How Resident Evil 2 exposes the horror of our bodies

March 25, 2019
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“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.

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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.

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