UNMARKED SPOILERS, body horror, gore, and the dark unsanctified depths of my garbage soul below. None of the images used were captured or created by me in any capacity. Click for full-view.
I believe in honesty on the front end, as evidenced by the title. I come at this from a purely design-based point of view, informed by pop culture osmosis and the few cutscenes and boss fights I saw when I ventured out of my room. The sheer nothing I know about this series and how it plays inspired the joke amongst my gamier friends that we do a Twitch Stream; the gimmick would be that I, the player, had no experience, and the two friends who were experienced could give me (alternatingly) horrible and solid advice. People could watch me flounder for schandenfreuder-fueled amusment and a good time would be had by all.
I don’t think that’s gonna happen. So. This suits me better anyway. Gotta stay on brand.
Resident Evil 2 Remake Monsters, Rated On Hotness.
The stolid, respectable mook of the game, which is included more for completion than anything else. They’re gory rotting corpses and they love to serve as environmental hazards. One jumped through a window while I was watching and I screamed even though I wasn’t even the one playing. This says loads about the game’s atmosphere and direction, but not much about the zombie itself. Not much to say about the zombie.
Verdict: ()()()()(). You weren’t even in the running, man…
A more artsy screenshot, for I enjoyed Ivy as an aesthetic concept more than anything else. The fleshy face splitting like a Venus Flytrap was quite nice. The tumorous weak-points disrupt an otherwise sleek silhouette in a way I found more ‘eh’ than interesting. There was a visual of a person, I think? They were mashed up against a window. That was pretty cool. But none of it inspired anything other than a “well that’s a nice design, ain’t it?”
Verdict: ()()()()(). Not off to a great start, Capcom…
Now here we go! Lickers are horrific abominations so, naturally, I adore them. Design-wise, they display very well the fact that you only have to tweak the human body-shape a little bit to get some very alien stuff going. In the Licker’s case, it looks like a frog. In Bloodborne (I think???) there are tick-women that are the same type of horrific.
Shreds of fibrous tissue clinging to the exposed, glistening muscle is a great touch, reminds one that this was a human being who exploded into horror. The distorted mouth full of needle teeth is just splendid. I thought it’d be cool if the tummy bulged when the tongue was undeployed, then sucked in when they attacked. Like the tongue is its guts, weaponized by the mutagen, y’know? Apparently this is not the case.
Licker looks like something you’d see in the corner of your ceiling during a sleep-paralysis hallucination. It looks like it would whisper horrid secrets to you. Its body posture is feral and utterly inhuman, though the face is where most of the horror is. These are all good points.
Unfortunately, I’m just not a fan of exposed brains. It makes me feel like the creature is too vulnerable to be any threat. Not just vulnerable to bullets; some lint or a stiff, icy breeze could floor something with its brains out.
Verdict: ***()(). A superbly grotesque creature. The render makes it clear how many disgusting textures are at play here, how horrible this thing would be to touch. A ferocious, terrifying creature of feral misery. Absolute boyfriend material.
This is a hard one to get a pin on, mostly because I only saw it while it was flailing wildly in shit. Not a great first impression. Also, finding screenshots of this thing is HARD. Even the Steam Community I got most of these from had slim pickings.
Once you can actually get a good look at the Sewer Bastard (G-Type Adult, I guess is the correct name, but I didn’t know it), you can see that in motion, it has a really good silhouette. The extended head that splits open like a flower, revealing its nasty, wriggling teeth is so, SO choice. The area surrounding the eye is interestingly cratered; the liberal arts student in me is apt to say it’s a visual metaphor for the virus crashing into its host and laying waste to its genome, transforming it into something unlivable, like a meteor.
It, uh, it probably ain’t that deep.
These guys are mostly just piles of meat, though, so aside from their flower-mouths and crater-eyes, there’s not a lot going for them. And they barf up their young on you which, honestly, if I wanted to get saddled with that kinda shit I’d stick to good old humanity.
Verdict: *()()()(). Sewer Bastard is aight. If it could just pick up and drag itself into someplace that wasn’t, you know, filthy with human excrement, it could be a real contender.
William Birkin, Stage ‘Hubris Man Strikes Again’
Ah, classic Birkin! He’s the realest bitch here, shot himself up with his own mutagen like it wasn’t even a thing. His initial stage is pretty basic, but GOD does it look painful. The monstrous flesh tearing itself from his body, ripping through the skin like it ripped through his clothes. This is the kind of detail I like in my body horror. It’s not really horrific unless it’s agonizing.
His awkwardly human legs, buckling under the weight of his new flesh, really make this stage work. A lumbering, half-baked creature, still practically human, waddling around like a big dumb baby. A big dumb baby made of naked meat, that can kill you. He really is a newborn, though, reborn through the virus.
Verdict: **()()(). Extremely cool-looking, but I feel like he’s probably rude to waitstaff, and megalomania isn’t great, my dude. Still, the kind of balls-to-the-wall, ride-or-die insanity that made him inject himself has to translate to some kind of hotness. I do love a good psychopath.
William Birkin, Stage ‘Now We’re Getting Somewhere’
When I first saw this design in motion, I didn’t see the head, and thought the one up top was the main head. This was outrageously cool to me, like bulk shifting around had flayed Birkin’s face right off, like the virus was flaying his personality away. Then I saw his hair and was disappointed.
