EDIT: Already posted the trailer in this other thread, but no harm in sticking it in here too just for the sake of a Resident Evil 2 remake is actually happening?!?
WE DO IT?? WE DO IT! Fucking Hell is this surreal... they're actually going through with it. Literally nothing to go on as of yet besides that it exists... but it exists. And they didn't even formally announce it at a tradeshow or anything? Really bizarre for how Capcom have been handling things lately.
Well by Golly here's a first! Me doing a Resident Evil blog?? A Resident Evil 2 blog no less! Why I've only already done one of those... which isn't quite enough to nail the joke of me continually writing specifically about RE2, but you get the idea. Though yes, I did fairly recently write up a blog related to the concept of remaking Resident Evil 2, and have also linked to it on innumerable occasions in the past. I've linked to it like five times just in this blog alone.... Six now.
However said blog was primarily related to the whys and ifs and the butts about the concept of remaking RE2. I did list a short flurry of ideas pertaining to how I'd like to see RE2 remade, though I didn't get into as much detail as I'd like.
For reference, I'll copy/paste my original ideas over yonder.
Also, if you can, try your best to read it with every last word of each sentence echoing... you know, to add to the idea that you're reading something from the past.
Remaking Resident Evil 2 - The Yummylee Way!
Anyone who knows me shouldn't be too surprised to learn that I'm of the ilk that would most love to see Resident Evil 2 rendered with the same design philosophies as its original release. I'd want it to play with all of the hallmarks of yesteryear, with the notorious mix of camera angles and tank controls. Though that's not to say there couldn't still exist an alternative analogue control scheme like in this REcent REmastering of the REmake... I'M SO VERY SORRY OH LORD SAVE ME.
Hell, they could perhaps even include the option to move and shoot, allowing you to slowly pace backwards or forwards. While your inability to simultaneously move and shoot was pretty key to the third-person shooter design of Resident Evil 4 & 5, allowing you the courtesy for the older games wouldn't alter them too drastically I feel. Just so long as the pace of which you can move while shooting is at walking speed of course. No running 'n' gunning with a FAMAS ala Metal Gear Solid for example. They had already implemented moving & shooting within the classic design in Resident Evil: Outbreak File 2 before hand. In fact they even allowed analogue control, too!
I would also expect a few twists here and there within the gameplay much like how the remake introduced self-defence items. Crimson Heads would certainly have to carry over in particular. Further expanding on the Scenarios system, by most importantly featuring many more decisions that will reflect in the alternate B scenario, would be a must as well.
The tone of the story would still be within the realm of... well, I don't want to see Leon defying the laws of everything like during that laser hall scene in Resident Evil 4. I also wouldn't want them to take themselves too seriously, however. The extreme melodrama of RE6 could get to be a little nauseous, although while the story was needlessly convoluted, the original Revelations managed to recapture the silly spark of the older games with its goofy dialogue and seemingly intentionally strange line readings.
Though when it comes down to it, that Capcom would be willing to remake Resident Evil 2 under these guidelines seems highly unlikely unfortunately.
Survival Horror Shooter-Vania
The other primary alternative is of course with the over-the-shoulder set up and having it function more as a straight shooter. However that too isn't completely without appeal in my eyes. When we consider the recent influx of shooters such as The Last of Us and The Evil Within, and maybe even Alien: Isolation to a certain extent, the 'survival horror shooter' is starting to form into a sub-genre of its own. Capcom have already been taking some obvious cues from The Last of Us with how they're steering the direction for Revelations 2. That could then perhaps work as the blueprint for this hypothetical actioned-up remake of Resident Evil 2.
However they would have to keep the exploration aspect intact. The RPD station in particular would still have to allow you to explore (mostly) at your leisure. Though to account for the higher action-focus, the open nature of the game could then lead into what would basically be a MetroidVania style of shooter. You would not only be acquiring the necessary key items to move on but also upgrades, hidden away behind all sorts of optional puzzle rooms or boss battles or what have you maybe, and they could even add a bit of randomisation to it. Not only with what sort of loot you'd find, but enemy placements, too. That would further strengthen the survival element of this 'survival horror shooter' by way of it forcing the all important aspect of improvisation into the design.
