The survival horror genre may have arguably have been birthed with the release of the original Resident Evil in 1996, but it was defined with Resident Evil 2 in 1998. Yes, there were games before Resident Evil that could take the crown as being the first, but the series but the genre on the map. The game was so legendary that it received a remake that was done so perfectly that it redefined survival horror. Fans always wanted the same treatment for Resident Evil 2 and in 2015 we were promised a remake. Fast forward three years and there has been little to no news about the remake of RE2 until some rumors from a source have been bought to the forefront as multi-generational fans can’t agree with how they want the game to play.
When the remake of Resident Evil 2 was announced, Capcom stated they would listen to the fans. Real fans of the franchise played from the PS1 days with fixed camera angles, limited ammo and inventory management. Players would explore large areas and solve puzzles to unlock doors that would all play a part in a story that was actually intriguing. Throw some zombies and B.O.W.s in there and you have a franchise like no other. That is, until 2004 when things changed.
Many people didn’t touch the Resident Evil franchise due to the fixed camera angles and tank controls. Holding up to run forward and the inability to run and shoot turned off a lot of potential players. Resident Evil 4 addressed this by implementing an over-the-shoulder view. While the game did a good job of telling a story and maintaining the same type of atmosphere, the game dropped the zombies, slow pacing, inventory management, low ammo and basically everything the first part of the series did to accommodate to casuals and get more fans in. Plenty of people love RE4, but it began a downward spiral for the franchise.
Many will argue that Resident Evil 3 emphasized action horror a bit more, but it still kept true to its roots. RE4 upped this and then things got out of control there with Resident Evil 5 & 6. While RE6 may have been the best selling game in the franchise, it is the least liked. RE5 introduced forced co-op, but the last two titles could not capture what once was. These games are not for the original fans of the franchise and the pacing and camera angles should be avoided for the remake of Resident Evil 2.
The series basically got a reboot but added to the Resident Evil timeline with the release of Resident Evil 7 in 2017. While they may have taken quite a bit from Hideo Kojima’s P.T. demo, the complete experience turned into what may be the greatest survival horror game of all time. Going to a first-person perspective and somewhat implementing tank controls again (and then there’s V.R.), the game got everything right that the first game did. For some reason, however, there were a lot of fans that did not like the first-person perspective and thought the game was awful. Sales numbers prove different. These fans still seem more akin to RE4-6, which shouldn’t count as real fans since they didn’t experience the original six games. Resident Evil 7 is truly a survival horror masterpiece.
The recent rumors for the remake of RE2 indicate that it will use the same graphics engine as RE7. The rumors, however, indicate that over-the-shoulder will be used, which will seriously affect the pacing and feel of RE2, and not in a good way. While the Revelations series was a decent nod to the horror side, the pacing is off on those titles. It still feels more action-oriented and that’s not what fans want. Resident Evil is not Dead Space.
The horror genre is going in the direction of first person. Games like Amnesia, Alien: Isolation, Evil Within 2, P.T., and Resident Evil 7 are propelling the horror gaming genre going forward. Look at the stark difference between both Evil Within titles. The first one played mostly like Resident Evil 4, while the second elevated the experience with finally including a first-person mode and keeping inventory management and ammo supply a priority. The first-person view really changed how the game felt.
What’s important to note about The Evil Within 2 is that the first-person view was actually added a few months after release. This is what personally pulled me into the game after not being a fan of the first one. Players should have a choice between first and third person. There is absolutely no reason Capcom cannot implement all three options into the remake of RE2. There is a difference between simply doing it and doing it right for the fans. Every time there is a comment on an article about supporting OTS gameplay, it gets massively downvoted. Then again, these are rumors and we may not even get anything at E3 2018, which would be an indication that Capcom gave up. The closest update to Resident Evil 2 we would ever get is the Umbrella Chronicles, the motion control game on Wii and PS3. Let’s just hope for some news and to direct Capcom appropriately from there.