Resident Evil was always supposed to include co-op

What would you say is the worst part about new Resident Evil games?  The increasingly convoluted storyline?  The emphasis on action over scares?  The increased focus on multiplayer that eliminates a lot of those scares that we covet oh so much?

Would it surprise you then to know that multiplayer had always been a part of the Resident Evil plan?

Nestled away in an old box in the garage sat a copy of Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine.   A friend of mine pulled it out and dusted it off, showing me a little piece of gaming history.  It was a Pokemon issue, showcasing just how Pokecrazy people were getting over little fighting animals with superpowers.  There was also a preview for The Legend of Zelda: Gaiden (now The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask) and even a few Sega Dreamcast advertisements.

When I found a review of Resident Evil: Nemesis, I absolutely had to read it.  They gave it a good review (rightfully so) but something else caught my attention.  It was a little blurb, an aside to the main story.

Resident Evil One for Two?

Strange but true: Early press releases for the original Resident Evil claimed it would be a two-player game.  So where’d the multiplayer mode go?  “I originally planned to have a ‘partner’ character always act together with a player character,”  RE series producer Shinji Mikami told us.  “The partner’s role was to do various actions and responses to the enemies, traps, and puzzles, but the plan was scrapped due to hardware limitations.”

So there you have it.  I wasn’t exactly connected enough (or old enough) to receive any of these press releases when they were current.  I didn’t get into the series until Resident Evil 2 made its way to the Nintendo 64, anyway.  That was also advertised in the magazine, along with some nightmare-inducing imagery.  However I have little doubt to the magazine’s claims.

It’s almost hard to believe that if the Playstation were a little more powerful, Resident Evil would have been a two-player affair.  That the idea of bringing in a second player for puzzles and attacks is not all that modern at all.

One wonders if the series still would have been as successful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=649675768 Cris Hipolito

    i believe multiplayer or cooperative play was done right with the outbreak series – it didn’t force you co op (offline or online) but you can watch out for each other, or you could still go on with the game even on your own, but the only problem it had was the slow loading times back in the ps2 era, and online connectivity wasn’t as good as today’s. they should definitely bring back outbreak for consoles and handheld

    • Janus

      I remember I was so excited for online multiplayer with Outbreak, but then when I first played it, I got stuck in a locker while everyone else took all the ammo and ran off without me.

      Jerks.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=649675768 Cris Hipolito

        that happened to me as well! lucky for me my character still made it through (mark wilkins). but it took me awhile to finish. then i sticked to playing with friends and it was so much fun when you coordinate well. the loading times got really annoying but it was still fun

  • http://twitter.com/SuccessorOfFate Fernando Silva

    The shift from Survival Horror to Uncharted

    • Nick

      ugh what? did uncharted games’ campaign had co-op? am i missing something? D:

  • Atila Lopez

    Thank God the playstaion 1 WAS not that powerful…

  • Atila Lopez

    Thank god the playstation WASN’T that powerful…

  • Rick

    Capcom always wanted the RE series to have multiplayer, pretty late to only discover that now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Zachary-Hittesdorf/505166369 Zachary Hittesdorf

    Sounds like an idea that made it’s way into RE0 instead.

  • Thomas

    Tank controls, Pre-rendered backgrounds & Camera angels is what that made this game as popular as it is today. Anyone who complains about that should go play theire Modern warfares, Call of dutys, Uncharteds or games like that and leave Resident Evil alone theire was nothing wrong with it to begin with. Old-school RE on new hardware is not only possible but very much proven to be a great combination i refer you to RE REmake & RE 0. We need more games like those end of discussion…….

  • killer89

    When you take a look of the RE1´s PS1 version´s cover, it says “1 or 2 players”. Fun remain from cancelled plan.

  • sas_the_virtuous

    Much as I adore the old RE games, I never stood for those who kept droning on about how Mikami would single-handedly revive the series. I hope this will help shut their annoying mouths for a while.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mason-Johnson/552162957 Mason Johnson

    The series jumped the shark well before co-op came into play. What killed the series was Umbrellas destruction. The series lost a great faceless villain and kind of headed down a mediocre path with Re4 and Re5. (know i’ll get flack for disliking 4) I was one of the few who enjoyed the story and struggle against Umbrella.