There are many things longtime Resident Evil fans have been yearning for: A return to full-fledged survival horror, the return of certain beloved, long-lost characters, the return of Outbreak and a remake of a certain game in the series. The game I’m referring to is, of course, Resident Evil 2.
Ever since 2002’s REmake of the original game in the series, fans have been desperately anticipating Capcom’s announcement of a full-blown Resident Evil 2 remake. Sure, the game’s story got re-imagined with the release of The Darkside Chronicles originally on the Wii (it’s now available on PlayStation 3 as well), but said rail-shooter didn’t really offer a faithful remake, with changes being made due to both Leon and Claire always being together to reinforce the game’s cooperative focus. Don’t get me started on Operation Raccoon City…
2013 marks Resident Evil 2’s 15th anniversary, and what better way to celebrate the occasion than by releasing the much-demanded remake of the survival horror classic. And I’m here to tell you that it should be released on the 3DS. “More nonsense,” I hear you say! Well, let me explain…
Resident Evil is no stranger to the 3DS. Capcom has already released two entries in the franchise exclusively on the handheld. The Mercenaries 3D was pretty much Capcom getting their feet wet, trying out the new hardware and putting its capabilities to the test, taking the series’ immensely addicting Mercenaries mode and turning it into a stand-alone game. Revelations, on the other hand, was something truly special and now ranks amongst the best games in the series for me (I’m still replaying it!). So what better way for Capcom to continue supporting the platform (and enriching their good relationship with Nintendo) than by releasing a remake of a fan-favorite entry in the series.
I know, I hear your remarks, ” A Resident Evil 2 remake should be full HD and on home consoles!” I agree that it would be amazing to see the game remade with visuals made possible by this generation’s home consoles, with REmake 2 offering a full 3D remake as opposed to the original REmake and its pre-rendered backgrounds (which were still downright beautiful). It would be amazing to see the RPD station faithfully recreated, which has already been done, to an extent, with The Darkside Chronicles, only this time it would be in full HD. We’ll pretend the station doesn’t exist in Operation Raccoon City. And, of course, seeing all the other locales from the game recreated, like the lab and sewers, would also be amazing. But I don’t think this will be the case…
Many people cry foul when entries in their favorite franchises exclusively hit handhelds, especially when they don’t own the system in the first place. That’s perfectly understandable; money doesn’t flow like the lava around Wesker’s burning body. However, I can honestly see REmake 2 landing on the 3DS instead of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Why? Well, for starters, let’s take a look at the series’ current standing on home consoles.
It’s all about co-op. It all started with Resident Evil 5, which, to me, proved to be a superb entry in the series and an incredibly fun co-op experience from beginning to end. Since then, Capcom has really been stressing co-op play for the series when it comes to major home console releases. Even Leon’s scenario in Resident Evil 6, the most traditional and old-school of the three main ones, has a co-op focus. You won’t be alone, you’ll always have a partner tagging along. It’s something fans would’ve never saw coming back during the Raccoon City era. But, hey, evolution, right?
So this begs the question: Would Capcom really decide it would be wise to go backwards? It doesn’t look like Capcom will strip away cooperative play from future Resident Evil projects, especially on home consoles, where the practice has proven to be very successful (despite the cries of fans waiting for a full-time return to horror). Cooperative play is only going to get updated and enhanced as future entries hit on home consoles, especially with Resident Evil.Net launching with Resident Evil 6. That leaves the more traditional single player experiences left for, possibly, the 3DS as Revelations showed us.
Capcom has already expressed interest in developing more Resident Evil games for the 3DS in the future, thanks to the critical reception and success of Revelations. This is a very good thing, especially for fans who prefer a more traditional experience, which was what Revelations mostly offered. What should happen is this: Capcom should continue putting out single-player focused entries on the 3DS in the style of Revelations, leaving the more action-oriented/ co-op focused entries for home consoles. Granted, Revelations also had you being partnered with someone most of the time, but it was all single-player. Let’s face it, it just wouldn’t be financially sound for Capcom to release such a major entry as a Resident Evil 2 remake on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and not have it be co-op, sad to say.
Going back to Revelations, I think its episodic structure would work quite nicely for REmake 2. Resident Evil 2’s dual scenarios, focusing on Leon and Claire, would flow smoothly if told as a singular plot in the same fashion as Revelations’, including smaller, branching storylines for Ada and Sherry to mix things up. I can already see the “Previously on Resident Evil (insert subtitle here)” intro segments in my head, showing classic moments remade. The thing is, Capcom would have to come out and cease the debate surrounding the game’s canon scenarios once and for all, so that both Leon and Claire’s stories could run parallel to each other without the need for any alternate scenarios.
Leon A/ Claire B or Claire A/ Leon B? It’ll be interesting to see which Capcom goes with. I won’t delve too much into that highly debatable topic (I will be in a future rehorror column, though), but, personally, I prefer playing Leon’s A scenario and Claire’s A scenario. Yeah, I know, that’s probably pretty absurd to you, but it’s the way I played the game when I was small and it’s how I replay it to this day. Back on topic, though, the way the story would be handled in REmake 2 is definitely going to be something that leads to a lot of debate between fans; I don’t think there’ll be a way to fully satisfy everyone when it comes to the original game’s scenarios.
One thing’s for sure: the game is going to look stunning for a portable game. Revelations is one of the (if not the most) best-looking games on the platform to this day with perhaps only Super Mario 3D Land coming close. REmake 2 would be no different if it were to land on the handheld, using the same engine. Like I stated towards the beginning of this column, it would be amazing to see Resident Evil 2’s world brought to 3D life, moving away from its original pre-rendered state. And its atmosphere would be nicely complemented by the handheld’s glasses-free 3D features. Heck, Capcom could opt to utilize The Darkside Chronicles’ assets and go from there, but it would be nice if they just make the game from scratch utilizing Revelations’ engine (or an updated one).
Another aspect REmake 2 on 3DS can borrow from Revelations is a strong focus on a heroine. Yeah, Jill wasn’t alone in Revelations, but the entire story was essentially hers. Her segments were the best parts in the game and the most traditional to boot. REmake 2 can follow suit by putting the spotlight heavily on none other than Claire. And come on, it’s been way too long since we’ve had a Claire-centric game, and letting her get the spotlight in a potential REmake 2 could end up making a lot of fans happy. While I love Leon, I think it’s time to show Claire some love, especially since Mr. Kennedy has been all over the place in the series as of late.
Leon’s story will still be complete (whichever scenario Capcom decides to go with), but the whole plot could be told from Claire’s perspective as she tries to look for her brother in Raccoon City. They could then have Leon’s segments be a little more action-oriented (like the ones not starring Jill in Revelations), so perhaps Leon B should be used, where he’s pursued by Mr.X to amp up the tension. If Capcom goes this route, REmake 2 on 3DS would be an awesome way to reintroduce Claire before giving her a potential main numbered sequel to star in. And I know you all remember those rumors about Resident Evil: Downfall for 3DS ,which would star Claire and be bundled with the two CG films, Degeneration and Damnation. For all we know, we’ll still get our Claire-centric 3DS exclusive, in the form of a Resident Evil 2 remake!
REmake 2 would also be good for newer fans, that maybe will get introduced to the series with Resident Evil 6. They’ll probably be left wondering about Ada, Leon and Sherry’s backstories after they beat the game, REmake 2 would answer their questions (as long as they have a 3DS, of course). Hell, we could also get some new plot developments we were never exposed to before, like the inclusion of Lisa Trevor in the original REmake.
What do you guys think? Would you like to see Resident Evil 2 remade for the 3DS? Or would you rather it have co-op possibly tacked on for release on home consoles? Sound off in the comments below! But wait…I have something for you all…