There's also the question of cooperative gameplay. Under my rule, the story would primarily stay single player. However funnily enough what I think would be interesting is if they took a cue from Resident Evil 6. Specifically the cross-campaigns connection. With the Scenarios system still intact, they could then have Leon & Claire occasionally meet up with one another, only the alternate character could potentially be another player who is playing the alternate Scenario. In the original game they never actually fought together, but for the sake of this hypothetical remake idea's higher focus on action, having them working together to best a boss or survive a noticeably tough encounter would fit in without cooperative gameplay being too overbearing.
The randomisation element would ideally promote the concept of replay value, and not to mention the typical suite of unlockables one would expect from a Capcom game, so there'd hopefully be enough people playing to successfully allow such a specific matchup.
Playing It Safe
What is the most likely route for Capcom would be what they're doing with the Remastering of the original remake. No, not the remake itself, but the remastering of the remake specifically. So while they wouldn't go to the extent of creating all these new assets and so on, they'd at least be willing to layer on a shiny new coat, while maybe adding in some additional mechanics similarly to the many upgrades Resident Evil: Deadly Silence saw. Y'know, stuff like the 180 degree turn - finally!
Like many of Capcom's games, Resident Evil 2 has seen a lot of porting throughout its time. Many of which include their own additions both big and small. Some like the N64 version featured a mode that would rearrange all of the item placements just like the Advanced mode in Resident Evil: Director's Cut, alongside some new costumes to wear and files to read. Its PC version has itself its own exclusive Hard mode setting at that, and every version from the Dualshock PS1 version (meaning not the very original) has the Extreme Battle minigame, which sort of functions as a very early prototype to the recurring Mercenaries minigame. Sort of...
In any case, if this Ultimate Edition of Resident Evil 2 could compile all of Resident Evil 2's content into one accessible package, alongside all of the other aforementioned bells & whistles, then I know I at least would be content. (pun...)
So, ya get all that? No...? Well to shit with it then I'm going on without you!
And comon, how come nobody praised me for that superb caption for the Richter image?? Like, really! #TootinOnesHorn
Remaking Resident Evil 2 - The Yummylee Way 2.0!
Overview & Controls
Now this'll primarily be operating under the assumption that RE2 is being remade within the confines of the classic survival horror REs. So, camera angles and tank controls and all of that sweet, heavily divisive yogurt. Though much like I mentioned in my original copy/pasted post, that's not to say that RE2 must control with the exact same limitations as it always has - far from it in fact. For starters, there should absolutely be an alternate control option that utilises a more modern, analogue control scheme as seen in the remake remastering and the eventual release of RE0's similarly remastered state. I myself would once again continue to ignore such a control method, but for the sake of appealing to a wider audience (without sacrificing the 'niche' aspects of the games), it really wouldn't hurt to have it in there.
Though even amongst the latter classic entries of Resident Evil are there a number of refinements that could be implemented from later games within the old school survival horror philosophy. Like, say, the 180 degree turn! This was first introduced in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, to which despite being such a simple mechanic managed to greatly improve upon your available maneuverability. It gave you a better method for escaping danger and simply made it easier to move around. Next is actually allowing you to move and shoot. As said before, being perched to the spot made sense for RE4 and RE5, for they're a pair of distinctively methodical and generally slow-paced shooters that were designed around such a restriction. Giving you the ability to move & shoot thusly turns the games into, well, Revelations 2. That's not meant to be a swipe at Rev 2 either, but regardless of your opinions towards it (which mostly seem to be lukewarm from my observations) it's undoubtedly a faster and more traditional style of shooter because of its increased player maneuverability.
For the classic games, letting you move & shoot wouldn't really mess with the formula all that drastically, so long as they keep the moving part of this new spangled moving & shooting equation to walking speed. If anything they could also maybe use this to implement one such character ability from the Outbreak series. Two of the eight characters, being Kevin Ryman (AKA STARS wannabe and Tom Cruise lookalike) and Alyssa Ashcroft (AKA hard-nosed reporter lady, mistress of unlocking, and Nicole Kidman doppelganger) can better line up their shots when stood still while aiming a handgun. In the original Outbreak you couldn't move & shoot, but in the sequel you could, thereby introducing the idea of players taking the risk of staying on the spot to better line up their shots for higher damage output. It's the sort of thing that would work well in a new classic RE game, to then simultaneously allow you to (slowly) move & shoot while also introducing an incentive to keep your feet perched to the ground all the same.
