The Road to 'Resident Evil 2 Remake' - An Introduction

Published by Nick Henderson on June 22, 2018
og:image:,

Anyone who listens to our show probably knows that Resident Evil is a series that I have cherished since my earliest days in gaming. Perhaps more notably, I have harbored some… dissenting opinions about the franchise over the years. After getting some hands-on time with the upcoming remake of Resident Evil 2 at E3, I quickly launched into a feverish level of hype and set out to replay some of the games in the series that I haven’t touched in years and in some rare cases, never finished.

Truth be told, my enthusiasm for the series has dissipated in recent years thanks to a film franchise that threatened to transform the entire IP into something unrecognizable. It’s a viewpoint that has often clashed with my fellow podcasters and even the fanbase at large. I have frequently touted Resident Evil 7 as my new gold standard for the series and shouted from the rooftops that Resident Evil 4 (WARNING: HOT TAKE INCOMING) was simultaneously the best AND worst thing to ever happen to the franchise.  It revolutionized the series from a mechanical standpoint and set the bar for 3rd person action games while starting it on a path that would eventually lead it away from the historic genre that made it a household name in the first place; Survival Horror.

Luckily for me, since the announcement of Resident Evil 7, Capcom seems to have recognized the misstep and attempted to pivot the franchise back onto the rails in a way that (hopefully) satisfies both camps. They seem intent on re-establishing Resident Evil as the poster-child for horror in gaming while continuing to take risks that have made the series so fun to watch for more than two decades. Even though I may not have been the biggest fan of the direction the series took post Resident Evil 4, it is a series that differs dramatically from one entry to the next and that creative diversity is something worth celebrating.

This feature will chronicle my thoughts as I work my way through the series (live on 4pp.tv every Monday night) and will culminate in a marathon stream of the Resident Evil 2 Remake in January. I have cherry-picked 8 games in the series that I plan to play and write about before that big release:

  • Resident Evil 0
  • Resident Evil Remake
  • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
  • Resident Evil: Code Veronica
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Resident Evil 5
  • Resident Evil 6
  • Resident Evil Revelations 2

It feels great to feel genuine excitement about the future of Resident Evil again. After I finish each game in this lineup, I will publish my thoughts on the experience and hopefully shed some light on the impact the game had on the series as a whole. Capcom has certainly amassed some goodwill in my book lately which I am hoping will help me find some appreciation for the games that I have criticized in the past.


Look for my first retrospective focused on Resident Evil 0 in the coming weeks. In the meantime, leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite Resident Evil is and why! Be sure to tune in on Monday nights to catch me playing Resident Evil 0 (right after 4Player Plus)!

Comments

  • Mr.GreenToS Avatar
    Mr.GreenToS
    2 years ago


    Resident Evil 4 was my personal favorite.

    I was always too scared to play the games before 4 came out but always held a fascination with the zombie aspects. When I heard that 4 wasn’t going to have zombies, I figured that would be a good time to jump and see how it could be scary without them. Oh boy, did I get a true scare of my life.

    The fact the village scene alone showcases the natural tense but great moments of fight or flight like mechanics lead to me truly shifting my viewpoint of horror games at the time. Ever since those GameCube days I’ve re bought RE4 for every Sony Platform and even PC.

  • Avatar
    Kritta
    2 years ago

    I've only ever played Resident Evil 4 and 7 so I feel like a dinkle dork for choosing a difference in two greater goods, but whatever. I'll tell a story.

    Resident Evil 4 was one of the first games I got on my GameCube. My mom used to play horror games on the PS1 (Silent Hill mostly) while toddler me snot-dribble cried behind her. Then the tables turned and she used to watch me play RE4 and that is one of the fondest childhood memories I have.

    It was also one of the first games that all my friends had too. Discord and Skype weren't exactly fleshed out and there wasn't much of an online co-op method, so me and a bunch of other 12 year olds across the nation would conference call each other and help each other thru the game.

    "I found an herb in that barrel yo get it"

    "CHAINSAW DUDE"

    "Hide Ashley in the dumpster cuz she's trash"

    We all had two save files. One for personal play, and one we all played together as a team. I remember being super scared of the Regenerators and my friends, on call, would proceed in the rooms before I did and tell me exactly where the enemies were and where to shoot because I was such a lil scaredy bitch LMFAO.

    I have to say I prefer RE4 over 7 just because it was my first RE experience. I got to play RE7 on an ex's Xbox in a hotel while my truck was being fixed, so I didn't get to spend as much time with it as I wanted. It was a great experience, but how can I compare such prolific titles in the franchise? They're both so different from each other.

