The forthcoming remake of Resident Evil 2 will feature deleted concepts and characters from the original version of the game, dubbed Resident Evil 1.5. Shortly after the original Resident Evil became a surprise hit, publisher Capcom set out to make a sequel. The first concept would have found players revisiting the ruins of the Spencer Mansion and fighting plant-like monsters as well as a boss creature fused with Albert Wesker, but it was soon decided to bring the horror into Raccoon City itself.
Development on the game was famously troubled, with the first version being scrapped when it was over 60 percent complete. This version is now known as Resident Evil 1.5, and it saw Leon Kennedy and college student Elza Walker trapped in a police station in Raccoon City. The game bears some similarities to the released version, but it also had huge differences, such as scrapped enemies - including mutant baboons and spider/men hybrids - and more weapons, like grenades and assault rifles, and not to mention a completely different design for the RPD building itself.
The producer of Resident Evil 2 found this version a bit dull, so it was scrapped midway through and completely reworked. Resident Evil 1.5 has become a cult item among fans in the years since, with modders recreating the game to share with others. It appears the development team behind the Resident Evil 2 remake are fans too, because some old concepts from it will make an appearance in the new title. Fans on Reddit have compared costumes and environments from the remake to original concept art for Resident Evil 2, including a coat for Ada Wong and a different costume design for Claire Redfield.
A fan on Twitter also pointed out that Mr X will wear a hat in the new title, just like he did in his original design. Take a look:
Finally, the Deluxe Edition of Resident Evil 2 will feature a new skin for Claire in the form of Elza Walker, the original lead of 1.5. While Claire and Elza shared a lot of the same traits it was decided during development to add a closer link to the original game, so new character Claire became the sister of Chris Redfield and Elza was scrapped. The Deluxe Edition will also allow players to switch to the soundtrack of 1998's Resident Evil 2 for the true retro experience.
Resident Evil 1.5 has long been a fascinating curio for fans since it presented a radically different version of the second game. Considering how great the finished game turned out to be, it appears producers made the right call to redesign from scratch, but it's nice to see some easter eggs from the initial iteration will appear in the remake too.
While some fans are dubious about the changes Resident Evil 2 will make – including the over-the-shoulder perspective – it certainly appears Capcom is working hard to make it a solid, old-school survival horror experience. Between the remake and Resident Evil 7, the franchise has been making an effect to go back to its horror roots in recent years, so hopefully, the new game will be a worthy remake of the original.
Resident Evil 2 releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on January 25, 2019.