It’s Resident Evil 2, Jim, but not as we know it. There are some changes being made around here. Whether that’s a good thing or not remains to be seen.
So, yes, we’ve known for some time that Resident Evil 2 was being remade. Fans had clamored (read: sent petitions and whined on message boards) for this for years, ever since the beautiful GameCube take on the original game was released. Way back in August 2015, the news that the project was in development was revealed to the world.
That’s right. It’s been almost three years since Yoshiaki Hirabayashi (producer of the Resident Evil HD remaster) released that video. And that iconic We Do It! t-shirt. Since then, we haven’t heard much from the game. Those little info-nuggets that have been released spoke of changes from the classic Resident Evil 2, such as the new voice actors.
At E3 2018, we were treated to an actual in-depth look at some gameplay. This was interesting for a number of reasons. It showed off some delightful, cringe-inducing violence, for one thing, with visuals that are more realistic and meaty (in the most horribly literal sense) than anything the series has brought us so far.
Then of, course, there’s the new over-the-shoulder camera angle. It’s clear that this remake is taking the Resident Evil Revelations approach, trying to meld the old and new style of Resident Evil together. Feelings, predictably, are quite mixed about all this. When all’s said and done, though, you’ve got to make some concessions to the modern age. The game was originally released back in 1998, after all.
One such concession, according to Hirabayashi, is going to involve cutting certain content in order to make the campaigns more streamlined. As fans of the original will remember, the game had four different scenarios: Leon A/Claire B and Leon B/Claire A. Speaking to Rely On Horror, Hirabayashi stated that the team is going to do away with this, so as to make the game more appealing to “players today:”
“We did simplify it a bit and make it more elegant by eliminating the A/B distinction and sort of meshing together what happens to the character’s A and B scenarios into one story," he said. "I think players today, they want these sort of deep/intense experiences with the story, and by stretching it across 4 scenarios the story gets spread a little thin and create a sense of repetition by going through the game multiple times to see everything.”
We’re assured that player will still get to see all of both protagonist’s journey, but this was a curious decision. With any remake, the balance of not changing enough/changing too much is an almost impossible one to get right. What are your feelings on this? Will this harm the game’s replay value?