So, we've known since last year that there was a Resident Evil 2 remake in the works over at Capcom, news that was welcomed by many fans of the series (and well as us).
Because Resident Evil 2 isn't the most accessible game in the franchise. The very first entry in the series — Resident Evil — has already had its fair share of (very well received) remastering and rereleases, and though Resident Evil 2 has been ported and kicking around in the Sony store for a good few years now, it's still presented in the original PS1 form, which doesn't translate all that well over onto newer gaming systems.
Porting or downloading a digital copy is all very well and good if you're just wanting a trip down nostalgia lane, but new players may be put off by that fact that the game hasn't really aged all that well. Resident Evil 2 is nearly two decades old though, so we do need to cut it some slack in that regard.
So what do we know about the remake? Well, not all that much to be honest. We do know that it's definitely not a mere remaster though, oh no. Capcom UK's senior marketing director Stuart Turner clarified on Twitter at the end of last year that the upcoming game will be a "full from the ground up remake, NOT a remaster."
Why is this exciting? Well, although it was the best-selling game in the series until Resident Evil 5 came along and stole that title, Resident Evil 2 is sometimes overlooked in favor of Resi 4 when discussing the particulars of the games. Not only is the Resi 2 narrative engaging and fantastical, it's rife with plot twists and is almost cinematic in its execution — some may even say ahead of its time in that respect.
It also introduced the now-iconic setting of Raccoon City and protagonists Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield (above), both of whom have appeared in the adapted film series of the same name (though, the less said about those the better in some cases).
But yet some people still bemoan the recent slew of remakes — from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D to Final Fantasy VII — such as the EA rep who claimed that HD remakes signify that "you've run out of ideas."
But we're pretty excited about the Resident Evil 2 remake regardless. Let's be honest, as great as it is to relive your childhood games, it's also a bit of a kick in the teeth going back to such dated graphics and mechanics, especially as we've been spoiled with and become accustomed to PC and next-gen tech.
So, has Capcom "run out of ideas," or are they just giving the fans what they want? It's no secret that the series has been declining in popularity ever since Resident Evil 4. While Resident Evil 5 got generally positive reviews, some players took issue with the gameplay mechanics, and the 2012 follow up Resident Evil 6 felt generally like a deflating balloon.
But — though it's tempting to claim that the Resident Evil 2 remaster is a ditch out attempt — it's also worth keeping in mind that producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi (who did a wonderful job on the Resident Evil HD Remaster) is the one heading up the project.
In the announcement video he seems pretty happy about the fact that the project was given the go-ahead, and clarifies that it's all down to the fans that it's happening:
"You've been telling us for years that you want Resident Evil 2 to be remade, and we haven't been able to make it happen... until now! We at R&D Division 1 will do our best to take on your feedback and deliver the gameplay experience you've been waiting for."
As of now it's been six months since the project was announced, with no release date solidified yet. Alas. But at least we have the Resident Evil multiplayer spin-off, Umbrella Corps, to amuse ourselves with in the meantime, set to release in May 2016.