Steamforged Games have revealed how playing as different characters affects the role players take when playing the Resident Evil™ 2: Board Game, by taking a closer look at Claire Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy, the protagonists from the original video game.
In the original RE2, playable characters were all mechanically very similar, but for the Resident Evil 2 Board Game we wanted to give each character a greater sense of identity. The starting point was to take a nod from the first Resident Evil video game, giving some characters a limited inventory to represent how capable they were of carrying items and being able to move and fight effectively – but we knew that we weren’t done there. Whilst there are plenty of actions which all characters should be able to do, such as dodging past zombies, opening doors, or collecting items, there needed to be something individual to really bring each character to life.
The answer was to create unique special abilities for each character in the game.
Creating these presented a certain challenge, as we knew that we wanted to remain as faithful as possible to the original release, where there are no unique skills available to the characters. Rather than making extravagant or powerful attacks which would seem out of place, instead we opted to keep the special abilities subtle, whilst being careful to maintain how impactful they could be. By approaching each character this way, we were able to allow individual characters to feel just like their video game counterparts, and fit smoothly into the Resident Evil universe.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at Claire and Leon and see how their special abilities work!
Claire Redfield is a resourceful young woman who finds herself drawn into the nightmarish disaster in Raccoon City whilst searching for her missing brother, Chris. Although more than capable of dispatching the undead fiends threatening the survivors, it’s Claire’s compassion and protective instinct which really defines her – a trait which players saw come to the forefront in the original RE2 game when she encountered Sherry Birkin, a terrified young girl lost in the overrun RPD building.
We gave Claire the special ability Made in Heaven to represent this, named after the design on the biker jacket she gives to Sherry in the Underground Laboratory. Designed to give a sense of Claire helping the other characters even if it puts her in harms way, Made in Heaven allows her to suffer damage to either heal another character, or to cure their poison condition, if they’ve been wounded by an infectious bite or stream of acidic bile.
With this ability Claire is an essential support character, able to keep characters on their feet after they’ve been mauled by enemies, even if the group doesn’t have any Recovery Items – and once players reach the sewer section of the game, they’ll definitely appreciate the ability to remove the poison condition without searching for Blue Herbs!
Leon S. Kennedy
Leon S. Kennedy is a rookie police officer, newly arrived in Raccoon City – but little does he know that he’s heading into a hellish scenario which no amount of training could possibly prepare him for! Nonetheless, in the original RE2, Leon was able to put his specialist experience to good use, calmly reacting to enemies and remaining clearheaded in desperate situations, no matter what gets thrown at him.
Because of this, when designing Leon, we wanted him to have a greater sense of order and control than the other characters as the enemies closed in. His special ability, Cool Under Fire, gives players exactly this tool for their arsenal.
Cool Under Fire is a potent addition to Leon’s tactical options, allowing him to use an item whilst surrounded by enemies, without fear of them reacting and attacking him. No matter how many enemies might be swarming towards him, Leon will always have the precious seconds he needs to use a First Aid Spray or make that all important reload – meaning that he’s perfect for exploring through ruined corridors and eerie rooms alone, with little or no support.
But that’s not all…
Of course, long-time Resident Evil veterans will be happy to know that we didn’t stop there – special abilities and inventory spaces aren’t the only way in which characters in the Resident Evil™ 2: Board Game differ. One of the most defining elements from the original game was the varied weaponry each character was able to use, and we’ve kept that for our adaptation to give characters even more flavour. Depending upon which weapons they can use, each character offers players even more tactical options, as they’ll find themselves either better suited to dealing with large numbers of weaker enemies, or tougher single opponents.