Capcom's upcoming Resident Evil 2 takes influence from James Cameron's Aliens for an updated twist on the character of Sherry Birkin. While both Resident Evil and Fox's Alien franchise have become synonymous with horror movies and gaming, the two now have a bigger connection.
The recent Resident Evil 2 screenshots showed off a revamped Claire Redfield and a new look for Sherry, too. It turns out that there is a deliberate homage to Aliens hiding in plain sight. Remembering back to 1986, Cameron's action-packed sequel saw Sigourney Weaver's Ripley marooned with a group of Colonial Marines on the LV-426 mining colony. Alongside the hard-faced grunts, actress Carrie Henn played a young girl called Newt.
Speaking to Eurogamer at this year's Gamescom, Resident Evil 2 director Kazunori Kadoi revealed how he wanted a more developed version of Sherry and used Newt as the game's blueprint, "Newt from Aliens was something of a reference point. The first time you meet her and seeing, yeah, she's seen some serious stuff!" He continued on how the reimagined game needed an older Sherry who has experienced more of the zombie apocalypse:
"She's definitely someone now who feels a bit more like she has her own personality. She's thinking in her mind and she's got her own motivations. We're trying to take some of that stuff that was slightly unnatural and add depth to it."
The 1998 game turned Sherry into a plot device that helped drive the game forward and she is largely remembered for being a child in distress. With Resident Evil 2's update following Claire as she finds Sherry behind a pile of boxes, it also echoes the scene from Aliens where Ripley finds Newt hiding in a ventilation system. Aliens added a more human side to Ripley and it sounds like this bond is something Claire and Sherry will share in Resident Evil 2.
Capcom has asked gamers not to call Resident Evil 2 a remake and has dubbed it more of a reimagining. This wording makes sense for why developers are creating a different version of Sherry instead of a straight rehash of her old stereotype. Even though developers have clearly put more thought into 2019's Sherry, only time will tell what classic Resident Evil fandom thinks of her changes.
Sherry isn't the only character undergoing an overhaul, but Kadoi says that Capcom is keeping its cards close to its chest when it comes to who else has been changed and how. While the crux of the story will focus on the campaigns of Leon S. Kennedy and Claire, fan-favorite characters like Ada Wong, William Birkin, and a revamped Martin Branagh will all be back for more.
With Capcom teasing that Resident Evil 2 could be the start of a reimagined franchise, the latest iteration of Sherry could be back for more Resident Evil games in the future. Check out the new Leon, Claire, Sherry, and the rest of the gang when Resident Evil 2 returns to consoles in 2019.