    I guess I have to say I enjoyed RE4 more, though, I replayed it so many times and had so much fun with my dorkass friends. It's equal parts nostalgia and excellent replayability/mechanics.

    There were few times I felt RE7 was super challenging. Great experience, horrific and beautiful. It's an RE trope, Ive observed, to be out of ammo, health items, and up shit creek without a paddle. I didn't get that sense of hopeless dread quite like I did when sifting through RE4 the first time. I didn't get the chance to play RE7 on a harder setting, but maybe when I'm rich and famous and can have a desk job again, I'll play all the Resident Evils.

    Thanks for doing this marathon. As someone that didn't grow up with them, it's cool to see someone get excited about RE still. It makes me want to buy the older games today, and I think that's very important when games can be such a disposable media.

  • Avatar
    RecklessLink
    2 years ago

    I really ran away with this one. As you'll see, RE is a pretty important franchise to me. As my thoughts were too large to be contained here, I've provided a pastebin link. (I'm a write/novelist so it's hard to resist when I'm so impassioned about something.) Honestly, there are some things I wanted to elaborate even further on, but I felt like I was going on for too long as it was. Oh well.

    https://pastebin.com/XUrev5VX

  • Avatar
    RecklessLink
    2 years ago

    Something to add that I don't think I touched on with RE1 and 2. It was such a unique experience to me, that a game could accurately convey a horror scenario like that. My 12 year old mind was certainly blown for sure. REmake definitely reinforced that and game series like Silent Hill and Fatal Frame added on to that in spectacular fashion.

  • Avatar
    Blahwoof85
    2 years ago

    My favorite is Resident Evil 2. It was the first game in the series I played & instantly fell in love with it. It was a great game with an atmosphere that really brought you into the mood & feel of the world that you were in. It was a true survival horror with fantastic enemies & strong lead characters that you could connect with. The intersecting storylines with both scenarios & making a choice in A effected an open area or a useful item being there or not being there in scenario B I feel was a great game mechanic & actually made it so your choices mattered. It started my love for the series which led me to keep up with it & continue on towards playing all of the games in the series, devoting hours of research into the lore, seeing all of the movies both live action & CGI, & even after the games started taking a different direction it never took away my love for this fantastic franchise.

  • ChaiThai Avatar
    ChaiThai
    2 years ago

    I will always champion Outbreak/Outbreak 2 as the most underrated RE games. It managed to take the classic RE formula and make it a unique multiplayer experience that still hasn't quite been copied today. Each of the 8 playable characters had unique skills such as increased inventory space, double damage using specific weapons or attacks, crafting of better healing items or powerful weapons, or even playing dead to avoid combat. Being able to take only 4 on any given level and having a much smaller inventory also changed how you approached each situation. It was an interesting look at how the "common" people of Raccoon dealt with the situation in the city and even answered a few odd questions like Leon's unique uniform (Some type of special unit as the character Kevin, a STARS applicant reject, has the same uniform).

    The levels provided unique objectives such as avoiding and figuring out how to kill a stalking leech man (which any player who died could also become, starting the cycle all over again), helping Marvin get survivors out of the RPD before Leon and Claire arrived, or even exploring a zoo full of infected animals. The very first mission of the first game doesn't even involve any insane puzzles and simply involves fleeing the zombie horde through the streets and buildings of Raccoon. Increasing the difficulty moved key items and added additional hazards and objectives making each run different.

    The teamwork of the game was also uniquely designed for multiplayer. The common traits of helping each other complete tasks faster existed but others such as shouldering an injured player to help them move faster or bracing a door shut with your body to buy other players time to search a room added greatly to the classic RE formula. Other common sense mechanics were also added such as a shoulder and kick attack that could be used to help players who had been grabbed, to space monsters back to buy yourself time to line up an attack, or to break down some locked doors (!). Outbreak 2 even added the ability to slowly walk and shoot at the same time.

    Sadly the magic of this game has been lost to time. Since very few people had a PS2 network adapter and even fewer bothered to install the hard drive to reduce loading times not many played. Those who did were not pleased by the single player experience due to poor AI. For those that did get on most had to contend with early 2000s internet speeds, random matchmaking with griefing players or unhelpful teammates who would take every gun they see or never help carry key items, and no in-game voice chat. There were talks of a fan run revival server a while back but I never followed up on it. But with the online this game was something special and if any other RE game deserves a re-release or remaster, this is it.

    Also the fact that EVERY player character gets the distinct classic RE heavy footsteps sound effect means that more than 3 people in a room is an auditory nightmare.

  • Avatar
    Hayst
    2 years ago

    I should preface this comment with the fact that I have personally never played a RE game with my hands. However, with my feet...

