Capcom never finished its first crack at making Resident Evil 2, getting an early version of the game together but then scrapping it. Parts and ideas did make it into the finished RE2, but the project later dubbed 'Resident Evil 1.5' never saw the light of day. However, industrious fans somehow ended up getting hold of the source code and began fixing it up, and have now released an early version.
Like RE2, Leon Kennedy was one of the main characters in 'Resident Evil 1.5', but the other was Elza Walker, later replaced with Claire Redfield to tie back to the first game. Though they were often nearby, the two never actually met in-game. Supposedly, creator Shinji Mikami had intended for this to close the series and ended the game accordingly, but Capcom wanted it to continue.
On one hand, this did get us Resident Evil 4. On the other, well, I'd need both hands and perhaps a bag to carry all the bad Resident Evil games. Either way, RE2 wasn't looking that great so Capcom went back to the drawing board. Check out PlayStation Universe's retrospective for more on the game that never was.
The version released yesterday (via Kotaku) by the mysterious restoration team is in a poor state, rife with bugs. However, an unscrupulous sort had got ahold of the build and was attempting to sell it, prompting the team to release it themselves and scupper his schemes. Poor show, old boy.
The team's representative 'Robert Zork' described this build as "a bit of an unstable mess," saying it's "in no way representative of the current state of missing room implementation, restoration of broken elements, or addition of new content." Work continues.
If you've got a modded original PlayStation still or, you know, a PS emulator, you can download the ISO and give it a whirl. Just don't expect it to work well. Or necessarily be all that fun.
Here's someone's footage of playing as Elza Walker, college student and motorbike racer: