RESIDENT EVIL 2 REMAKE: Things We Want to See

FrontCover_finalIt should come as no surprise to learn that, just like as with movies, I am also a whore for video games. Action games. Horror games. Puzzle games. Those little point-and-click thingies. Pretty much all games, really. And of all these video games, none have captivated me more than Capcom’s survival-horror juggernaut series, Resident Evil.

Unlike perhaps a lot of you reading this, I still remember playing Resident Evil 2 back when it first released on the original Playstation. I was twelve at the time. My older brother and I tricked our parents into renting it for us from Blockbuster, not sure what to expect, only to be quickly blown away by just how freaking terrifying the game was.

And for little twelve-year-old me, it was terrifying.

Zombies. B.O.Ws. Sinister corporations. All those fucking zombie dogs.

Not since I was a baby had I ever had so much shit in my pants at one time. It was glorious.

But as time went on, the series changed, abandoning its survival-horror roots in pursuit of a more COD-based audience. No longer was I shitting in my pants out of fear. Instead my pants were filled with the cold, phantom diarrhea of confusion and frustration; how could this have happened? Why was it Capcom seemed so intent on whoring to death one of their most beloved franchises?

Okay, okay, so we all know why: money. And, really, you can’t blame them. They are a business, after all (if you need me to explain to you why catering to the Call of Duty audience would bring in more money, please show yourself out immediately).

But that didn’t stop the pain, the UTI-sting of despair that comes from being forced to watch one of your favourite video game series being dragged kicking and screaming over the hot, blistering coals that is the unrelenting Corporate Machine.

And then, out of nowhere, something peculiar happened…

After years of ignoring the cries of fans, Capcom finally listened.

Which brings us, ladies and gentlefolk, to Capcom’s recently announced Resident Evil 2 REmake.

To say I am cautiously optimistic at this point is an understatement. After the convoluted abortion that was Resident Evil 6, the possibility that Capcom could go ahead and fuck up what is arguably one of the best games ever made is a very real fear.

But the truth of the matter is that there are actually a few, very simple ways to ensure Resident Evil 2’s success.

Which are…

  • KEEP PRE-RENDERED BACKGROUNDS

A controversial opinion, yes, but the fact of the matter is that if you want to capture the feel of the original Resident Evil 2, you’re going to want to keep it as visually similar as possible. A lot of what most modern Resident Evil games have lacked (at least in my opinion) is an interesting, dynamic environment to explore. Whilst Resident Evil 6 admittedly took you all over the damn place, the original games put you in environments that felt actually lived in–an irrefutable necessity when it comes to immersion.

Basically: don’t fix what isn’t broken.

  • NO MORE GODDAMN CO-OP

Nothing kills a sense of peril like a well-armed companion constantly covering your six. For action games, sure, co-op is the balls–and, hell, it’s fun. No denying that.

Survival-horror games, though? Not so much.

Leave the co-op for games that actually need it.

  • LOSE OVER-THE-SHOULDER

Okay, so this probably fits in with the whole “pre-rendered background” point I made earlier, but if we really want to capture the feel of the original Resident Evil 2, we’re going to need to lose the over-the-shoulder mechanic. Bring back tank controls–or, even better, give us a changeable control system, similar to what was implemented in the HD REmake.

Yes, a lot of folks are going to be upset about this. But the fact of the matter is, if you can’t master something as simple as freaking tank controls, you have no business playing video games…

  • EXPAND THE NARRATIVE

REmake showed us that it is possible to capture the essence of a game, whilst simultaneously expanding upon it without compromising all the greatness that was already there. The whole Lisa Trevor subplot was a terrific addition to the game (and series in general), and elevated what was already an amazing experience to something even better.

Introducing a new subplot to run parallel with the main game, if executed properly, could bring a whole new dynamic to the narrative.

Which brings us to…

  • INCLUDE NEW AREAS

A good way to implement a fresh subplot would be by introducing new areas–similar to what was done in REmake. Perhaps we’ll get to see more of the city this time around, or perhaps we’ll get to see more, previously unseen parts of the police station. The fact of the matter is that there’s a whole city out there still yet to explore, with other survivors no doubt trying to survive, and more stories to be told.

However Capcom would decide to implement this, it’s nonetheless an interesting idea.

  • NO OVERPOWERED WEAPONS/ABUNDANCE OF AMMO

It’s perhaps redundant me saying this, but if you want to maintain a sense of helplessness, you’re going to want to keep those weapons low calibre–at least for the first half of the game. Also, keep the ammo scarce. Resource management was a major factor in the original games, and should be no less a factor here.

Though, granted, it would be great to see that Custom Magnum again…

 

-Rich.

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