5 Reasons to Be Excited for the ‘Resident Evil 2′ Remake
It’s official: Capcom has announced it will soon get to work on a remake of the PlayStation game Resident Evil 2, which originally launched in 1998. This comes as little surprise, as the company said during a recent financial briefing that it would put a greater focus on remastering classic games.
Earlier this year, the company found great success by releasing a remastered version of the first game in the series. A sequel was all but guaranteed.
The big question is what the Resident Evil 2 remake will be like. Unlike the original Resident Evil, the sequel has never been remade before, which means Capcom could go any number of directions with it. There are plenty of reason for fans to be optimistic about the remake. Here are five of them.
1. Many people haven’t played it
Unlike the original Resident Evil, which has been remastered and re-released several times over the years on numerous systems, Resident Evil 2 is only available in its original PSOne form. Capcom put the game on Sony’s digital store in 2009, so you can buy it and play it on a PSP, PS Vita, or PlayStation 3 right now.
But playing such a dated game doesn’t appeal to most gamers who didn’t play it when it was originally available. Giving it a from-the-ground-up remake will let Capcom tweak it so it looks and plays better for modern gamers.
2. They can fix the parts that haven’t aged well
The late ’90s was a period of somewhat painful transition in the video game world. Thanks to powerful new hardware like the original PlayStation, games were able to let players experience three-dimensional worlds, as opposed to the two-dimensional environments that populated most games in the earlier console generations.
The problem was that developers hadn’t quite figured out an ideal way to let players control the characters in these newfangled worlds. In fact, PlayStation controllers didn’t even have analog sticks yet — they were just made up of buttons and a D-pad.
By the time Resident Evil 2 came out, the best solution Capcom had found was to implement “tank controls,” which means pressing up always moved your character forward, no matter which way they were facing. Which might have been fine, but since the game switches camera angles constantly, it’s easy to get disoriented and run into a blood-thirsty zombie. Other issues people had with it included a clunky inventory and save points that were too infrequent.
We don’t know how drastically Capcom will change the game for the remake, but it will give the developers a chance to rethink the game’s design to make it more playable.
3. The story is really good
Video game stories from that time aren’t exactly known for their literary value, but Resident Evil 2 does tell a ripping yarn. The game takes place in the zombie-infested Raccoon City and centers around two characters. One is Leon Kennedy, a rookie cop who’s having a very bad first day on the job. The other is Clair Redfield, a college student who’s trying to find her brother Chris, one of the stars of the original Resident Evil. Leon and Claire meet at the start of the game and work together to get the hell out of Dodge.
As they do, they join up with a colorful cast of characters and learn about who’s responsible for the zombie virus outbreak. It’s a strong, cinematic story with lots of plot twists and unexpected betrayals. If Capcom can make the gameplay more accessible to modern gamers, anyone who hasn’t played the game before is in for a treat.
4. Resident Evil HD Remaster was great
Another reason to be excited about this remake is that Capcom proved they their skills with the release of Resident Evil HD Remaster on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. That game kept all that was good about the original title and spruced up just about everything else. In short, it honored the original game and its fans, but made smart choices on what to change. If Capcom gives the same treatment to Resident Evil 2 with this remake, we should feel confident we’re in good hands.
5. The series needs another hit
Resident Evil defined the survival horror genre for years, thanks to its high bar of quality between the first four main installments. But some of the recent entries have dipped in quality.
Resident Evil 4, which came out in 2005, is widely considered one of the best games of all time. Resident Evil 5 launched in 2009 to positive reviews, but it’s not nearly as memorable as its predecessor. The sixth installment didn’t thrill much of anyone when it came out in 2012, and is probably best forgotten about.
With this year’s Resident Evil HD Remaster, Capcom may have gotten back on the right track. If the developer can bring the same smart choices to its approach to remaking Resident Evil 2, we’re in for a hell of a ride.