Resident Evil 2 Preview (also known in Japan as BioHazard 2 Trial Edition) is a playable game demo of Resident Evil 2.
After the success of Resident Evil, development on Resident Evil 2 began. Trailers and footage of the game's development were released on a periodic basis until what is now known as the "1.5 build" was cancelled altogether in favor of a new build of the game, delaying the release date. Sometime after this, the first Resident Evil was given an updated release with new gameplay elements and exclusive features, known as the Resident Evil: Director's Cut. To give players a taste of what would come the following year, Director's Cut came bundled with the first publicly available demo of Resident Evil 2.
The first build of this demo was released in Japan. The Trial Edition has a number of differences from other versions, utilizing more prototype content. The second build of the game that was released internationally, the Preview, is nearly identical to its Japanese counterpart. This is the earliest playable build of the retail version of Resident Evil 2.
Sometime later in the following year, a second version of the Preview demo was released on several demo compilation discs. This demo is based on the retail version of the game, offering very few differences.
The game follows the Leon A path starting from the City Area and ending at the Raccoon Police Station. All cutscenes along the way are available, but all full-motion video and the retail prologue are absent.
The first two releases that are exclusive to the Director's Cut allow players to explore the police department until reaching the S.T.A.R.S. office where the demo ends. In the later version of the Preview, the player can walk anywhere around the surface levels of the police department, with the basement being locked out. A 10-minute timer is also added in this version which results in a "You Died" screen once it reaches zero. The counter continues during cutscenes and while examining rooms and will only stop while the game is paused, while using the computer at the front desk, during door transitions, or while the inventory screen is open.
The main menu features different options in each release. In the Trial Edition, an "Information" menu has a trailer for Breath of Fire III and a playable demo of Mega Man Legends (titled Rock Man Neo here). The international Preview lacks these features. The later Preview has a difficulty selection option which was absent in the Director's Cut releases. The available difficulties are "Easy" and "Normal".
The later Preview has all of the same gameplay elements from the retail game with very few changes. It is even possible to obtain the Special Key without modifying the game.
None of the demos feature full-motion video and only those released with the Director's Cut feature an opening prologue.
|BioHazard 2 Trial Edition||Resident Evil 2 Preview (1st)||Resident Evil 2 Preview (2nd)||Resident Evil 2 (retail)|
|Control scheme from Resident Evil||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|"Sound" menu option||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|"Information" menu option||Yes||No||No||No|
|"Option" menu option||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Choose game difficulty||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Additional trailers and demos on disc||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Play as Claire, Sherry, or Ada||No||No||No||Yes|
|Play additional scenarios and mini-games||No||No||No||Yes|
|Use typewriters to save game||No||No||No||Yes|
|Unlock alternate costumes||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Full-motion video scenes||No||No||No||Yes|
|Prototype images, rooms, music, or items||Yes||Yes||No||No|
- One of the compilation discs that features the second Preview demo was sold with various European and Australian copies of The Official PlayStation Magazine. The other demos featured on the disc are Rascal, Gex, and Dynasty Warriors. In addition to these is a Net Yaroze advert and a demo of a game created with the Net Yaroze console, Terra Incognita.
- A selection of prototype content can be found hidden on the original Preview and Trial Edition discs. Data from the "1.5" build's rooms can be found as well as some items and Sherry Birkin's old model. The original police department from that build has been replaced with data from the final department, which was still largely unfinished at the time of the demo. Scenes such as Claire's meeting with Brian Irons in his office and Leon's meeting with Ada Wong in the parking lot were still in development. Other content includes prototype character inventory images for both Leon and Claire, unused dialogue, and unused and incomplete music.
- The second Preview demo is based on the retail version of Resident Evil 2 and the disc features hidden content from that version, including data for The 4th Survivor and The Tofu Survivor scenarios as well as Claire's alternate costume. The only rooms that can be found on the disc are from the City Area and police station.
- Due to the late arrival of Resident Evil 2 after completely scrapping BIOHAZARD 1.5, a Demo disc was included with the copy of Resident Evil: Director's Cut for the PlayStation 1. The only options on the menu are New Game and Sound. The Demo remains somewhat similar to the final game with its level design. Minor editions were made since the Demo:
- Two pages of text (the intro and the outro) introduce the player into the game versus the final game's cutscenes
- Leon Kennedy's face in the Equip screen
- Leon Kennedy's VP70 handgun having only 15 rounds per magazine versus the final game's 18 per magazine
- Leon Kennedy's handgun ammunition has a different design compared to the final version.
- Robert Kendo's shotgun having an increased 7 rounds per mag versus the final game's 5 per mag.
- The Basketball Court was inaccessible, as the player had to continue down the alley to almost immediately arrive at the Police Station
- The Typewriter was inaccessible and could not be used by the player, and replaced various locations, like one of the handgun bullet spots in Robert Kendo's Gun Shop
- The ambient soundtrack in the front courtyard of the Police Station is slightly altered compared to the final version.
- The S.T.A.R.S. Card was replaced with two Precinct Keys, the first one to access the bottom left door (looking from the entrance way of the Police Station), and another to trigger the ending cut scene of the Demo showing Ada missing Leon Kennedy with a handgun bullet
- Herbs were replaced with four (4) First Aid Sprays that could be found in various spots throughout the Demo
- Extra Shotgun Shells were not available during the Demo
- Doors that required keys would say the door had an "L" on it