Capcom is currently working hard on a remastering of Resident Evil 2, but there's a catch as players aren't allowed to call it a remake. Hoping to recapture the heart-pounding fear of Raccoon City that made the sequel to 1996's original one of the best in the series, developers are promising to deliver more than just an update to the game's graphics.
Looking at Sony's bumper E3 presentation, Resident Evil 2 was a highlight of the expo and set the marketing machine turning ahead of the game's release next January. As Resident Evil fans prepare to once again tool up as Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, Capcom is being careful with its wording and is keen to move away from the word remake.
Speaking to GamingBolt, Capcom Brand Manager Mike Lunn told gamers that the company is taking a different approach to Resident Evil 2 compared to its previous games:
"It won’t be faithful one to one. [As far as fans] [s]ome people played it once and some people played it a thousand times because it’s their favorite game. For the people that have even played it a thousand times, we wanted it to feel fresh. That’s why we don’t call it Resident Evil 2 Remake. It’s a new game built on top of the foundation."
Using the 1998 game as a benchmark for how to retell the story of Resident Evil 2, Lunn went on to explain how Capcom will continue to surprise even the most loyal fans of the franchise. Lunn promised to mix it up when highlighting one scene in the Raccoon City Police Department as the zombies lurk by the windows:
"We want you to be scared by [the elements of the game], not just repositioned to a new part of the building, but sort of reimagined… we don’t want you to know exactly how the puzzles are solved, we don’t want you to know exactly where the enemies are going to be. We want to surprise you. So, we have changed things a bit. But on the whole, the main idea, the main arcs of the story are very similar. But there are going to be some new surprises in there as well."
Whether a remake, a remaster, or a rerelease, Resident Evil 2 refuses to be pigeonholed into any of these categories. Importantly, Lunn reminds fans that Resident Evil 2 isn't a flashy carbon copy of what players originally fell in love with. It's certainly a novel approach to sell more units and give existing fans another reason to pick up their controllers.
Swapping Resident Evil 2's fixed camera for a more intimate (and terrifying) over-the-shoulder camera like Resident Evil 4 is just one of the many ways 2019's game will be different. Elsewhere, developers have already decided to do away with Resident Evil 2's unique zapping system from 1998 so the new game goes further than its predecessor. That being said, the critical acclaim of 2002's Remake based on the first game proves that the term "remake" doesn't always harm a series. With the likes of Lunn pushing back so hard on the terminology, it now means everyone is expecting some pretty drastic changes to the gameplay and storytelling when Resident Evil 2 comes to PS4, Xbox One, and PC on January 25, 2019.