Further hypothetical gameplay refinements include letting you reload mid-game as opposed to either running out of ammo in your weapon, forcing you to reload, or instead prematurely reloading in the inventory menu. It's a small improvement, but all of those saved seconds from going into the inventory could count for just enough to matter. One of the most innovative additions that the DS sort-of-remake Resident Evil saw was how they retooled your knife. Basically they made it so it functioned exactly as it did in Resident Evil 4. Rather than merely being dumped in the item box to be forgotten amidst a choir of ink ribbons, the knife being made into a permanent fixture of your character helped give it some actual purpose - that is beyond knife-only speedruns for the
crazies more dedicated players than I. It still wouldn't be especially effective--though being able to move &... swipe may change that--but simply knowing that you have it available at all times is a comforting thought. Because of how unreliable it generally is, least without a lot of practise and even more determination, it always felt like carrying it with you was a waste of an inventory slot; a slot that would be better served with more ammo or a healing supply. Honestly I think it was a real disappointment that they never continued this idea for the remake remastering.
Another such improvement that was also sorely missing and could do with its belated introduction via RE2 remake: ''small key'' stacking! A recurring item in the series, perhaps most recognisable for Chris Redfield playthroughs from the original. Rather than having some fancy Master of Unlocking degree hanging from their wall, small keys had to be collected by certain characters instead to rummage the insides of an all manner of drawers and lockers for some additional goodies. However that each of these supposedly small keys took up an entire inventory slot is luuudicrous! So instead, they should stack. Or perhaps you could at least potentially find a key ring item so you can swing them all together as one like a late night security guard.
One of my main problems with Resident Evil 2 is that it's really pretty easy. Part of that is down to my own incessant playing of these games in my youth, resulting in any new playthroughs resembling what is sort of like an auto-pilot mentality. But even besides that RE2 is undoubtedly much more accessible than its forebearers and successors. As such, not only should the difficulty be tweaked, but it should feature a Hard mode. Technically it did in fact for its PC version, though I have unfortunately never laid my hands on said version.
Furthermore--and this too already exists in another, equally obscure port--should they add an ''Arrange Mode''. As the name implies, this would mix up the item placements throughout the game. For a series that (once) hindered on item placement to determine where you need to go, such a tweak really goes a long way in making a key aspect of the game feel surprisingly fresh. That, and it eliminates the idea of a player more easily being able to acquire ammunition & healing supplies for following playthroughs. Or at least one anyway. This sort of design was actually incorporated into Resident Evil 3: Nemesis to a certain extent. It didn't get its own mode, but instead would exist more naturally with a certain degree of randomisation for an all manner of of aspects. This included what weapons you'd find where, and even for when you were to (sometimes) receive an unwelcome surprise from dear Nemesis T. Huxterbald.
It's just a really simple method for giving a game that is otherwise notoriously static an additional dose of life. If they could actually implement the RE3 way of doing things instead, with each playthrough featuring its own degree of randomisation, then that'd be pretty swell, too!
The A & B Scenarios
Now this, this right here is the goldmine. Even after so many sequels and spin-offs, the Scenarios system is still a distinctly Resident Evil 2 feature, and as such just about any sort of RE2 remake simply couldn't go forward without it. And going by the idea that RE2 will be expanded similarly to the original remake, then there's a great deal of promise for where they could take it.
There's a lot of room for improvement, too. The Scenarios system was a great idea in theory, but for all it done right there was just as much that felt a little iffy. Like, while Leon & Claire each travel to different portions of the RPD, they must each still solve a number of the same puzzles, locate the same keys, and so forth. It seems at odds with the idea that both characters are actually exploring throughout this place at the same time. Obviously it requires a fair bit of suspension of disbelief even at its most effective, but the idea that you're to repeat a number of tasks with each character only makes it all the more difficult to keep your disbelief... suspended.
As such, I think it'd be an interesting challenge should they use this as an opportunity to more individually craft Leon and Claire's own separate adventures. The RPD station could be expanded, with whole new areas to wallhug through, much like what the Spencer Mansion was treated to for its 2002 remaking. New areas means there's more room for each character to forge their own path, to give them both enough room to allow them to have their own distinct story.
