Written by FauxLeisha
I love the Resident Evil series, and I’m happy to have seen two of my favorite entries in that series – Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis – be remade for modern consoles in the last few years. However, upon hearing rumors that Resident Evil 4 may also be getting a remake, I wanted to yell “Hold It!” Ace Attorney style. Personally, I don’t feel Resident Evil 4 needs a remake, seeing how it’s had so many re-releases and updates, its already had the chance to live up to its potential. Plus, it’s a game that’s so ridiculous and full of so many radically different ideas that it should not be good in the first place. (If you want a good explanation as to why I’d say that, watch Stop Skeletons From Fighting’s Video “Resident Evil 4 Re:Certified Classic”) There are many other entries in the Resident Evil series that I feel need another step at the plate more so than 4, whether it be to get a fresh coat of paint, or to live up to being everything they could be. Here are the Resident Evil games that I feel could benefit from a remake much more than Resident Evil 4, and why I feel that way about them:
Resident Evil Code: Veronica
Ok, this one is pretty obvious: if you look on social media you’ll see a lot of people want a remake of Code: Veronica. After all, it’s next game chronologically after Resident Evil 3, which just got the remake treatment earlier this year. It’s also been a fan favorite for years due to its story and presentation. Although, I think the reasons to remake it go deeper than that. For a lot of players, myself included, Resident Evil 3’s controls and added mechanics set a new standard for Resident Evil in terms of gameplay, so when we made the jump to Code: Veronica and saw that it played like the Resident Evil games of yesteryear, it was a disappointment gameplay-wise. All Code: Veronica really did to push the series forward was add more to the Resident Evil lore and improve the graphical presentation, and neither of those elements hold up well enough to make up for the lack of improvements in gameplay.
With a remake in the style of Resident Evil 4, Code: Veronica could finally be a game that brings us the lore and graphical style we love from Resident Evil while not being held-back by outdated gameplay. It could also be a chance to rewrite certain aspects of the story, such as making Steve a lot less of a creeper (Seriously, I can’t stand the things he tries to do in this game. They would not fly today and should not have been there in the first place anyways). Continue the saga and make a game that felt dated even in its day play better, why not?
Resident Evil Ø
Resident Evil Ø is a perfect example of a game that botches the dismount, so to speak. It has some cool ideas on paper, but in execution didn’t make for a particularly fun game. For those that don’t remember, Ø’s main selling point, aside from being a prequel, was playing as two characters simultaneously, one controlled by the CPU. What should have a been a different take on the classic Resident Evil formula ended up being a clunky and frustrating mess, mostly thanks to the CPU controlled second character. The CPU controlled character was not good at defending themselves in combat, didn’t defend themselves at all when the characters had to split up, and more often than not the only useful things they did were hold items and stand on switches for puzzles.
A remake of Ø could be a chance to make this idea of controlling two characters work better. It probably wouldn’t take much more than improving partner AI, but why stop there? Why not make it a game where both players are controlled at the same time with controller inputs, a la From Software’s Adventures of Cookie and Cream? Having complete control over two characters simultaneously could ratchet up the tension during enemy encounters, and lead to more unique and interesting puzzles. You could also go the Resident Evil 5 route and make it a 2-player co-op game. Some would say that the game wouldn’t be scary that way, but let’s be real, Ø was always more frustrating than scary. And who knows? With the right enemy and level design, you could find a way to have a 2-player game effectively bring the fear factor.
Resident Evil Survivor
I’m sure most of you reading this are probably saying “Why the (bleep!) would we want a remake of Resident Evil Survivor?!” I can understand why people would say that, Survivor is a piece of garbage: lack of light gun support despite being designed to use one (at least in the U.S.), slowdown during encounters with only a few enemies, a limited number of continues and no save options, and the campaign is so short you can complete it in an hour. In spite of all that, I find myself playing Survivor every now and again, partially because I like the challenge of beating it in one sitting, but more so because for a while it was the only Resident Evil played entirely in a first person view, giving a different look at Resident Evil’s environments, puzzles, and monsters.
Thanks to Resident Evil VII, we now have a competent Resident Evil game that plays entirely in first person. The one thing that disappointed me about VII, as great as it is, is that it doesn’t feature any of the monsters we know and love from classic Resident Evil. A Survivor remake in RE VII’s style would allow us to fight Hunters, Lickers, giant Spiders, amongst others with nothing but our hand holding a weapon in our view. How awesome would that be?
Of course, due to Survivor’s reputation, a remake of it would not be likely to happen. And besides, if you want to want to fight off old school Resident Evil monsters in first person, there’s always the first person mode in Code: Veronica. But I think a remake of Survivor is an idea that is at least worth contemplating.
Alright, I’m cheating a little bit seeing how this game is a spin-off, but I feel that more than any other Resident Evil game Dino Crisis would benefit from a remake. Like Resident Evil Ø, this is a game with a lot of good ideas on paper, but in execution didn’t work out well. It brought some welcome changes to the Resident Evil formula, such as having unlimited slots for key items in your inventory, and saving being done whenever you left a save room (no need for ink ribbons). The dinosaurs also brought some new ideas to the table, such as tracking you if you’re bleeding or repopulating rooms you had cleared. However, those changes to the Resident Evil formula eliminated a lot of tension during enemy encounters, as you could hold almost all the firepower you want without having to worry about having key items on you to progress. In addition, fighting dinosaurs while armed with a lot of firepower didn’t feel much different than fighting Hunters or Lickers. Dino Crisis at times felt more streamlined than Resident Evil, but the enemy encounters felt like a case of “been there, done that,” that personally always left me feeing empty and unsatisfied any time I’ve beaten it.
As seen with the sequel, Dino Crisis 2, dinosaurs lived up to their potential of being a greater threat than most Resident Evil monsters in a more action-oriented game, with the challenge of things like enemies having specific weak points and dodging attacks. That focus eliminated the fear factor, but it made dinosaurs truly feel like a threat. With a remake in modern Resident Evil style, you can have Dino Crisis incorporate those elements, while still feeling tense by taking place in claustrophobic corridors only lit by emergency lighting, a la Dead Space. You could also take a page from the Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes and have some of the dinosaurs behave like Mr. X or Nemesis, making the dinosaurs truly feel like primal hunters always following you. A remake of Dino Crisis would also allow for fixes in other areas, such the puzzles becoming bigger but not better later on in the game, and the narrative’s pacing taking a dramatic nosedive in the second half. Plus, who wouldn’t want to fight dinosaurs rendered in the RE engine? Sounds wonderfully frightening.
The unfortunate thing about remakes is that they rarely happen to games that really need them. You can probably count on your fingers the number of times a game was remade so that it could live up to potential it had (Castlevania Adventure is the only one that comes to mind personally). Resident Evil 4 being remade over other games in the series is a bit of disappointment. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be good! After all, with a little reworking, it could go from being a mess of ridiculous ideas and set pieces that don’t always blend well to being something more focused. It could also be designed in a way that makes it actually scary, like the Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes. Hopefully, if the Resident Evil 4 remake really is happening, the developers will recognize the problems the original had and improve on them. And even if it isn’t, we can all still let our voices be heard via social media that other games in the series more rightfully deserve another step at the plate.
I’m curious though, what are your thoughts on Resident Evil 4 being remade? Do you think it really needs a remake? Do you agree any of the games I brought up deserve the remake treatment? What games would you like to see Capcom remake for current consoles? Share your thoughts below!
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