I’m cooking up something about Tetris 99 and Switch Online right now but before I do that, time to wade into the free DLC for Resident Evil 2 Remake.
I mean, you can’t go wrong with FREE DLC; I’ve given many, many things a pass purely on the basis of them being free – and occassionally not, yes I’m looking at you Drawn to Death – so there’s not a lot I can say here. They’re free challenge modes like The 4th Survivor with Hunk, only this time three newly playable characters – and Kendo.
Robert Kendo’s section is clearly the best of the bunch; the poison zombies are without exception a brilliant addition and I’ll get to my thoughts on that in a moment. The worst is, sadly, Elizabeth Warren – whose entire segment, non-canonical, makes no goddamn sense in or out of context (the Paleheads are kind of cool). Then there’s Ghost – the failed Umbrella Soldier, whose segment is a little more full-throttle but I don’t think the half-baked armour plating thing really adds anything.
Finally there’s Daniel Cortini – the Sheriff who we see getting munched as the game opens. Again, this is non-canon, and it’s a wave-based survival mode. It’s not that revolutionary, in fact it’s a little dull in comparison to everything else, so… yeah. One decent campaign versus three fairly mediocre ones.
It’s free though. Deep breaths, Kami. They’re free. Don’t think too hard about this.
The sad thing is – I can see what Capcom is going for here. They’re trying to add some “What-If’s” to Resident Evil 2, and if there was a decent reason to give a toss – like Robert Kendo, who undoubtedly has been through the worst night of his life and lost everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) – that would make it all work.
And it’s why Kendo’s segment, No Time To Mourn, does work. Because we’re already emotionally invested in him. We want him to, if nothing else, get out and have time to deal with his grief. And sue Umbrella for everything he lost. Man, that’d be some settlement.
But Daniel, Elizabeth and Ghost? No idea. Daniel dies the moment we find him, Elizabeth is already dead when we see her and Ghost… Ghost is just a worse version of The 4th Survivor. I care less about these people than I do about the cheese and onion pasty I had for lunch today.
Thing is – there could have been much better targets for this. And I dunno… you could even have made them ALL canonically-binding to boot.
Yes. I’m going to talk about Elza Walker.
COME ON CAPCOM! This is the most obvious way you could have at least given the tiniest bit of closure to your long-suffering fans. A short and sweet run with an actual, honest-to-bloody-goodness Elza Walker. Have her ride off into the sunset. Have her get to a motorcycle somewhere – I dunno, maybe where we start of Side B. From… let’s say the Parking Lot, where she’s crashed her old motorcycle. See? This writes itself.
You could even have had a Marvin segment; remember he’s not there at the start? End at that moment where he drags Leon or Claire through (let’s say Leon for sake of argument) – start, say, at the top of the RPD. And he’s gotta go the long way around. Because he’s injured (so always at Caution and no better) and he can’t move the bookcase. Again, it ties into the game and its story. And we all like Marvin anyway.
But for me the biggest oversight is, simply, keeping these new monster quirks away from the main campaign.
Just add in a new difficulty mode – Nightmare, for sake of argument – where you have to deal with armour-plated zombies, poison zombies (which would necessitate having all those blue herbs all over the place – seriously!) and Paleheads. Throw in a bunch of other modifiers as well, perhaps some different Lickers and Zombie Dogs, and boom. You have a much more tense and interesting difficulty mode that would improve on the basic Hardcore setting.
Yes, this is a LOT of nitpicking. I understand that. But the problem is… isn’t this stuff, like, obvious to Capcom? I know that the development must be honestly exhausted from all the effort they’ve put into this game – time which has been well spent on the whole – but this all just is starting to feel a little sloppy now. DLC needs to add to a game; which again, Kendo’s section does. It really does. But most of it doesn’t and… don’t get me started on the hats. DO NOT GET ME STARTED ON THE HATS.
And yes… it’s free. I mean, I can’t say it’s BAD. We had to pay actual money for the Resident Evil 7 DLC (which is another reason why I tore that game to shreds) and this is obviously more solid. But that’s also because it’s an unbreakable concept. There are already challenge runs in the game. This isn’t something that you can mess up, at least not without wilful negligence.
I just think that it’s a bit of wasted potential that adds nothing to the plot – ooh, wasted PLOTential wait I’m sure someone already has used that pun somewhere – and for a game which is as tight and perfectly pitched as the Resident Evil 2 Remake is, that’s… disappointing. I’m not mad. I’m just disappointed.
There’s so much more that can be done with Resident Evil 2. I’m hoping they don’t try and rush everything out so quickly that it starts just bleeding into everything else. Take your time, Capcom. Seriously. We’ve waited this long; we can wait a little longer.
Pushing free DLC is one thing but if Tetris 99 is anything to go by… “free” comes in many flavours, and bland isn’t really going to cut it.