Plus, there would be a lot more crossover between what you do in one scenario that'll then reflect in the other. In the original RE2 there weren't very many occurrences to where they would connect with one another, where you'd actually get the sense that both Leon & Claire's stories are indeed happening concurrently. It basically boiled down to a locker with a submachine gun & minipack, to which you could either take as one character or leave it for the other, and the handprint scanning device that required both characters handprints to open for the B Scenario character. Since within my imagined reality both Leon & Claire's adventures would take in largely different locations of the station, then whenever they do happen to retread the other's steps, any supplies that were taken as one character should then stay taken. There could also be some RE4 Sideways-esque sort of mingling, too. To where actions as one character may hinder/benefit the other, though of course for your first playthrough you wouldn't realise it at the time.
In short, the scenarios system could really do with some steps taken to help them feel more naturally concurrent, to paint a picture for the player of Leon & Claire actually traversing this enormous Gothic police precinct that's big enough to hold two largely separate, yet also tethered, tales.
Playable Characters - AKA - Resident Evil 2: Nemesis
This may be more of an undertaking than is reasonable... but an idea I had when considering this remake was the possibility of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis also being remade, but as apart of Resident Evil 2. They're both largely similar to begin with, sharing the odd number of assets, and Jill must even briefly explore through a select segment of the RPD. Though while RE3 does still have a lot to help it stand on its own, both RE2 & RE3 are similar enough to where they feel like sibling releases - somewhat akin to the original remake and RE0. So, the idea of actually including Jill's story alongside Leon & Claire would be a really awesome way to compact the entire events of the Raccoon City story, right from the beginning until its destruction. They could also try to come up with a slightly more believable reason for why Jill can only explore certain parts of the station beyond ''somebody boarded up all these doors??''. Since Jill arrives at the station before RE2 even begins, they could simply have all the doors that she isn't meant to access locked, with a pretty singular path that takes her to where she needs to go and collect her lockpick.
Certain mechanics of RE3 I think should stay within RE3, however. The dodge maneuver should continue to only exist in RE3, with the justification that Jill is a more capable and hardened character than Leon/Claire due to her previous experience with the zombies and the tyrants and ects. And also not to mention her being a STARS member at that. Ammo creation would also stay locked within the confines of RE3, as would the live-selection choices. Jill's story would thusly perhaps receive a slightly less dramatic overhaul over RE2, due to it being a comparatively more simple game with only the one character and all. Though again this would also allow the randomisation elements of RE3 to more naturally co-exist in both remakes, too.
This also brings me back to the Scenarios system. If RE3 was to barge itself in to share the limelight with RE2, then that may come at the cost of cutting down one half of the scenarios. It's long been established that Claire A/Leon B is the canon ordering, to which would of course carry over in RE2. Though since the scenarios are to be deviated from one another a fair bit more than what was originally shown, that may then make it more difficult to actually incorporate the non-canon Leon A/Claire B telling.
They kept both Chris and Jill's playthroughs for the original remake, rather than trying to instead settle on a single, canon take that combines elements of both them. But then the differences between Chris & Jill's stories is more minimal in relation to how Leon & Claire's would differ between one another. I think I at least would be fine if they instead 'narrowed' the Scenarios system to the one scenario per character in any case.
They don't need to go too overboard here. There's already a decent selection of nasties for them to throw your way, and under my idea of RE2 & RE3 existing as one game, they could then criss-cross certain enemies between the two. Such as having Hunters in RE2 and Lickers in RE3 just as an example. The ability for zombies to rush into a quick sprint from RE3 would do well to carry over into RE2 at that.
Though what's most important to consider is the inclusion of a Crimson Head equivalent. Crimson Heads in the original remake was a positively genius idea; it made the necessary backtracking much more nerve-wracking, even should you fully well know that you've bested any potential monsters - if not more so because of that, what with Crimson Heads functioning as a faster, meaner revival of a standard, sluggish zombie. They helped to establish a decent sense of progression to the game - as you accumulate bigger weapons and bigger caches of ammunition, it's up to the game to respond in kind by upping the ferocity of the enemies you're to defend yourself against.
