Revisiting the past by way of a remaster, remake, or reboot isn’t always a surefire path to success for most franchises. But things have been working out so well for Capcom’s remakes of older Resident Evil titles that the company is going all in on rebuilding other titles from the classic Japanese survival horror series, according to comments recently made by the director of this year’s acclaimed update of Resident Evil 4.
Resident Evil is no stranger to remakes and re-releases of games, and the results have usually been success stories. Back in 2002, Capcom remade the original Resident Evil for the Nintendo GameCube. Earning positive reception, this remake kept the old-school camera perspective and tank controls, and aimed for a pretty thorough 1:1 recreation of the original PlayStation release in 1996. But in 2019, Capcom brought the house down with an outstanding recreation of Resident Evil 2, this time with a new camera perspective, gameplay style, and reinvisioned maps and scenarios. That approach was then carried on to Resident Evil 3 and Resident Evil 4, both of which saw complete, ground-up remakes in the years that followed.
That trend, it seems, is going to continue. Speaking at a PlayStation event, Yasuhiro Anpo, the director of the well-received Resident Evil 4 remake, said that folks should expect more remakes in the style of 2019’s Resident Evil 2.
We’ve released three remakes [Resident Evil 2, 3, and 4] and they all have been received very well. Since it allows a modern audience to play these games, it is something I am happy to do as someone that loves these older games, and we want to continue doing more. What game we will remake in the future is something that we would like to announce in the future, so please look forward to it.”
Depending on who you ask, you might be told that Capcom has pretty much remade all the classic hits in the Resident Evil series and, I dunno, should, like, work on something with dinosaurs. Maybe with a crisis or two thrown in there for fun.
Jokes aside, the series has arguably seen its best moments recreated. What remains now are spinoffs and lesser entries.
Following Resident Evil 4, the next two entries hit a bit of a sour note with fans early on. Arguably that might be a good reason in itself to revisit them and perhaps “get them right” the second time around, but I think some might argue that the problems with those games won’t be so easily fixed. Also, 2009’s Resident Evil 5 and 2012’s Resident Evil 6 came out on more recent hardware, that being the Xbox 360 and PS3.
Recent remakes like The Last of Us Part I have shown that games from that console era can benefit from some prettier visuals and a gameplay tuneup here and there, but even if Resident Evil 5 and 6 had been more universally loved, it still feels a little too soon to see a return to those entries.
This could be a good opportunity, however, for fan-favorite Resident Evil: Code Veronica, originally released on the ill-fated Dreamcast in 2000, to get its turn in the spotlight.
Starring Claire and Chris Redfield on a quest to once again thwart the Umbrella Corporation and put an end to the chaotic outbreak of the T-virus, Code Veronica notably eschewed the pre-rendered backgrounds of its predecessors for a (then) more modern-looking game.
Personally, I’m exhausted by remakes. Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed all three of the recent Resident Evil re-imaginings, but if we continue into 5 and 6, we’d start getting into an era that feels like just yesterday, and I have to imagine that it’d be more creatively interesting for developers to explore new worlds or go back a bit further into gaming’s past to recreate a few gems from earlier eras.
Which Resident Evil game would you like to see remade?
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