Resident Evil 2 HD Remake – How should they do it?

The other day I had written a post that outline the reasons why we would never see a ‘Resident Evil 2 HD’ – a fine post with well-reasoned arguments, it all made complete sense to me and I was convinced that there was more chance of seeing Sasquatch as there was this game.

The very next day on their Facebook page Resident Evil posted this (sorry for the formatting, for some reason I cannot embed the status).

Hello Resident Evil fans!
This is Capcom R&D Division 1!

First off, we would like to express our deepest appreciation to all Resident Evil fans, for your passion, enthusiasm and continued support for the Resident Evil brand.

Enthusiasm for a Resident Evil 2 Remake is something we’ve been hearing from you over the years, and has drawn some recent attention in the media.

However, as the team owns the RE brand, we’re not certain how we feel about this approach, and would like to ask your honest and frank opinion about the “Resident Evil 2 Remake” and what the brand identity is supposed to be about?

Now I have no idea how legit this Facebook profile is, but it looks legit! And holy shit, it seems as though Capcom are considering remaking ‘Resident Evil 2’! This is glorious news. And since they’re asking the fans what they want to see I’m gonna tell them, here’s a recipe for my perfect RE2 HD Remake.

1) Leave the fixed perspective alone

As good as it looks, there is something I do not like about the fan remake of RE2, the game has lost something in the transition from fixed camera to 3rd person perspective and I know that these were originally used as a clever coding technique as a workaround for a lack of console power – but there is something inherently unsettling about being dictated to about what you can and cannot see. On the PSOne these were effective, however on the NGC and in the recent HD remaster they were genuinely terrifying!

The power of the fixed camera system cannot be overstated, it is in the DNA of Resident Evil. Perhaps the best use of the camera system is in the NGC version and is the famous “cerberus window jump”:

Capcom knew that we would be expecting the dogs to jump through on our second visit to the corridor, and in a master-stroke of deception, it doesn’t occur until the third passing of the hallway. What makes it so effective is that on your third pass the camera is facing towards you, you cannot see the escape route and as a result the fear is heightened ten-fold. To quote H.P. Lovecraft:

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is the fear of the unknown”

Capcom clearly understood fear and human psychology when Resident Evil was designed and created, the fixed perspective can be traced to our fear of the unknown. I played RE2 (on the VITA) the other day and there were many jumps caused by sounds that came from somewhere I couldn’t see, with ingredient 2 there are many more opportunities for moments like these.

2) Improved Graphics & Sound

Ideally I want the game to use the exact graphical engine present in ‘Resident Evil HD’ for one simple reason, continuity. In playing through the entire series on Stream, there is a jarring discrepancy between the REMake and 2/3; simply put the originals are ugly – this discrepancy also affects the timeline, RE2 & 3 both take place a matter of months after the original yet they look 20 years older (because they are).

A ‘Resident Evil 2’ that has the detail, resolution and character models of the REMake would be one hell of a good-looking game. I long to see Raccoon City Police Department tarted up like the Spencer Mansion was – the lighting effects, a licker that looks truly grotesque and a truly grand Raccoon City is an offer that is too good to refuse.

In 1998 the sound standard in homes was stereo sound, as a result the games of the era have aged in this respect too, the gun shots are weedy, the zombies are muffled and there is a massive discrepancy between game play and FMV sequences (which sound horrendously bad) – add some 5.1 surround sound and updated voice and sound mixing and Bob’s your uncle!

3) New areas to explore with extended lore

The REMake added several new areas to explore with new beasts and a slightly extended lore; ‘Resident Evil 2’ would greatly benefit from the same treatment. In my eyes the one great  weakness of Resident Evil 2 is its unrelenting linearity – I know that the game requires it to tell a tight and cohesive story, but why not expand the game world slightly?

We know that Resident Evil 3 occurs in the same timeline and the same city, why not allow us to explore some of these areas too?

We also know that Rebecca visits a few of the same areas in ‘Resident Evil Zero’ why not put some new lore around, notes or remnants of her being there?

Better yet why not create a whole new area that makes sense within the game world? Much like REMake gaining the gardens and surrounding buildings to the mansion, this would take away a little of the ‘corridor-ish-ness(?)’ of RE2 and make it feel like a (un)living, (un)breathing city.

The lore of RE is almost impenetrable for a new-comer take this opportunity to clearly define the story and the chronology.

4) Allow us to play the series in chronological order

‘Resident Evil 3’ is unique in gaming, it is both a prequel and a sequel to ‘Resident Evil 2’ separated by Jill Valentine passing out just beyond the mid-way point. It is conceivable that Capcom are planning to remake Nemesis after they complete 2, I would love to see an option coded into the games to allow me to play the first part of ‘Resident Evil 3’ then seamlessly switch to 2 and back to 3.

Resident-Evil-3-Nemesis-para-Play-Station

This is an incredibly long shot here, but it would be something truly new in gaming and it would allow us to see the true story of Raccoon City. I understand that this is also a niche request, but I cannot be the only one who wants to see this right?

5) Do not change up the control scheme or up the action-ante

Adding in Option C aside leave the controls as they are in the REMake, they are perfect for creating panic in the gamer and are perfect to make each and every encounter with zombies and the other creatures un-nerving and scary. With the improved graphics and sound this would allow RE2 to truly realise its potential to scare.

Also do not try to up the action-quotient of the game ala RE4/5/6, sure add the Crimson heads and make the other beast behave different (again just like the REMake) and it’ll be perfect.

Whether or not Capcom will do these remains to seen, hell we’re still to see if they’ll even remake this game, but if they could do the first 4 things on this list I’ll be an incredibly happy bunny!

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What things do you want to see in the RE2 Remake (should it happen)?

Use that comment section to let me know!

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One thought on “Resident Evil 2 HD Remake – How should they do it?

  1. I honestly have no idea whether I like the fixed perspective or not. While I think it makes the controls incredibly annoying, I love the fact that it allows developers to – like directors in a movie – toy around with what you see and what you don’t; which is just what a series like RE needs.

    Liked by 1 person

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