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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Resident Evil 2 Remake — Double the Biohazards!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The only time people want more hazards in their life.

They have finally done it: Thousands upon thousands of people all of a sudden will now have a positive impression of Capcom. Why? 'cause of this:

Capcom has announced that Resident Evil 2 will now have a remake in HIGH-DEFINITION. This is after its original 1998-2000 release times on the PlayStation and Nintendo 64... and then inferior non-HD remakes/ports thereafter.

Yoshiaki Hirabyashi WE DO IT! shirt Resident Evil 2 remake HD
Yoshiaki Hirabyashi is the Phil Spencer of Capcom, down to concealing information on a hidden shirt.

Fans have been begging for Resident Evil 2 to be remade ever since Capcom showed 'em what good remakes could be about with the remake of the first Resident Evil many years ago. Capcom has been making/producing HD versions of their Resident Evil games since; including the original, Resident Evil Zero, and Resident Evil 4. But in the HD-remaking frenzy, apparently Capcom skipped 2 and 3 and people had gotten worried.

...And I think folks are still worried about if Resident Evil 3 will be remade or not. Relax. Remember, all Capcom is really doing nowadays is remastering old games. This isn't really that unexpected, is it?

Resident Evil 2 remake Facebook announcement
Expected things still get a ton of Likes and Shares, though maybe they're enjoying the wasted colour ink.

This is all Capcom is doing for a while, so it makes sense that right after you finish one remaster you move on to the next. That said, Capcom is still in the process of remastering Resident Evil 0, so assuming they're only going to remaster one Resident Evil at a time (and they should if they want to space things out), it'll be some time before this gets out. Or even gets started.

Yoshiaki Hirabyashi H Resident Evil 2 Biohazard remake directly
Is this a Satoru Iwata tribute? Why is he holding his hands together?!

A quick glance at comments suggests two reactions: "When are you going to announce Resident Evil 3 remake?" and "Please don't ruin Resident Evil 2 by making it more of an action game than a survival horror game."

The first reaction we already addressed (and it's classic gamer entitlement and lack of appreciation at work), but the second is interesting. Resident Evil 2 is a survival horror game, but action horror games (within Resident Evil) sell more as they're more mainstream

Sorry, I made a mistake. I said "remaster" multiple times. All indications (which are... solely the screenshots you see above) suggest this is a "remake". But it could be a remaster. We talked about what the difference between them is and it's rather substantial. If it's a remaster, it'll be survival horror. If it's a remake, then who knows. With recently-announced remakes like the Final Fantasy VII remake going out of its way to fundamentally change its turn-based RPG nature, can we really trust Capcom to do the laziest option which is to keep the gameplay systems the same?

And I think if we put it that way, the answer is "yes".

Ludwig advanced Resident Evil 2 protagonist Leon Kennedy twice in the GameFAQs Character Battle IX... out of respect for his protagonist role in Resident Evil 4. Sorry, he's not a survival horror purist, and is in fact too terrified to play that genre. He won't actually play the Resident Evil 2 remake because it's not coming to systems he owns.

It's no coincidence that Ludwig published this article the day after he wrote an article heavily criticising ex-CAPCOM employee Keiji Inafune.


  1. As a survival horror fan, I really hope they go REmake style with this. A Resident Evil 2 remake done in the style of RE4-6 or even Revelations would be a major letdown.

    1. Question: Does Capcom have an actual history of changing genres when they remake something?

    2. I don't think so, but Capcom's latest attempts at appealing to Resident Evil's classic fans make me worry they don't KNOW how to make a good survival horror game anymore. That raises the possibility that anything but a remaster will change because they've just lost touch with the survival horror gameplay style.

      The first game is the only Resident Evil to ever receive a remake, and that was back before the series switched directions.

    3. Well, I think they do know how to do it, they're just choosing not to.

      But there is really no point in embarking on this project if it'd not faithful. After all, they just remastered REmake without changing it and that positive response was what is prompting REmake 2.

      I just really find it hard to believe that Capcom would do the more difficult thing and ruin it when the path of least resistance that everyone wants them to do is essentially remaster the game and add in some extra modes or whatever.

    4. That's possible. There are two schools of thought when it comes to something like RE6 (Leon's scenarios) or Revelations: 1) Capcom is intentionally making action horror and calling it survival horror to try to trick fans of the classic games, or 2) Capcom no longer knows how to make survival horror games and honestly thinks that's it. The second is less deceptive, but more problematic for a game like this.

      So this all hinges on Capcom still knowing how to make a good survival horror game, which you believe they do. The remaster just polished REmake's graphics and added a new control scheme, so they didn't have to change much of anything.

      But what made REmake so great is that it wasn't just RE1 with better graphics. It was a full remake with changes that enhanced the experience and improved upon everything from the original, without losing the core gameplay. (I rambled about this in my blog post on FFVII.)

      So there are three outcomes I can see for RE2make: 1) they don't change anything except the graphics and create a shinier RE2, 2) they do a full remake that changes the gameplay to the point where it isn't survival horror anymore, or 3) they do a full remake that holds true to the original, in true REmake style.

    5. Well, I think we gotta consider this Mikami interview and try to extrapolate what's left at Capcom from it:

      The reason action-horror and RE4 came about is because REmake didn't sell as expected. ...(Pretty typical for a Capcom justification.) Mikami insists that the team still knows how to do survival horror, but they don't because they'd rather focus on "fun". (So I guess they think survival horror games aren't fun, or think the audience thinks that.)

      However, REmake HD, even with this baggage that apparently scarred Capcom, was still true to itself. So it was a project less concerned about selling as much as it can and more about faithfulness/less effort.

      I think, in order, the most likely outcomes: #1, then #3, then #2. What I find least likely is also what's least preferable, so that's good news.

    6. I hope you and Mikami are right. :D

  2. YES!
    I needed an entry that wasn't 6.
    Because, uh, 6 was bullshit.
    I have no idea what took them so long.
    Also, Revelations 2 had a small budget according to official sources.
    Maybe they put aside a large budget to make the RE2 remake?
    Well, does that sound farfetched?

    1. Does it count as an "entry" if it's not a new game?

    2. Oh, uh, right.
      Well, not necessarily.
      You know what I mean.
      ..I feel dumb now.
      I'm gonna hide.

    3. No! Don't hide!
      We thank you for commenting!


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