2020 Update: This post was published during or shortly after the Kickstarter campaign on July 30, 2018, and may contain out-of-date assets and mechanics. To see the final version, check out Resident Evil 2: The Board Game
Welcome back to the Resident Evil™ 2: The Board Game blog! Previously, we discussed Encounter Tables and how they add a sense of stepping into the unknown during each scenario, keeping players guessing. If you missed out, then be sure to check it out here. This time around we’re going to talk a little more about one of the scenarios from the game, and show how we’ve recreated key locations and themes from the original Resident Evil™ 2.
What the Hell’s Going on in this Town?!
We’re some of the biggest Resident Evil™ fans you’re ever likely to meet, and when we started work on our adaptation of one of the most iconic releases in the series, we wanted to make it as close to the original game as possible. Immediately we knew one of the most important aspects would be getting the locations and feel of the game just right. It wouldn’t be enough to just have the game look like Resident Evil™ 2 - we wanted veteran players to remember the original video game with a smile when they played Resident Evil™ 2: The Board Game, and younger players to experience an authentic and genuine sense of survival horror for the first time.
In order to best bring the game to life whilst keeping it as accessible as possible we made the decision to break gameplay up into smaller scenarios, so the game can maintain its fast pace and sustained sense of tension. The last thing we wanted was for players to get distracted by having to set up tiles and decks as they played through!
Each scenario follows chronologically from the previous one, ensuring the narrative doesn’t skip any sections or jump confusingly to a new location. Players will still have to battle their way through the overrun RPD building and into the basement before they can escape to the sewers, travelling from there to the marshalling yard and underground laboratory areas of the game. But before all of that? That’s right - players will have to make their way through the infested city streets and reach the RPD entrance.
Last month at Gen Con 50 we had a great time running demo experiences for those lucky enough to be in attendance, and we’re sure those of you who did get a chance to play the game will find this scenario strikingly familiar.
Because this was a demonstration game, we thought it would be a nice nod to the really hardcore fans out there if we recreated the original 1997 Resident Evil™ 2 Demo (packaged in with the Resident Evil™: Directors Cut release) for the show.
Although the demo is designed for players to learn the basics of the game, that didn’t mean we wanted to hold back on the details. We’ve tried to incorporate a feel of the game in every section of the layout, such the wrecked fire truck, the RPD underpass, dumpsters in the alleys, and some areas which are that little bit more special – like Kendo Gun Shop.
The first time the original video game offered a break in the action and a moment of calm, older veterans of the series will be sure to smile remembering Kendo Gun Shop and the fate of its owner, Robert Kendo. His infamous final words ‘You should be safe inside here, I’m keeping a close eye on things’ ushered in a new era of terror for the series, where quiet and well-lit areas suddenly ceased being safe for the player. In tribute to this we created the imaginatively named You Should be Safe Inside Here rule for Resident Evil™ 2: The Board Game, forcing a character on the Kendo Gun Shop tile to draw additional cards from the Tension Deck to represent the heightened sense of danger. Players will be able to collect several invaluable items from the shelves whilst they’re on this tile… but for every turn that passes, they further risk a horde of Zombies breaking through the windows, just as they do in the original game!
Rules like this, combined with unique scenario items, characterful encounter tables, and themed objectives (like heading back to save Marvin Branagh… that worked out well the first time around, right?) enable us to really bring Resident Evil™ 2: The Board Game to life, and make it feel just like the original video game.
Casual Play vs Campaign Mode
One of the best things about creating a scenario format is that games can be broken up into engaging and timely sessions. Resident Evil™ 2: The Board Game goes one step further, not only allowing casual players to simply open the rulebook and play a game, but also for hardcore fans to string a series of scenarios together across several gaming sessions.
We’ll go into campaign play in a little more detail in a later article, but rest assured - with each scenario packed full of familiar elements and little extras like bonus objectives, hidden weapons and additional scenario items, players are well rewarded for fully immersing themselves in the survival horror experience. Want to know more? Well, keep an eye out in the coming weeks where we’ll go into that a little further.
That’s all for now, but be sure to come back next time when we’re going to discuss something big… and horribly mutated. It’s time to take a look at the Boss Models in Resident Evil™ 2: The Board Game, and how much destruction they can wreak upon an unsuspecting player!