Now that I’ve had time to muse on it, though, this still works. How pathetic, the brilliant scientist sucked up in the ever-expanding horror of his creation, a shriveled, tiny thing being absorbed by the monster. Again, this looks so, so painful. It’s truly a terrible fate, one that even Birkin probably didn’t deserve.
We’re still at the stage where a certain amount of pitifulness is important to the aesthetic and story. We needed more than one stage where you can see the human Birkin once was for the horror to be so multi-level and effectively disturbing. Misery is always more effective, horrorwise, to me than just the implication of physical violence, though Birkin still has that in spades.
The beady little eyes of the upper head are just human enough to bear a passing resemblance. That there are no sockets and they’re just yellow holes in the bone is great. This is an example of a wonderful unbalanced, chaotic design, everything flowing toward a single focal point to keep the chaos from being too much. In this case, the focal point is that magnificently horrid eye and those nastily-distorted claws.
Verdict: ****(). You can’t be rude to waitstaff if you’re barely cognizant of anything but agony and the desire to kill. The double-head thing is awkward, but works for the story so I can live with it. He’s still a bit ungainly, but I’m sure he will be vastly improved, and soon…
William Birkin, Stage ‘Oh No He’s Hot’
HOLY SHIT! I mean, DAMN, BOY! The logical evolution of the barely-formed face up-top has been reached, and oh boy is it a doozy. Calls back to the classic Xenomorphs with that extended skull and the frills of tissue beneath it. The wings play nicely into the God complex needed to shoot yourself up with ZombieMaker. A distorted angel of monstrosity, the herald of the teratogenic apocalypse Birkin engineered.
I watched this boss fight happen in real time. He threw things at the player and power-walked like a professional bodybuilder. Birkin, nebbish lunatic he was, is no longer there in any capacity. Everything about this design screams raw destructive power. The promise of violence with just enough grossness to make it disturbing. We have reached the peak of the virus and what it’s capable of. I believe in miracles since you came along. Miracles of science, that is.
Once again, the model does a great job showing the variety of truly unpleasant textures here. Birkin is mortifyingly organic, hideously biological. There is nothing sleek about him. Even his eyeballs seem bloodshot and dry, and his bone-spur claws are rough-textured like they’ve been treating in the sun. His tooth-ribs encase a cluster of developing eyes I’m sure won’t be relevant in any capacity.
Verdict: *****. He’s perfect. He’s beyond reproach. He’s super icky. Love it. Absolutely love it. I’m torn between the cutesy ‘more limbs means more hugs’ impulse and the impulse to make wildly inappropriate suggestions regarding his… his everything. He’s great! Wow, I sure hope this is where Birkin’s transformations end.
William Birkin, Stage ‘Uh-Oh’
Something appears to have gone amiss. If I’ve got my form orders right, and I’m pretty sure I do, this would mark the point where Birkin’s genome begins to collapse under the weight of the mutations. I’d say it’s punishment for hubris if that hadn’t so clearly come earlier. This design is chaotic in the same way Ivy’s is, where there’s nowhere for the eye to rest, no real focal point. It works for what I think is going on here, but as far as hotness, it’s not doing Birkin any favors.
He looks like the God-Warrior from ‘Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.’ His ribs coming out at odd angles from the melty flesh, the way the God-Warrior’s teeth fell apart even as it attacked. His bones stretch out the stringy meat and puncture through, reduced from the thick spurs to jagged, crooked, broken-branch fragments. The newly-formed head is subsuming back into the body. We’re back in the realm of the pathetic, though this form hardly seems pathetic as he’s whupping your ass, I’m assuming.
Verdict: *()()()(). I would want to comfort him if I wasn’t sure that even touching this thing would cause him pain. And that he would instantly attack and murder me, of course. There’s a certain amount of appeal in this shambling mess that’s so clearly broken but still dangerous.
William Birkin, Stage ‘Oh Fuck Go Back’
The final fate for the ultimate zombie. His own mutagenic inertia has carried him past concrete form and rendered him nothing but a slurry of indistinguishable body parts and teeth. The only thing recognizable is the remains of that newly emerged head, hollow-eyed, dead.
Verdict: ()()()()(). This is just tragic.
Well, it’s a meme, isn’t it? Everyone finds Mr. X hot. Implacable, emotionless, unstoppable monsters have been dropping underpants since the Terminator. Probably before. That’s really what the Tyrant is, in the end. Meaty Terminator.
Compared to the kaleidoscope of body horror that Birkin went through, the Tyrant is a bit dull, just a bald, wrinkled-looking giant. That’s because what makes Mr. X hot isn’t his design, though giving him a full-length leather trenchcoat was a stroke of horny genius. It’s that he’s huge and unstoppable and dominant to the point that he can eat a rocket to the face and just kneel down for a bit.
Look at that shit. This thing is the epitome of ‘your daughter calls me Daddy, too.’ That’s a helicopter he just one-hand pushed out of the way. What he lacks in an interesting design (excepting, once again, his impeccable costuming), he makes up for in sheer Big Dick Energy.
Verdict: *****. Terrifying enough to be a monster and human enough that your Twitter feed won’t think you’re a total freak, Mr. X is a one-size-fits-all monster. There’s not that much more to him. Big man big hands big punch. That’s all, right?
He’s on fire, he’s lost his jacket, he’s lost his hat, his lower jaw is gone and he’s got a big, meaty claw. And he is still! Coming! Mr. X is indeed going to give it to you!
Verdict: ∞. Whoever designed this deserves a monument.