However, it's not Crimson Heads themselves that I'd want to see in my remake. Instead, I think it'd be real interesting for them to reintroduce one of the more obscurer enemies - the Regis Licker. It's not actually an enemy type but a boss battle, only seen in the first Outbreak game - and even then only in one of five scenarios. Because Lickers are in actual fact the extended mutation of zombies--to which I imagine Crimson Heads function in the middle somewhere--having zombies slowly transform into Regis Lickers would be an especially creepy way of handling the undead getting even more undeader. Though that wouldn't exclusively have to be the case. I don't know the exact specifics, but I don't think a zombie has to die to undergo the process of becoming a Licker. So, you could then instead simply have zombies that are already in the Regis state, if not slowly becoming one should they be left 'alive', roaming around the station for too long.
In fact saying that, you could have both Crimson Heads and Regis Lickers featured in the game. It'd create a really unsettling risk/risk system to where if you kill a zombie, it may turn into a Crimson Head... but if you leave it alive, it may then instead turn into a Regis Licker. This would work especially well within the Scenarios system, to where enemies killed/left alive as one character may then be encountered in their transformed state as the alternate character.
I AM A BLADDY GENIUS - SOMEONE GIVE ME A GRANT.
Not too much to say in this front, other than like in the remake some boss designs could do with the odd tweak here and there. I'd like to see the giant alligator receive something of an overhaul in particular, due to the fact that if they kept it the same as how it was originally designed, then veteran players already know to just wait for it to wrassle the conveniently placed explosive canister into its mouth first before watching its entire upper half of its head go kablooey.
I'd also love the idea of the Mr X Tyrant becoming an even more nefarious foe. Until he undergoes the requisite Tyrant mutation at the end, he's kind of a pushover. He'll only walk towards you, completely blocking your path forcing you to unload into him, meaning that the game designed him to be beaten pretty easily on the account that it's the only option you have. Plus, the wierdly generous bastard even drops some ammunition upon flopping to the floor. His primary function was to basically serve up a few (well executed) jump scares by way of elbowing his way through the wall like Homer Simpson in that episode when they go to Japan.
Now in my eyes he should most definitely continue the slow, steady walk. It's an iconic pace for horror villains in general, for how they always managed to catch up to you despite rarely ever going beyond the speed of a brisk pace. Though he should be slightly easier to get around - and by slightly easier I mean it should actually be a possibility. The one defining difference here is that he'd be virtually unkillable. You can try to take him down, but the ammo it would require would make it a foolhardy task. He should also of course be able to follow you through rooms - all the while continuing his same, confident walk-with-purpose.
After enough dillydallying he'll eventually give up the chase similar to Nemesis, but he should stay on your trail just long enough to still keep the player ill at ease. Nemesis can run like a damned athlete, therefore keeping you on your toes as you try to escape. The Tyrant however would again continue to walk, making him a much easier stalker to get out of reach of - therefore making it so that his greater persistence of staying on your trail than Nemesis would balance it out some. It wouldn't function to the point where he's literally glued to your ass in every location, it would definitely have to allow you some breathing room in between areas, but again the idea of wondering when he's going to arrive is what would really build up some satisfactory tension.
Since we're going with the idea that RE3 is packed into RE2, Mercenaries also making its return seems par for the course. Though with the inclusion of RE2 stuffs, it could actually feature different stages instead of the single one that takes you from the tram to the warehouse saveroom at the beginning of RE3. It would feature the same core Mercs cast, alongside some new RE2 editions. I think it'd be swell if they also once again had Chris Redfield as an unlockable character like his appearance in RE2's Extreme Battle mode, complete with his higher capabilities allowing him to more steadily handle the recoil of the shotgun in relation to Leon.
The design of the mode would still hold true to how it was originally. A timer ticking down, combo kills, ''hostages'' to save, and so on. It had always proved to be an absolutely superb method for anteing up on the action while still keeping the ammo conservation an extremely important factor of the gameplay. You are actively incentivised to blow apart everything in your wake... but you most certainly can't kill everything, and if you decided early on to start blasting fools left and right, then you may find yourself in dire straits later on where you're facing against enemies you have little left to defend yourself against.
