Resident Evil 2’s remake is almost here after a t-shirt announcement, years of silence, and a big reveal at E3. The passion around this reinvention seems unquestionable given the original’s iconic status.
Considering the ups and downs of the series, the limited reach of survival horror, and the fact that so many of its contemporaries have come and gone, Resident Evil’s longevity is a curious phenomenon.
Resident Evil is known for its ups and downs, as well as its contentious installments. By the time Code Veronica and Resident Evil 0 arrived, sequel fatigue had set in. Fixed cameras and puzzle-solving items were already considered outmoded.
Developers finally mastered 3D, and video games evolved swiftly. Its issues weren’t due to a lack of quality, therefore it’s even more remarkable that Capcom decided to rethink everything the series was known for with Resident Evil 4.
Capcom was unafraid to risk one of its most precious properties to stay at the forefront of the industry during the sixth console generation. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard was a similar success under different conditions.
Capcom made the game playable in virtual reality when no one expected or asked them to. It’s one of the better illustrations of what the platform can do.
Never settling with the current quo is ingrained into Resident Evil’s DNA and has quietly driven its success.
Nemesis haunting you across Raccoon City, embracing online connectivity with Outbreak, and Resident Evil 5 being one of the best co-op experiences in a largely singleplayer game are examples of how Capcom unassumingly pushed the genre in ways few other companies would dare to.
Resident Evil 6 is the franchise’s second best-seller. Sales numbers aren’t especially applicable when retrospectively analyzing a game’s quality or worth, but they help contextualize why in just about any online gaming community, you’ll find a group wishing for ‘action RE’s’ sleek, responsive, and gratifying features.
Resident Evil isn’t defined by a certain structure or set of rules, allowing it to transcend the survival horror genre and mean something distinct to everyone.
Critical headshots are always satisfying, ammo reserves are reassuring, and bosses are appropriately horrific. Resident Evil has grown over the years, but it’s also appealing for how little it’s changed.
Translating and tweaking the series’ key concepts has given gamers continuity while still offering fresh experiences. The unavoidable result is the indiscriminate ridicule of scorpion keys and secret corridors as ‘ridiculous.’
Sometimes things are designed to be cool, to create a fascinating environment and enjoyable mechanics. Because it’s crazy to shoot fire from your hands, scale a smooth stone wall without tools, and carry a 300-pound armament in your back pocket.
We don’t dispute their feasibility because they’re reasonable in their worlds or improve the game. In Resident Evil, infections develop gigantic eyeballs on shoulders and architects learn to seal doors with animal crests (I know the games give the reasoning for these things).
Resident Evil enjoys its strange peculiarities outside of puzzles. It’s confident and shameless about being stupid. At times in the last 20 years, it would have been easy to erase the story.
Capcom respects the history, narrative, and characters so many fans care about. This exceptionally steadfast, self-aware praise is refreshing in an industry that constantly second-guesses itself to the point of identity loss.
Resident Evil 2 remake offers issues and possibilities. Remake Nemesis or Resident Evil 1? Resident Evil 4 will sell forever, therefore a graphical overhaul with the RE Engine would be smart. Does Revelations continue to appease RE action lovers on a budget?
Resident Evil 8 should continue in first-person, building on the success of Resident Evil 7. (hopefully with full VR support again). Biohazard was intentionally small in scale to reintroduce the series’ terror, isolation, and vulnerability. Now is the time to expand the series’ world and lore.
That includes bringing back fan-favorite characters like Jill and Chris, examining past titles’ consequences, and finding out who is still researching B.O.Ws. It shouldn’t forget why the series is popular again: people want to be afraid. Also, greater adversary variety would help.
A remake of Resident Evil: Nemesis seems inevitable, given what can be done technologically with the character. A more succinct, lower-budget game like Revelations 3 would be a terrific way to continue the franchise between major entries.
It’s also a chance to highlight Sheva, Rebecca, and Jake. Now that the mainline series has refocused on horror, it would be good to have an outlet for the action-heavy and co-op parts of Resident Evil, especially mercenary mode.
Finally, we arrive to a wish that won’t come true, but we should talk about it. Capcom should produce a new, fixed-camera Resident Evil with a deliberate pace and item-based puzzles. They’ve done it twice with Mega Man, but gaming has changed.
2D graphics and turn-based warfare are no longer considered inappropriate. Resident Evil’s HD remaster with multiple control schemes illustrates the fundamental game design can resonate with modern audiences, despite tank controls.
Capcom is in a fortunate and delicate situation because the series could go in so many different directions. Imagine the brilliance of Resident Evil in three-part harmony.
Resident Evil is a series that refuses to stay down and keeps coming back more savage than ever. Fans in the gaming community have also been reluctant to see it go.
Resident Evil is known for its scares and suplexes, and it shows no signs of stopping down. Wesker dodged, so it can’t finish yet.
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