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Say what you will about the franchise going too far, but I can’t contain my excitement every time a new Resident Evil is announced and I know I’m not alone. So imagine my excitement when the long-awaited Resident Evil 2 remake was announced. Now I can look forward to a re-telling of one of the most critically acclaimed survival-horror titles ever. I’ll be reunited with my favourite video game heroine, Claire Redfield!
There are a few risks. Capcom could get it wrong and destroy our hopes and dreams, and possibly the video gaming industry and the very world as we know it. Or they could successfully remind us that Resident Evil can be scary and perhaps even relevant again!
It won’t be easy, and fears that this remake will go down the Resident Evil 6 route are prominent. However, Capcom have shown some understanding of what we want by testing the waters with HD remasters of Resident Evil and Resident Evil 0 (with bonus content to keep things fresh), and the Revelations series that combines Resident Evil traditions with the modern Resident Evil gameplay. So ignore Resident Evil 6’s cries of ‘No hope left,’ because there is hope.
Just like everyone else, I have hopes and expectations for the Resident Evil 2 remake. Here they are:
Keep the pacing steady and the tension building!
In my memory Resident Evil 2’s flashiest moments were the opening and ending. But it was the substance between those two scenes (the Jill-sandwich, if you will) that made the game what it was.
Keep Raccoon City’s Police Station as labyrinthine and sprawling as it was, but don’t seal the maze off behind us. Let us explore, get lost, spend hours looking for that key whilst trying to conserve our ammo and avoid the shambling horrors that haunt the hallways.
That’s one of those tension building techniques that Resident Evil has been missing for a while. Scrap the linearity of Resident Evil 6.
Keep those zombies shambling!
You can’t have a steady pace when you’ve got runners on your tail all the time! Combined with more open environments and no real way to hide from the fast enemies, even in Revelations 2 I found no option but to kill everything that crossed my path just so I could concentrate, especially with even menus being in real time.
Back in the day, one zombie didn’t pose much of a threat with them being slow and easy to maneuver around without wasting bullets, but a pack of them could be really intimidating!
Just think what could be done without the need to close off each area with a loading screen anymore – you run through a corridor with just the one easily avoided zombie, only to come back later and find a pack of them you’ve unwittingly lured over through your constant zombie dodging.
That’s how you keep players on edge without sending hordes at them with every encounter.
If at all, used fixed camera angles sparingly!
This is probably my biggest bone to pick with the purists. Fixed cameras aren’t a necessity in Resident Evil like they used to be. Don’t devolve the gameplay for nostalgia’s sake.
After playing through games like Alien Isolation, and indeed Resident Evil 4 (because even this one had its moments!), I don’t believe for a second that survival horror games stopped being scary when they ditched the fixed camera angle.
I can’t see the realism in my character running down a straight corridor into the arms of a slow moving zombie because I didn’t see it just in front of that camera angle change. Also, I can’t think of a better way to pull someone out of an experience than placing them atop a shelf to watch the puppet under their control from a safe distance.
No, Capcom. Put me right in there. When that zombie lunges from around a corner, I want to be turning that corner myself!
Overhaul the weapon and inventory system!
I liked Revelations 2 for its inventory system, with the exception of swapping between characters, as it kept items and weapons separate but with the good old challenge of balancing your key items among ammo and healing items. What I didn’t like was knowing that somewhere in those tiny pockets Claire was hiding a sub-machine gun and a magnum, as well as lugging that shotgun on her back.
Resident Evil has always been mocked for this sort of thing – grenade launchers don’t fit in pockets! I’d happily start out Resident Evil 2’s remake with only being able to carry the one handgun in a holster and a shotgun on a strap. Maybe throw in the option to upgrade the amount of weapons that can be held at a time, like The Last of Us. But always keep them visible, because I don’t believe for a second that you can just slip a shotgun into the pockets on denim hotpants, and I’m pretty sure Claire would agree.
Keep the main game single player!
I don’t think I even need to elaborate. How do we break tension? Have a sidekick that constantly comments on everything and does weird things because of imperfect AI.
I can’t fathom why Revelations 2 was given multiplayer. Moira was a great character. Her own campaign with a play style to reflect her lack of weapons would’ve been great. But instead she accompanied Claire, making sassy comments every step of the way and the tension was killed.
This is a no brainer – do not re-write the scenarios to put Leon and Claire together! Do not constantly have Claire accompanied by Sherry nor Leon by Ada.
Consider a new scenario for Ada.
Okay, so Ada Wong is possibly the last big mystery in the Resident Evil series and we don’t even know if she’s a villain or not.
I’d be delighted to find out a bit more about what went on with her when she wasn’t hanging around Leon, like the Separate Ways campaign in Resident Evil 4. But please, don’t make me pay for it as DLC. And please, on the subject of Ada, keep the high heels to a minimum.
Since Resident Evil 2’s original appearance, Ada’s footwear has been getting wildly inappropriate for the situations that she is supposedly very aware she will be in, even in current re-imaginings of her original Resident Evil 2 appearance!
Flats are perfect for zombie outbreaks.
Expand on The 4th Survivor!
I never actually unlocked this one, so maybe make it a bit easier to obtain. The 4th Survivor is a challenging story mission that allows the player to control another enigmatic character introduced in Resident Evil 2.
Without wanting to spoil too much, this character plays a fairly big role in the background of Resident Evil 2‘s story but his screen time is quite short. Maybe this one could do with a bit more substance in a remake.
Keep the music low-key!
Resident Evil 5 and 6 went for big orchestral scores, and even Revelations 2 went a bit over the top with the soundtrack in places. Remember the subtlety of the soundtrack in Resident Evil Remake? How sometimes it was so subtle it almost wasn’t there, leaving you with the moans of zombies you couldn’t see until you turned a corner, the rumble of thunder outside and the creaking of doors as you made your way through the mansion?
Let’s keep some of the ambiance of that zombie infested police station.
Added bonus for you: here’s a trailer (created by George A. Romero, no less!) for the original game. It has nothing to do with the remake, but check out Claire’s 90s do:
Don’t tell me that wasn’t worth scrolling down for.
So, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for all of that. What do you want out of the Resident Evil 2 remake?