of its corridors and rooms have been plunged into darkness, forcing you to use a flashlight. This makes it a much scarier place to explore, particularly when you're turning one of those blind corners in the dark. For this aspect of the station's design, Kadoi tells me that the two key words for the artists were "darkness" and "wetness". 

"We wanted to create that feeling of something glistening in the dark," he says. "This gives players a sense of a hidden presence waiting for them out of sight." This curious visual philosophy is felt all over the station, whether it’s a corridor partly flooded by a leaking water pipe, or the gruesome glistening effect when your flashlight catches a pool of crimson-coloured congealed blood. These effects are also a showcase for the impressively natural lighting effects that Capcom's in-house RE Engine is capable of. 

Playing the game, there is a sense that the building has been designed with a survival horror videogame firmly in mind. There are more blind corners and narrow, winding corridors than would make sense in a real building. But it doesn't dampen the authenticity of the setting, thanks to the fidelity of the visuals and the cinematic use of light and shadow. 

A less obvious, but still important, design element was evoking the game's late '90s setting. Overall it's quite subtle with its references to the time period, even taming Leon's 'curtains' hairstyle, making him look less like a member of a boy band. But there are a few clues scattered around that remind you of when the action takes place. "The most obvious example is the computers," says Kadoi. "They are the kind of bulky beige monitors that were common at the time. There are some other small period-accurate props scattered throughout the station that tie into the setting too."

Fan favourite

There are a lot of reasons why the RPD building is a great setting. The way it's built around a central hub, which helps you build a mental map as you play. The gorgeous architecture and moody, atmospheric lighting. The nostalgia hit you get if you played the original. The tension-breaking moments of calm, suddenly interrupted by an unexpected zombie tumbling through a window. The way it subverts your expectations, such as when zombies appear in the main hall, your precious safe haven, in the B scenario. And, of course, the looming presence of the Tyrant. 

I ask Kadoi why he thinks the police station is such a beloved setting among Resident Evil fans—and what makes it unique. “Police stations are places we see a lot in movies and TV, so they feel real to us,” he says. "But they weren't used as often in games at the time Resident Evil 2 was released, which made it quite a novelty. But mainly I think it’s the idea that police officers, whose job it is to protect citizens, have transformed into zombies. There's something very impactful and ironic about that."

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Jay Castello)

The organisers of speedrunning marathon Games Done Quick have breezed past their previous charity fundraising record, gathering $3,003,889 ( 2.4m) across the week-long event. They d already set their own speed record by hitting $1 million on Thursday the biggest rush of donations always comes at the end so it s a multi-record setting event and all in order to give people medical care. Everyone bask in the feel-good glow for a minute.

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RESIDENT EVIL 2 / BIOHAZARD RE:2

A new piece of DLC for Resident Evil 2 unlocks everything you can earn in the game. For $5/£4, you can dispense with all the usual gameplay hoops and start running around as a giant chunk of tofu brandishing a pistol with infinite ammo.

The All In-game Rewards Unlock is available now on Steam, and it does just what it says: it unlocks every in-game reward, including the 4th Survivor and the Tofu Survivor modes, new costumes and models, and some top-tier weapons.

These weapons include infinite-ammo versions of the LE-5 submachine gun, ATM-4 rocket launcher, and Samurai Edge handgun, plus an unbreakable combat knife. Ammo scarcity being what it is in Resident Evil 2, having a gun that never goes dry changes things up quite a bit.

Again, all the items included in the DLC are in-game rewards, meaning that you can acquire every one of by playing the game, and without spending an additional penny. But hey, a few of them are pretty tricky to do and some people have more spare cash than spare time.

However, there are also plenty of Resident Evil 2 mods if you'd like to mix things up a bit without opening up your pocketbook.

Thanks, Eurogamer.

RESIDENT EVIL 2 / BIOHAZARD RE:2

I have a problem: I buy almost every new game that comes out. I play games way too much. Sometimes I buy games and then don't play them. My friend—who streams videogames professionally—tells me there isn't a single game in his Steam library that I haven’t played for at least ten hours. My love of PC games is a Problem. So for my new year's resolution, I decided enough was enough—for the entirety of 2019, I will not buy a new videogame. 

