The lights are on
Capcom recently teased that it would consider remaking Resident Evil 2 if fan demand is high enough. The Resident Evil remake on GameCube is regarded by fans as possibly the best example of the series’ classic survival horror formula. I know I speak for many fans with this list of things we’d like to see in a potential remake of Leon and Claire’s dire escape from Raccoon City.
Note: This article was first published October 5, 2012 and has since been updated]
[Screenshots are from Resident Evil: Chronicles HD]
Gorgeous “Living Backgrounds”
The Resident Evil remake’s visuals still hold up. That’s saying a lot for a last-gen game that doesn’t support progressive scan. Capcom got the most out of the GameCube by forgoing 3D environments in exchange for highly detailed, rendered “living backgrounds” that were essentially security cam-style stills. Only certain objects like doors and items are interactive, but candles still flicker and moths still sputter around dim lights. If the Resident Evil remake still looks good in standard definition, this style of environmental design could make the game photorealistic. Seeing Raccoon City and the RPD station in such fidelity would not only make fans ecstatic, it might be enough to make the experience terrifying again.
REmake HD-style Controls
Since Resident Evil 4, each game in the series has given players more freedom of movement and the ability to devastate enemies. The post-RE 4 games are a blast, but a large part of why the early titles were scary is because of the limiting control scheme. Retaining the tank-style controls would preserve the core Resident Evil 2 experience while still facilitating the classic, creepy fixed camera angles. I suggest also adding in the slick new control options from RE remake HD and putting it in this game so fans have multiple options as well. This would enable players to use the quick, 180-degree turn, fend off attacking zombies with defensive weapons like daggers and tasers, and include aim-assist. The only changes I suggest are a reload button and a ring for all those loose keys.
Toy With Our Expectations
Early in the original PlayStation Resident Evil, a zombie dog infamously jumps through a window. In the remake, the glass of the same window merely cracks, and the dog busts through under different circumstances. The remake tinkers with the expectations formed from the original game in devious ways, and we want more of that in a RE 2 remake. The remake also added rooms to the mansion and changed the puzzles so they’d be like new to series vets. We’d love to see Capcom add more Raccoon City alleyways or an entire wing of the RPD station to an RE 2 remake.
Expand the Story
The GameCube remake polished up the original RE’s story-expanding diaries and files to better fit into the overall universe. The game even added an entire story thread about a little girl that was experimented on in the facility beneath the mansion and grew up to be a terrible monster. The integration of the resurrected “crimson head” zombies was also brilliant, and we’d love to see them in RE 2 as well. If Capcom can do it well, we’d accept some new story content with open arms. This is also a good opportunity to flesh out the origin of Leon and Ada’s complicated relationship that comes to a head in Resident Evil 6. We’d also like to see more interactions between Sherry and Claire. Sherry reveals how important Claire is to her in RE 6, and it’d be great to see that realized more fully.
Retain the Core
I used to think that a Resident Evil 2 remake would be great with Resident Evil 4-style gameplay. Since then, I’ve come to realize that we need to embrace what made those classic horror games unique. A remake should keep the soul of the game intact. There should still be four interwoven campaigns (Leon A, B, and Claire A, B), and the majority of the game should take place in the RPD, sewers, and Umbrella facility. Ink ribbons should still be required to save. Weapons should still be upgradeable. Don't remove what made the game great to begin with.
What else do you want to see from a Resident Evil 2 remake? Should it be remade in the first place? Do you really think it will happen?
Be sure to sign this petition for the game's creation and checkout a Facebook group of folks eager to play it.