Unlike its many decaying zombies snapping at our noses, the recent Resident Evil 2 remake has been celebrated as a breath of fresh air. A lot of that praise is aimed at the game's many modern updates. Gone are the old-fashioned days of fixed cameras, terrible shooting controls, and dialogue that sounds like it was written by someone recovering from slumping into a 30-year coma during a Dallas marathon. And there aren't any annoying gem puzzles, either. Instead there's only a single puzzle to solve: how to make sure Mr. X doesn't crush your head like an empty soda can. But this fedora-wearing wall of pain is enjoying a few terrifyingly modern updates of his own.
In the original Resident Evil 2, Mr. X chased you around in the B-story of the game, mostly to remind players how good they had it when it was just zombies trying to bite their faces off. In the recent remake, however, he's all over the place, popping up (or through) when you least expect it. Suddenly needing to turn around and run away is a terrifying prospect in a game notorious for characters being less mobile than your average 18-wheeler.
But it's not that the Capcom devs have spent the past 20 years studying human psychology to deliver the perfect jump scare. They did something a lot more organic than that: They let Mr. X off the leash.
Mr. X isn't like other, lazy video game bosses who lounge around their perfectly staged volcano lairs waiting for a cutscene to trigger. Mr. X has shit to do and people to rip in half, so he's always out there looking for the player character. This was confirmed by YouTuber SheSez. While exploring the game with an out-of-bounds camera for his series Boundary Break, he noticed Mr. X still stomping around the place like an angry dad looking for the remote. That's because, like the clever xenomorph in the closet-hiding simulator Alien: Isolation, Mr. X is a dynamic villain. Or more appropriately, an ambient Michael Meyers. This unkillable, unstoppable force is always searching, listening, and ambling slowly toward you and your brittle spine.
This small and easily unnoticed improvement makes Mr. X more terrifying in ways that Umbrella Corps' fleshy tentacle demons can only dream of. He's one of the rare enemies who, apart from a few contractually obliged scripted events, gets to play the game right alongside with you. And it's pretty unsettling to realize that one day, video game AI will be advanced enough that we're going to start getting griefed by impatient minibosses.
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