After three full months of 2019, and a lot of hand-wringing over whether or not I should break my resolution for Baba is You, this is what I’ve learned.

Not playing new releases gives you FOMO, but playing similar, older games reduces it

You know how every time a megablockbuster movie comes out in theaters, a cheap direct-to-DVD ripoff with a similar name shows up in department stores? And then your grandma got you “Transmorphers 2: The Fallen Arise” because she heard you liked those movies and you were like “thanks, grandma” and you tucked it away in your DVD collection?

I started doing the same thing with this year's popular game releases. Except the knockoff games I’m playing aren’t knockoffs, and they preceded the new releases, and they’re actually good. So, maybe not much like that.

All the positive launch buzz for Resident Evil 2 had me jonesing for a third-person-shooter-slash-survival-horror-type-experience, so I played The Evil Within 2. I’d ignored it at release, but I’m really glad I revisited it—its Resident Evil 4-esque survival mechanics play really well with its quasi-open world. 

All of the incredible reviews of Devil May Cry 5 have reignited my desire to slash and shoot demons, so I reinstalled Ninja Theory’s underrated DmC. Though I have to assume it doesn’t play as smoothly as Devil May Cry 5 (I can’t remember the last time I saw so many reviewers and players gushing over the feel of an action game), DmC is still stylish as hell and has charm to spare.

I’m still completely out of the loop in regards to what makes Mr. X so cool or why Nero is even more fun to control than Dante or whatever, but, hey, it scratches the itch—I get the general flavor of the type of game all the hype has given me a craving for, and that’s enough to prevent me from impulse-buying the latest and greatest games.

That’s also because I learned:

If I wait a week or so, my desire to spend money on a new game almost entirely disappears

I used to look forward to Tuesday nights. I’d eagerly sit by my desktop, waiting for Steam to unlock whatever new game I’d pre-ordered months before because I am gullible. The dopamine would kick in as the download commenced: a new game! Something bright, and shiny, and exciting that I haven’t grown tired of yet! Surely, this will be the experience that will bring a heretofore unexperienced joy into my life, and remind me why I love videogames!

Then I play the damn thing, and inevitably it’s, like, fine. Most of the time, it would turn out I was more excited about the anticipation than I was the actual game.

I was worried this anticipation would cause me to impulse-buy the Resident Evil 2 remake the day it came out. I was worried I’d impulse buy it the day after release, too. And two days after. Three days after release, I wasn’t sure I needed to play it right this second. Seven days after, I didn’t even think about it anymore.

Replaying older games can show how you have (or haven’t) changed

When I initially played Thief 2 a decade ago, I took great joy in meticulously knocking out every guard and disabling every robot. The point of the game, to my mind, was to take a hostile environment and slowly chip away at its defenses until I could sprint around the map at full speed without risking detection.

Today, the current American political situation has convinced me that individual action is meaningless in the face of a massive, cruel, and indifferent economic infrastructure. Today, I play Thief 2 by avoiding every enemy rather than taking them out. Today, I derive joy from the tension of hiding in a shadowy corner mere inches away from a patrolling guard, praying he doesn’t notice me. Thief 2’s levels are an intricate clockwork of moving parts. I used to enjoy smashing the gears; now I have more fun sliding between them.

Also, it turns out that most of the games I bought, played for a little while, and then abandoned because they weren’t for me? They’re still not for me. Nioh is still not quite Dark Souls-y enough for me; I’m still a little too stupid for Ironclad Tactics. It’s comforting, at least, to know that some things remain consistent no matter how long it’s been since I first played them.

There are tons of great free games out there 

Thank you, Apex Legends. You are not only the best battle royale ever, but you have finally helped the world realize that Titanfall 1 and 2 are some of the best FPS games ever, and that anyone who didn’t buy them sucks.

Thank you, Gwent, for your super weird mechanics and fantastic art. (Yeah. That’s right. I play Gwent and not MtG. I’m that kinda pervert.)

Thank you, Thief 2/The Dark Mod community and your seemingly endless stream of high-quality fan missions with charmingly amateur VO.

Thank you, Dota Auto Chess. Probably. I haven’t played it. It sounds complicated. But I could.