HUNK: The 4th Survivor
Much like Mercenaries, this too could still function pretty well by largely replicating what it originally entailed. Not to the letter of course, but it needn't have anything especially fancy done to it. Though they could perhaps rename it to the 5th Survivor now, on the account that Ada has long since been confirmed to survive the ordeals of RE2 alongside Leon, Claire, and Sherry.
One such improvement I'd like to see is that of random enemy locations, or at least different difficulty settings with each one featuring different placements akin to how it was in Extreme Battle. Never Not Randomising is undoubtedly one of the key themes here.
...For reals, there's just no way they could pass this up. It's perhaps one of the most ridiculously iconic features of RE2, one that has never been replicated in any other Resident Evil game since. Though I would like if they were to give it a little more attention to allow it to move on from simply being the HUNK mode, only you're now a sentient lump of bean curd. Really go the extra mile in making this mode to just exude utter lunacy.
The story of RE2 is some wonderfully melodramatic flair and doesn't actually need to be altered all too much. It has enough going on in there--with Brian Irons, the Birkin family, G-Virus, and not to mention the budding frenemy relationship between Leon & Ada--that the story could largely stay as is really. It's a fun tale that's probably one of Resident Evil's most engaging.
Naturally there'd be a new script and voice acting, and if Revelations 2 is anything to go by then hopefully the dialogue will actually rise to a quality where it'll sound a little more natural. Most people associate voice acting in Resident Evil with the original, though the improvements seen in RE2 were pretty significant. It's not great of course, but it's not nearly as impossibly awful as what the original saw. So, for them to try and redo it all, but with a much better localisation team I'd have to guess, wouldn't necessarily take away from the ham and melodrama that permeated so much of RE2's original work.
I think what is really important is the tone. Whenever RE2 is looked back on in other games, such as Darkside Chronicles in particular, it's usually with Leon & Claire carrying the same bravado and over-confidence that they'd see in later games - complete with all of their skills ninjutsu already honed as well . Though while it makes sense in later games, on the account that a BOW outbreak occurs seemingly every day just before brunch, this is their first encounter with the walking dead. That's not to say they should be a pair of shivering wrecks with their mental instability slowly cracking away with each new horrific image they stumble upon, but... no one-liners, not until it really fits like against the mutated Tyrant at the end. Both characters should be depicted as being sure of themselves, for the most part, but with enough vulnerability to recognise that the things that are hounding them are more than capable in tearing the life out of them by their own intestines.
That's not all to say the story would have to be a complete mimic - 1998 Psycho style. Like the original remake, some minor adjustments here and there would be welcome. They would do well in leaving veteran players on their toes, wondering just what else has changed from how they remember, while still keeping the core plot intact. It'd if be nice if Marvin Branagh could perhaps receive a longer lifespan for example, akin to Richard Aiken from the original.
Same all also goes for RE3 if it actually made it in there too. I'd really like to see Mikhail get a little more screen time for starters, and to also actually better implement the idea that Nicholai is as much an Evil Russian archetype as he first hinted at. When Carlos encounters Nicholai in the hospital his true motives are revealed, though Carlos then brings such information to Jill as if Nicholai being this greedy good-for-nothing was already established for both characters. Jill had no reason until then to believe Nicholai was a bad guy; a grumpy bugger perhaps, but someone who seemingly shared the same interests as the rest of the cast.
Also, Michael Mcconnohie would most certainly have to reprise his role as Barry for the ending where he saves the day and scoops up our heroine and her multi-accented ally, Carlos Oliveira.
There you have it anywhoo, my breakdown on a number of aspects of Resident Evil 2 and how I'd like to see them improved, altered, and adjusted for this inevitable Resident Evil 2 Resomething that's undeniably in the works. Though don't get this to mean I actually believe much of what I've written will come to pass; some of it is easier to envision than others, with my idea of RE3 actually inhabiting the RE2 remake as its own 'scenario' being the sort of wishful thinking that'd make my tenor at Capcom pretty brief. But for the sake of dreaming big and taking an equally big munch out of that pie in the sky, I went all out in what I'd like to see RE2 remastered into, while also trying my best to keep it all within a realm of possibility. Though whether that realm is the same one we exist in is the question that will hopefully be answered in due time.