I Think I'm in Love with Mr. X from Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil 2's Mr. X is easily one of the best things to happen to the survival horror genre in years, and I love him.
The new year has kicked off with the fantastic remake of Resident Evil 2, likely causing gamers around the world to promptly shit their pants at its harrowing corridors and immensely unsettling enemies. No enemy encapsulates this game’s horror quite like “Mr. X,” or “T-00” if we’re going by the lore. This walking brute force has become the talk of the fandom, and rightfully so, as he makes the latter 70 percent of the game an absolute nightmare to play (in a good way). I could hear Bobby Caldwell’s “What You Won’t Do For Love” faintly playing in the distance when Mr. X lifted that giant helicopter and walked onto the scene. And as he grabbed my neck and broke it in an instant…total bliss.
There’s something about this big oaf of a monster that really struck a chord with me as I trekked through the corridors of the Raccoon City Police Department. He’s that special ingredient to Resident Evil 2 that, in many ways, is a reason this entry stands at the top of the survival-horror genre. There are many other things I love about the game: the incredibly detailed graphics, map design, weapons, boss battles, a gripping story. But these things are fleeting in a day-and-age where beautiful games with grand narratives are close to a dime a dozen.
However, I’ll never forget my time with Mr. X.
“As he grabbed my neck and broke it in an instant…total bliss.”
So why does Mr. X work so well? Well for one, he works to merge the survival-horror games that have you play passively with the ones that give you some form of protection as a crutch to the horror. I’m a huge horror movie fan, but in the realm of video games, I find that fandom waning nowadays with really shallow titles. Suddenly, a game like Resident Evil 2 comes along and kicks me right in my ass.
As a veteran of first and third-person shooters, I’m immediately comfortable jumping into the Resident Evil series. With Resident Evil VII: Biohazard, I was eased into the traditional gameplay loop of puzzles, monsters, and exploring. So I was ready to go as soon as I was put in Raccoon City. As I previously mentioned, one of the best things about Resident Evil 2 and the series as a whole is its use of weaponry as a crutch. Of course, it’s not the first or only game to do this, but it sure as hell does it the best out of the bunch. You can still feel like an absolute badass while getting the heebie-jeebies.
“Resident Evil 2 is a game where you can overcome obstacles by being smart, and Mr. X comes along and forces you to become even more methodical in your decisions.”
I often get bored with many horror games, as repetition usually becomes scarier than the actual game I’m playing; trial-and-error instances that make me want to rip my hair out. It’s always still pretty eerie the first time around: you have enemies who can get to you, but you typically have no way of fighting back. Mr. X, in my mind, is the embodiment of this game design philosophy. Resident Evil 2 is a game where you can overcome obstacles by being smart, and Mr. X comes along and forces you to become even more methodical in your decision-making.
This time around, he’s an enemy that you can touch, but you cannot hurt. You can stagger him and run for your life, but minutes later you’ll hear those dreadful footsteps inching ever so close to your unlucky self. I think that’s why this particular monster sticks out so much in Resident Evil 2. That sense of fear is there throughout the game, but it only grows knowing that at any instant, you could be forced to change up your entire playstyle. Every enemy has a familiarity to them; Mr. X is the only one who does not.
“Every enemy has a familiarity to them; Mr. X is the only one who does not.”
As the months go on and Resident Evil 2 fades from the limelight that it currently has, I will not forget my time with Mr. X. Him and I? We’re basically good buddies at this point. As scary as he may be, I hope none of you forget either. Especially when we start talking Game of the Year for 2019.
If you haven’t already checked out our review of Resident Evil 2, we gave the game a remarkable 9 out of 10. You can play it for yourself on PS4, Xbox One, and PC by picking up the game on Amazon. For more, you can also check out the video review below: