Resident Evil 2 Safe House Experience
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months (or of course, you simply have zero interest in video games) then you probably know or heard all about the much deserved hype surrounding the anticipated release of Capcom’s Resident Evil 2 REmake. All the diehard RE fans, including myself, have been excited about this for the last few years when the confirmation of remaking Resident Evil 2 was first promised. As a lot of you already know, I am one of the biggest Resident Evil fangirls to walk the planet (that’s not a boast, it’s just a fact).
To celebrate the release of the game on the 25th January, Capcom decided to organise a Resident Evil experience at London’s South Bank, available to a few lucky fans who were able to get hold of the limited free tickets.
A city-wide outbreak of the dangerous T-virus is sweeping through Raccoon City. Citizens are being urged to make their way to one of the last remaining safe areas in the city, the Safe House at Raccoon City Police Department. Sources have confirmed that a cure to the deadly virus is available, for those who can stomach it.
Spaces in the Safe House are limited – will you be amongst the lucky survivors to take shelter?
Following a storyline inspired by the cult classic game, Resident Evil™ 2: Safe House recreates the Raccoon City Police Department in a derelict venue on London’s South Bank.
You will arrive at the RPD HQ debrief area in groups of up to four, ahead of making your way through the station to the Safe House. Proceed with caution, all is not as it seems as you put your fear responses to the test in a bid to join the few survivors left.
You can check out the official website here.
Luck was certainly smiling down on me on the 9th of January when the tickets went live, this wasn’t even announced by the way, I just happened to sign into Facebook at the exact right time and thankfully managed to reserve a couple of tickets. Luck wasn’t smiling on everyone though, including my son, Bret, who is literally 4 months away from being 18 years old and of course, this event was only open to people aged 18 or over. To say he was bummed out was an understatement.
My eldest son’s girlfriend Beth, agreed to come with me, she’s not a huge zombie fan at all but she knew how much it meant to me and agreed to be my zombie surviving partner for the day. Now I didn’t really know what to expect but a day before the event I received a copy of the waiver we would have to sign before participating which definitely got me more excited.
Please note elements of the experience will involve some physical activity and moving between different set parts. The event contains darkness, flashing lights, shocking scenes and is set across several levels within the venue, which are only accessible via staircase. Please note that the venue has limited lighting and features uneven flooring and steep staircases so care and caution should be taken when going through the experience.
Oh yeah! January 25th couldn’t come fast enough! Bring it on!
The morning of the 25th, just before I was about to catch a train to London, this little fella arrived in the post which I thought was very apt.
My cute new pet. Larry the Licker 😉
I met Beth at our local train station and it wasn’t long before we were on our way to Waterloo. I was excited AF and Beth was already bricking it!
R.P.D. here we come! Zombies beware!
The venue was literally a 10 minute walk from the station and pretty easy to find, even though admittedly we did walk straight past the sign directly us to the Barge House. Standing outside, was an R.P.D. officer complete with gun, I kid you not! Unfortunately, in my fangirling nerdiness, I completely forgot to take photos of the outside, specifically the doorway with the R.P.D. sign above it which looked freaking awesome. I have no idea where my head was at, I was just in another world the second we arrived.
We were a little early for our slot at 4:30pm so we were shown into a little side room.
Thank God, it’s Resident Evil 2 and not one of the games featuring Chris Redfield because I swear one of those big 8 foot poster boards would have been coming home with me! The room had a long table of about 10 gaming consoles where you could play the 30 minute demo of the game. I had already resisted the urge to do this when the demo was first released, I don’t see the point of starting something I can’t finish and I’m a NO SPOILERS kinda girl anyway.
I know it sounds lame, but I actually was standing in awe at all this.
Posing with the standees seemed like a perfectly natural thing to do!
They also had a mini bar selling Raccoon City Pale Ale and you could bet your sweet cheeks, some of that would be coming home with me. Besides, I promised Bret a souvenir and is there a souvenir more perfect than that? I think not!
The Umbrella Corporation, not just your friendly pharmaceutical company.
We were then called and it was our turn to enter the R.P.D. How call is it that I can actually say that, in a real sentence?! I entered the R.P.D.! We walked up a few flights of stairs and into a dimly lit room which was the main office. It actually was quite eerie inside.
A somewhat blurry photo of the map on the wall.
The walls were adorned with hundreds of “MISSING” posters and letters from concerned family members. On the floor there were votive candles and dead flowers.
The R.P.D. front desk.
The typewriter! Yes, THE typewriter!
It wasn’t long before we were called to the front desk and briefed on our mission. Beth and I, along with 2 other guests were partnered together. We all had to sign the waiver form and pay attention to some specific instructions. Mainly, that we were not allowed to use our phone or any other recording device to take photos or video. As much as I would have really loved to get a few shots inside the experience, I did totally understand the reasoning behind it. You can’t very well become fully engaged if you’re busy trying to take selfies with some zombie who’s supposed to be scaring you. The other main rule was that we were not allowed to touch any of the actors, or take anything from them unless given so. I didn’t think anything of this rule but I’ll mention this again in just a bit.
Lastly, we were told, that should the experience become too frightening, then all we had to do was put our arms in front of our chest in the shape of a cross – you know, Wakanda Forever style 😉 Then, I’m assuming you would be somehow discreetly removed or maybe just fed to the zombies for being a wuss, who knows?
Oh, I should also mention that we were told that at the end of the experience we would all be given an “antidote”. Awesome! However, they had to make you aware of the fact it contained alcohol (no problem) and de-hydrated pig’s blood (ummm… what?). Obviously if you were a vegetarian or of certain religions you were going to die from the T-Virus.
This photo was taken a few seconds before entering the survival horror!
Now, as you know, I was not allowed to take any photos during the experience so I’m going to try my best to describe everything. Just remember that everything was very dark and there was this strange smell of “death” lingering.
First we were called by a rather abrupt R.P.D. officer who had been watching too much SAS: Who Dares Wins and literally barked at us like some drill sergeant. He took us up a couple of flights of stairs and ushered us into a dark room where he left us. Wahhh!! Edging slowing forward, we hear a voice asking us if we’re survivors. As we walk further into the room, we can make out a female officer by the wall, she’s in pretty bad shape, injured and obviously “turning”. The table in front of us, has old Chinese food, scattered across the surface. I instinctively check under the table first, yep, I’ve seen all the movies.
We learn that the Officer’s name is Ridley. She tries to communicate with someone on her radio to inform them that she has found survivors. She then staggers over to a map on the wall and shows us that the only way out is via the rooftop. She instructs us to make our way through to the next room where we have to locate her desk and find the key to the stairwell leading to the roof. Before we leave her, she gives her flashlight to a member of our group and her walkie talkie to Beth (when she beckoned Beth over and asked for her hand, I have to admit my first thought was that Beth was about to get bitten, thankfully that wasn’t the case).
Can I just point out that the acting was absolutely FIRST CLASS. It honestly made it so believable that I actually felt bad leaving Ridley and just wanted to help her.
So, into the next room….
There are several desks inside the room, papers and files are scattered all about. An overturned tv lies on the floor but more worryingly, there’s blood and body parts. We start checking the name plaques on the desk until a member of our group shouts that she’s found Ridley’s. I walk over to her desk and immediately start checking under the paperwork and opening all the drawers. I find a small key in one of the drawers with a tag labelled “rooftop access”. “I’ve found it!” I shout excitedly to our group. Just as we’re about to leave the room, we hear a phone ringing. Wondering where it could be coming from, we go back into the room and start looking around. It then dawns on us that the noise is coming from the other side of the door.
We walk out into a short passageway. There’s a padlocked door to the roof on the right hand side. The only male member of our group walks towards the phone which is at the end of the passage. Suddenly, a zombie appears from behind a barred door on the left hand side. He can’t quite reach us but the threat is real. In a panic I try and open the padlock, now I don’t know if I had the key upsidedown the first time I tried but it wouldn’t unlock. I’ve got the rest of the group screaming at me to open the door. Finally I manage to get it open and begin to enter the stairwell.
Without warning, an R.P.D. officer jumps out from behind the door and cocks his gun straight at me. Call me lame but I let out the biggest scream you could imagine. Jeez, he almost made me shit myself, I kid you not! He ushers us all into the stairwell and shuts the door behind him. I can’t recall if he actually told us his name (my heart is still in my mouth from the fright he gave me) but he’s telling us about the dire situation and asking if we’ve come across anyone else. He then tries, without success to reach his partner, Flynn, on the radio to let him know that he’s found civilians.
There’s an abrupt banging on the door behind him and it’s pretty obvious that the zombie in the passageway somehow managed to break free and is in the mood for a 5 course meal. The officer lowers his voice, telling us all to be quiet as he sprints up the stairs gesturing to us to follow. You don’t have to tell me twice I can assure you, I grab hold of Beth’s hand and literally drag her up 4 flights of stairs. He stops outside a door and briefs us all on the plan. He’s intent on finding Flynn so that he can then help us make it to the rooftop, we’re to keep quiet, move in when he gives the command and stay close behind him. “Do you understand?” he asks just an inch from my face. I just about manage a “Uh-huh” and nod my head.
Now, let me just remind you of a certain rule we were told during our briefing before entering, regarding the non touching of the actors. This is the exact moment it became the biggest drag ever! This R.P.D. officer (I wish I knew who he was) was FREAKING GORGEOUS!! HELLO!! He was INSANELY GORGEOUS! Infact, all I wanted to do was snake my arms around his waist, rest my head on his back, close my eyes and just hold on for dear life. However, I’m not quite sure that’s what he meant by “stay close behind me” but wow, what a thought 😉
Can I just say it one more time? Mr R.P.D. Officer, you were HOT AF!
So he walks into this big dark room and then waves me over to follow him. We all walk in and stay close. The room is very dim but you can make out the blood covered plastic which line all the shelving units in the middle of the room. If you’ve played the game, it was exactly like the West Storage Room where you have to get the Maiden Medal and it was honestly creepy as fcuk. Halfway through the room he stops us where a body is laying mostly covered by the plastic. He beckons over the male member (I’m so sorry, I forgot your name because I’m bloody useless) and tells him that he’s got to be brave and go over and check the body to make sure she (?) is really dead.
He’s pretty cool about it, lifts up the plastic and sure enough, she’s a goner! Immediately after, there is a loud growl from behind us, Beth and I start screaming and the officer tells us to get the hell out of there. We run as fast as our legs will carry us and follow him into the next room, still screaming! He gets us to stand against the wall while he checks us all for any sign of infection, our eyes, our hands and asks if we’re okay. I turn to look at Beth, she’s crying. She is literally sobbing and saying “no, no, no” over and over with the most fearful expression on her face. I squeeze her hand tighter and stroke her head and try to remind her that it’s not real and we’ll be celebrating with cocktails as soon as we make it to the Safe House. Quite honestly though, who the fcuk was I kidding? I was actually scared shitless.
It’s weird, yes you know it’s not real and this is just a bunch of actors doing a bloody amazing job but I have to tell you, you get totally sucked into it and it somehow becomes believable. I genuinely was scared.
We somehow manage to calm down a little, apart from Beth who I have to say I was quite worried about. Over in the far corner of the room, a body sits lifeless on the floor, it’s Flynn. Our handsome R.P.D. officer wants to go over and check it out, not a great idea but it’s his partner and nothing is going to stop him. He cocks his shotgun and slowly makes his way over to the other side of the room while we stand there helpless. Flynn begins to move and slowly stands up but that doesn’t stop the officer from trying to reason with him. The zombie starts to make his way towards him, obviously oblivious to the officer’s pleas. “I’m putting my gun down” the officer calls to his dead friend. In unison we all start shouting to him “NOOOOO, NOOOOO, DON’T DO IT!!!”. Then, powerless, we have to watch as Flynn drags the officer to the floor and starts feasting on him. Damn, I didn’t even get a chance to get his phone number.
We look on in horror, not knowing what we’re supposed to do or where we’re supposed to go when suddenly another R.P.D. officer comes running from around the corner and tells us to quickly follow him. We go back through the bloody room we just escaped from. I’m not happy about this, I really don’t want to meet the owner of the angry growl. It’s dark, I’m holding Beth’s hand as tightly as possible, we’re running and screaming for our lives. I’m freaking scared! We finally make it back out into the stairwell and who should be coming up the stairs towards us, yep, the zombie from earlier. As we continue running up the stairs he makes a grab for Beth’s ankle and she screams. I’m worried she’s not going to last much longer. At the top of the stairs is a female R.P.D. officer, a medic, who tells us to quickly get inside the door. We run in, our hearts beating so loud it’s deafening. We’re met with this…..
The Safe House!! WE MADE IT!!!
We then have to stand in a line while she checks us over. We have to show we have no bites, no scratches and no signs of infection. She gives us all a test-tube containing a thick red liquid to consume – the antidote. The 4 of us cheers each other and then down the hatch it goes. It’s an odd tasting medicine, slightly spicy which leaves a strong after taste but I was happy to have survived despite the fact I was actually still shaking from fear!
First stop inside the safe house was the bar, but of course, it would be rude not to and I was in dire need of a cocktail.
I’ll take an Arklay County Boilo and an Alabama Slammer thanks very much!
The Safe House (or Safe Room to be precise) was laid out exactly like the main hall in the R.P.D. in the game. They had army medical beds to sit on, storage boxes for tables and random pieces of art (oil paintings) all over the place.
These metal R.P.D. signs were awesome, I wish I’d asked for one!
I even met Claire Redfield
my future sister-in-law
The lovely lady dressed as Claire Redfield (and totally rocking the part) is Kat and she is Capcom’s Community Manager. Don’t worry, I already told her (actually about 3 times) that she had the best job in the world. Anyway, she was laden with Resident Evil goodies, giving out freebies to anyone who asked. Beth and I got totally amazing Umbrella Corporation Varsity jackets which are cool as fcuk. Kat was adorable though, I really enjoyed talking to her and by the end of the evening I think I must have given her at least 4 hugs! LOL!
Another lovely lady, whose name I didn’t catch, was taking photos of us all for the Survivor’s Wall.
WE SURVIVED! (and check out our awesome new jackets).
The Survivor’s Wall (that’s us, bottom row, 2nd from right).
After a few cocktails we decided to brave the bathroom. Now this may seem like a simple task to you but it involved going down 4 flights of stairs, at the rear of where the experience was taking place so the the risk of bumping into a zombie was actually pretty high. Funny thing was, there was an R.P.D. officer actually guarding the door near to the toilets and he was in full on character mode. I don’t know where Capcom got the actors from for this whole event but goddamn, they were absolutely brilliant.
Also, another scary thing about the toilets, they were unisex. So imagine a ladies bathroom smelling like the men’s urinals. Yep! We did wonder if there would be any jumpscares to deal with inside the bathroom but turns out it was relatively safe. The walls inside were also covered in the “MISSING” posters.
We also happened to bump into the very first R.P.D. officer we met (from outside) inside the bathroom and chatted to him for a bit. He showed us his rubber stampings! Oo-er 😉 All innocent though, he had a rubber stamping of the R.P.D. logo on his hand and of course I immediately wanted some of that. So off we went and followed him back to the Safe Room where we could rubber stamp our little hearts out.
How freaking cool is that? Makes me want to get a tattoo!
Speaking of tattoos, one of the Officer’s noticed my Umbrella Corporation tattoo, although he said he would give me the benefit of the doubt and trust me! He had nothing to fear, everyone knows I ditched their evil ways and joined the B.S.A.A. 😉
Candy has had 5 cocktails (or was it 6). Can you tell?
It was so nice to be able to sit in a room with people who had the same geek level as you. I met some really lovely people and had some great conversations and in all honesty, I could have stayed there all night. I was on an adrenaline high and in actual fact was desperate to do the whole experience all over again. Unfortunately, we had a train to catch so there was only one thing left to do.
I bought 4 bottles of ale and 4 antidotes, that should keep the T-Virus at bay. Unfortuately though, when we went to leave, one of the organisers wouldn’t let me leave with the full test-tubes due to health and safety reasons. I basically had a choice of emptying them out or downing them all. Of course I chose the latter 😉 Although, I will admit I was a little bit sneaky and covered the bottom of the vials with my hand so I could leave some of the liquid in there. No way was Bret getting out of trying it!
And that was our Resident Evil 2 Safe House Experience. I have to say, I had one of the best times of my life! Seriously, I absolutely loved it. I actually couldn’t sleep that night because I was still excited, replaying the event over and over in my head. It was just the best fun.
Thank you so much Capcom (and also to M&C Saatchi) for putting on such a wonderful event. The actors you selected were Top Class
and can I please have more details on who played that handsome R.P.D. officer. The event staff were all so friendly and welcoming. Thank you to Kat for just being awesome and having the best job in the world. Last but not least, thank you to Beth for coming with me and I’m so sorry you cried. I’m still getting the t-shirt made though “I was scared but she cried” 😉
I found a video online of the actual experience from Game (lucky buggers were allowed to record their slot) but it’s a great video and really does show you how awesome the event was. Plus I also get to check out the hot R.P.D. dude over and over and over again 🙂