Watch this speedrunner clear the Resident Evil 2 demo in 2:52, and change how you think about zombies

When I played the Resident Evil 2 demo with its 30-minute time limit, I made a few concessions to my usual see-it-all playstyle: leaving the outskirts of rooms unexplored, skimming through in-game texts, that kind of thing. Watching speedrunner jaypreemo blaze through Leon's initial encounters in the Raccoon City Police Station in 2:52 (the current verifiable world record, as far as I can tell) makes my 22-minute-and-change attempt look like watching paint dry.

Naturally, you can get through any game much more quickly if you know exactly where you're going and how to get there. But what struck me about watching these Resident Evil 2 demo speedruns is how differently they treat zombies. I only managed to untrain the instinct to shoot every zombie in the head and keep shooting until it doesn't get up again fairly late in my time with the demo. In that speedrun video, the runner only shoots a zombie twice (and it's actually the same one, once to stun it going up the stairs and again going down).

Even if you're not trying to save time, you should try to conserve ammunition, so my All Zombies Must Die (Again) attitude probably won't be sustainable in the full game. The way speedrunners treat combat with zombies as a tool for navigating around rotters in their path is something I'll take with me when I'm playing the full game. Unless Leon retroactively learns some of the sweet grappling moves he knew in Resident Evil 4, in which case you bet your sweet bippy I'm going back to the ol' "kneecap into suplex" routine. 

Oh, and if you're wondering how this speedrunner practiced enough to get this good when the demo's only supposed to let you play for minutes, the answer is that gamers find a way. There are semi-illicit tools to stop the demo's timer cold on PC which I won't link to here, or you could always just make a new account to play through again on any platform.

Resident Evil 2 is a very likely contender for our list of the best zombie games, but make sure you check them out now before we can make our final judgment. 

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.