It’s been said before, but you can have a hell of a lot of fun on a PC without spending a dime. Even ignoring my current obsessions, I haven’t even dipped a toe into Path of Exile, Warframe, H1Z1, or Brawlhalla. If my new year’s resolution is going to be difficult, it certainly won’t be due to a lack of cool stuff to play.

Which is a good thing, because...

I still play a lot of videogames, even though I hoped I wouldn’t 

I am not a well-rounded human being. I don’t read as much as I should. I don’t have any interesting hobbies. I watch a lot of TV, I mindlessly browse the internet, and I play a ton of videogames.

When I made this resolution, I thought I might cook more. I thought I’d learn to play guitar. I thought I might start writing a novel.

Instead, I have put thirty more hours into Battletech.

So, you know. The resolution is going great so far, other than all the existential terror I’m experiencing. But I'm saving a lot of money.

HITMAN™ - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Katharine Castle)

HDR on PC continues to be a bit of a mess these days, but provided you haven’t been put off by the astronomical prices of the [cms-block]s for HDR or, indeed, the ongoing debacle surrounding Windows 10 support for it, then the next step on your path to high dynamic range glory is to get an HDR compatible graphics card.

Below, you’ll find a complete list of all the Nvidia and AMD graphics cards that have built-in support for HDR, as well as everything you need to know about getting one that also supports Nvidia and AMD’s own HDR standards, G-Sync HDR and FreeSync 2. I’ve also put together a list of all the PC games that support HDR as well. There aren’t many of them, all told, but I’ll be updating this list with more titles as and when they come out so it’s always up to date.

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RESIDENT EVIL 2 / BIOHAZARD RE:2

"The idea that you carry the seeds of your own destruction around with you, always, and that they can erupt at any time, is... scary. Because there is no defense against it; there is no escape from it" - David Cronenberg.


THIS FEATURE AND THE IMAGES IN IT ARE NOT SAFE FOR WORK. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.

How many swipes or bites can your avatar sustain before its body is devoured and you fade to a death screen? Resident Evil has always involved physical maintenance: locked doors and blocked passages are overcome by shifting keys from room to inventory to item-box, and back again. But it's also a game of bodily preservation, as well as the destruction this necessitates. Why waste time with a handgun plinking away at a zombie's noggin when you can simply slip by? It can even be advantageous to take a hit. An attack might drop your obscure electrocardiography signal from "fine" to "danger", but there's always time to hit the menu button in panic and recover your health with a delicious herb.

Read more

RESIDENT EVIL 2 / BIOHAZARD RE:2

Opinion is split on Resident Evil 2's terrifyingly omnipresent lurker Mr X: some hate him, and think he destroys the pace of the game. Others love him, because he's horrific and scary and this is horror, after all. Others still, like to turn him into Thomas the Tank Engine. But for those who can't abide the giant marching fellow, there's a mod to remove him entirely.

Created by MaVeRick, X No More does exactly what the title suggests. Best of all, it doesn't break scripted events, so during occasions when the old lunk is necessary to advance the story, the story will advance on its own via the help of a "friendly ghost". 

While the mod will definitely make the game easier, I've seen a ton of people complain about him: some don't like randomised encounters (RIP if they ever play Alien: Isolation), and I can understand why. There's one encounter in the Police Station that I'd happily see him removed from. If you count yourself among these folk, then with the power of PC gaming you can now bravely approach RE2 again.

Or perhaps you'd like to keep him, only with DMX playing upon his approach? Or perhaps you'd like to see what's under his trenchcoat? You do you. 

Cheers, DSOGaming.

RESIDENT EVIL 2 / BIOHAZARD RE:2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Jordan Oloman)

Being a toddler in 1998, I arrived fresh to the Resident Evil 2 remake with bright eyes and principled reservations. I don t like horror games and I ve avoided them for most of my life. So when I booted up the newest Resi, I was cast into the deep end of the survival horror pool with no floaties. My first playthrough was fraught with thick Geordie expletives. Yet one of the more puzzling revelations of the game was how it teaches you to face your fears not just by peppering zombies with shotgun shells, but also by speedrunning right past them.

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