The producers of the forthcoming Resident Evil 2 remake have revealed the toughest part of making the game. While it wasn’t technically the first game in the survival horror genre, the original Resident Evil came to define the label for many. The game found players trapped in a monster-infested mansion, where they had to resource manage their limited ammo and health whilst solving puzzles and fighting zombies. The game was a surprise smash hit for Capcom, and a sequel was quickly put in development.
Resident Evil 2 is considered by many to be the finest hour of the series, perfectly balancing the action, horror and exploration. The game also features any number of iconic moments – such as the first Licker attack or the reveal of Mr X – and in recent years fans have been campaigning Capcom for a remake. The publisher finally gave into demands in 2015 and recently debuted the new look Resident Evil 2 at E3 2018. While some felt disappointed by the over the shoulder perspective change, the game looks like a gory and atmospheric reimagining and one that puts the focus firmly on horror over action.
The game looks a little grittier than the original PlayStation One title, and in a new interview with The Daily Star, Resident Evil 2 producers Tsuyoshi Kanda and Yoshiaki Hirabayashi have revealed which part of the game was so hard to recreate for modern players:
Kanda: [laughter] 20 years ago, the graphics that we had weren’t photoreal and that meant you could get away with… a lot of things. Things that maybe you couldn’t today. You could be fantastical with the creatures and it wouldn’t stand out too much. So making a giant alligator - that’s a real challenge [laughter]. Trying to update that into a game where you’ve got scanned faces, motion-captured actors, photorealistic environments… it’s really, really hard. Where do you even start!
Hirabayashi: To make that convincing in any way was really tough. For a while, we were just thinking, ‘shall we just cut the alligator altogether? It’s too difficult’. But we knew there’d be a fan backlash, we knew we had to create one of these perfect fan-favourite moments, so… it’s a tough one, but it’s there. It was tricky to do without changing the game’s tone a lot. We’re competing with people’s memories with this game, too, and that’s really hard. Trying to make a convincing scene where a human-sized character - a guy with a knife - is taking on an alligator… that’s really silly. People don’t remember it as silly because the whole game was groundbreaking at the time, but that moment was ridiculous. It was a difficult process for us, making that work today.
Prior to the game being officially unveiled, rumors spread the Resident Evil 2 remake wouldn’t feature the giant alligator, alongside bonus scenarios featuring Umbrella agent HUNK and joke character Tofu. It has since been confirmed they’ll all reappear, but it seems the alligator was on the chopping block for a while. In a way, it's easy to understand the producers' argument, since they’re attempting to make a darker, more visceral version of the original, so the sudden appearance of a massive alligator could undermine the atmosphere.
That said, its also a fan favorite moment from Resident Evil 2, so it would have been missed had it been removed. The Resident Evil games leaned a little too hard on action for a period – reaching its nadir with multiplayer shooter Umbrella Corps – so it's good to see the franchise heading back to its horror roots. Resident Evil VII: Biohazard was a fresh re-imagining, and the publisher appears to be pulling out all the stops to make Resident Evil 2’s remake an event.
Source: The Daily Star