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Resident Evil 2 Remake: First Look at the Lickers

Since her first Nintendo, Jennifer Branton has been an avid gamer who fairs best in Survival Horror and RPG's.

The Terrible Inside Out Monstrosity

After the Crimson Head Prototype, a new type of creature was created from the evil minds at Umbrella Corporation through their research.

First discovered in the infamous Resident Evil 2 cut scene inside the Raccoon City Police Station, Leon S. Kennedy, a rookie cop is having his worst first day ever on the job.

On his way into Raccoon City, Leon saw nothing but destruction in its wake nearly two weeks after the outbreak of a terrible virus escaped the underground laboratory of the Spencer Mansion. The mansion itself a guise for the terrible experiments on human and animal subjects, the first virus called the T Virus had begun to raise the dead from where the stood and create a zombie army feasting upon the living. As the T Virus mutated, and other Umbrella Virus Strains were released, such as the powerful Progenitor Virus, humans and animals began to mutate terribly growing extra limbs, organs, and twisted their bodies creating a new horrid shape.

Early games gave an early glimpse of such monster that would evolve into what we see in the second and third game installments of Nemesis and Mr X.

The Lickers, a curious creature that one can not tell precisely if their origin DNA was more mammalian or reptile, they creep about on all fours moving like that of a dog or jungle cat with fierce speed and strength, but also have the ability to climb onto ceilings, and shoot out their tongues like that of a common species lizard. Some also have a frilled collar similar to other reptile species.

When Leon comes across his first Licker, he is nearly out of his mind.


A Much More Intense Battle Instore

What the Resident Evil 2 Remake trailer shows is a re-imagining of the first encounter with the Licker. While Clair Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy seem to have their playable campaigns overlap more in their version of the game play, it is Claire we see stumbling across the first Licker in the game. And unlike Leon, it isn't alone.

While the amped up graphics and overall design of Remake 2 will have its own moments of terror to reflect upon, even Resident Evil 2 's first encounter with the new creature for Leon's campaign was terrifying.

Armed with the shotgun, Leon is fleeing through the loading screen door that was have all come to miss in the later Resi games. He darts down a first corridor, or walks depending on the feebleness of those at the control before the cut scene. He quickly outpaces the short hallway and turns to take on the next section, his shoes now clicking in the glass and broken tiles on the floor of the destroyed station.

Suddenly Leon's boots hit something wet. A dripping noise, the camera pans up and there above his attached to the ceiling is the most hideous bloodied inside-out looking creature we have ever seen in the series thus far and that was saying something.

It's lip-less mouth pulled wide to the cheek bones as a tongue nearly the length of its body jutted out, dancing about as the creature sniffed at the air.

As it leaps down like a great cat, Leon learns the creatures are sightless, hunting by the sense of smell. It's body appears bent into the shape of an animal. Its skin peeled back with sinew and muscle and bones exposed. It appears slimy and dripping as it saunters towards Leon, opening its mouth to shoot out that terrible pink serpent of a tongue as it sniffs for him.

A blast from the shotgun and it is down.

Claire won't have it so easy in the remake.

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A New Kind Of Evil

In the first ten minutes trailer of Claire's game play campaign, we see a newly imagined encounter with the Lickers.

Somehow encompassing the same fear that we knew in the 90's, where once visual limitations of the PlayStation kept us from really knowing what these beasts could really be like- we could imagine.

The Lickers brought to us by the powers of the RE Engine, that also powered the most recent installment Resident Evil 7, are cranked up to eleven when it comes to the fear factor.

Claire already armed with a handgun and flashlight in a much darker version of the Raccoon City Police Department, where the emergency power has already been used up to close off security shades and keep few remaining computers powered, Claire stumbles into what appears to be an evidence locker room walking past cages. It could also be a kennel area perhaps.

The light pans over the first Licker. A terrible inside-out beast with muscle and sinew looking like uncooked meat dripping with slime. The skin has been disintegrated or absorbed as the terrible creature had torn out of its original shape as it left its pupal stage to become this.

As Claire fires a shot into it, she finds it isn't as easy to take it down as Leon had experienced- though already stated Claire's campaign in Remake 2 is much harder than Leon's, not only for the escort mission of a young Sherry Birkin being kept alive from the monster that pursues her.

When the first Licker goes down, Claire notes it brought a friend, crawling across the ceiling in the same fashion as the one that attacked Leon, but this is no cut scene waiting for the creature to drop.

In control the whole time, Claire readies and fires.

Another paws at a door as she turns her flashlight like a rabid dog begging to be let out as a fourth skitters across the ceiling right at her. Their terrible tongues wave, sniffing her out. There is nowhere to run until the gunfire makes their bodies flaccid on the ruined tiles of the floor.

These Lickers, with the meat of their heads exposed, seem to be most susceptible to a head shot, if it can be rendered.

An Evolution

How have we gotten from zombies to these terrible beings? The middle step of the Prometheus that is the later Tyrant Type Creatures?

Umbrella's Story unfolds through all the notes scatted among the games, and never once did the company show any remorse for what they had done, moving from bio engineering to creating their own bio-hazards at they played god with their victims.

The earliest of the Lickers was the creatures we had seen in Resident Evil 2, but like all of Umbrella's creatures, they mutate and change with exposure to later viruses and environmental changes.

The Alpha Licker is the most basic, and in 2, greets Claire and Leon much in the same way, with the ability to sniff out its prey and it moves like a sightless cross between a terrible reptile and a dog.

At later glance in the game, they seem to be able to hop up and attack much like the springy nature of the Hunters in the first game when they sense prey is near.

By Resident Evil: Survivor, the Lickers, still on all fours, seemed more man-like as they lost a lot of their animistic instinct. Still sightless and inside-out, they sprung into short launches at their prey rather than just move about the ground and charge at them.

By Resident Evil: Outbreak the Lickers had undergone a horrific change and the prototypes, Baby and Regis, were among the first to have a more involved humanoid form. They were able to sit upright for the first time and use their front limbs more like hands with great talon-ed claws than that of previous generations like Alpha that seemed to have paws. Even worse, they were beginning to have humanoid faces.

While their eyes still remained sightless, and the Lickers could only sense their prey but tasting the air, the vision of these faces with the darting serpent tongues, sniffing out human meat is just terrifying.

In hopes that Capcom will at least continue in remaking the trilogy of first games, one can only imagine what can be dreamed up of Raccoon City when Nemesis comes to stalk a traumatized Jill Valentine.

The Lickers of Resident Evil 2, look amazingly like what I remember from playing the second game as a child with a new appeal of what the molded of Resident Evil 7 had offered through the RE Engine.

Fans of the franchise will not be disappointed as Resident Evil 2 Remake unveils in January 2019.

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