    Just kidding. But, since I have not played a Resident Evil game, I can only comment purely on a spectator's viewpoint, albeit with concerns about gameplay and other aspects like so.

    Resident Evil 4 seemed to me for a while like the most enjoyable and most "well-equipped", with more friendly controls than past installments and a robust overhaul of many mechanics. However, having watched extensive gameplay of older titles, I seem to realize that I favor a lot of things that the old mechanics would add to the experience.

    For example, the fixed camera angles give an almost entirely different feel of an area; I would argue it's a more artistic and therefore quite possibly more beautiful perspective of the game's world.

    Another thing is the scaled down action of the older titles. The threat of enemies is different than RE4, and your item management is a bit more difficult, accordingly.

    I'm not really a fan of the first-person perspective of RE7, and there are a few other cinematic touches that a snob like me doesn't fancy all that much. However, I do genuinely love RE7's mechanics revision to a style that closely resembles the older titles. Ammo creation!

    Sorry to say that I cannot guarantee any sort of honorable opinion, since I haven't actually played an RE. However, past video game experiences lead me to believe that this is where my stance on fav RE games lies.

    NONETHELESS IM FROLICKING HYPE FOR REMAKE 2

  • Avatar
    smgsterlin
    2 years ago

    I've never really been a huge fan of the Resident Evil series.

    The only actual game in the series that I have finished is Resident Evil 5, and this was primarily because Cobra (yes, our Cobra) and I co-oped it start to finish. I did play a majority of the original Resident Evil on the Sega Saturn back in the day however, but I've never touched another game of the series outside of these two.

    If I were to try to make my way through this series, what in your opinion is the first game I should start out with? Revisit the original version of Resident Evil to get a good grasp of the roots of the series? Skip the original altogether and just play the REMake?
    Start with the newer RE7 to see what it is now?

  • Avatar
    huhnden
    2 years ago

    Resident Evil 2 was the first one I played, off of a PC demo disc when I was a wee boy back in '99.
    Scared the wits out of me back then and I think it might be the first time ever I ran into the horrors that is a Zombie.

    But it was not until a few years later when my buddy got RE 1 remake for Game Cube that I got into the series.
    The cinematic at the beginning when you meet your first zombie munching on a body is still up there as one of the scariest moments in games for me.

    I remember my friend was coming down with rheumatic fever as a complication from strep throat at the time, making his hands and feet swollen and stuff.
    He then showed me this note that he found in the game. The "Keeper's diary" note.
    This dude who was turning into a zombie was writing a diary about how his body was starting to swell and how his skin was starting itch and whatnot.
    A freaky coincidence, and it really turned the scare factor up a notch.
    Combined with the absolutely stunning graphics for the time this makes it my favorite game in the series so far.

    Note that I'm still waiting patiently and keeping hope alive to play RE 7 in VR on PC some day.

  • Mr.GreenToS Avatar
    Mr.GreenToS
    2 years ago

    NOTE: (All of this Text is from my older brother, who I was able to convince to write all of this up but he couldn't figure out how to post on here and asked me to post it)

    Hey, long time listener, first time commenter.

    RE4 is definitely one I keep coming back to. Any game with a New Game+ mode just automatically draws me back in after finishing it's campaign. With ridiculously overpowered end game weapons, and tons of post game unlockables, RE4 makes itself very easy to revisit every year when I have the itch. There's also nothing more satisfying than finally unlocking the Handcannon in Mercenaries Mode.

    Aside from Final Fantasy VII, RE4 is also the only other game I will repurchase without question whenever it comes to a new platform. It's a sickness I tell you!The rest of the series is great aswell.

    RE1 is short and sweet, especially the Deadly Silence release for the DS. The Gamecube remake is so terrifying, I've never had the courage to finish it.

    RE2 is a blast! I've always loved the comparison to the Alien franchise. If RE1 is a slower paced horror like the original Alien, RE2 is the action-packed summer blockbuster, much like Aliens.

    RE3 I beat recently and loved it! It was so great to finally explore Raccoon City after all these years of playing every other entry and always wondering what was outside the Police Station in RE2. And of course, Nemesis is up there with The Predator and The Terminator as one of the Most Memorable Villains in Fiction. I just love how persistent he is in his pursuit of Jill, even down to the bitter end. His presence is always lingering, especially when you hear his terrifying music and signature line..."S.T.A.R.S..."

    Code Veronica is fun too. Its gets a bad rap for being more of the same, in a time when players were ready to move on from tank controls, but it is worth checking out. It's a breeze to play-UP UNTIL A CERTAIN BOSS FIGHT! This single fight can either end your run prematurely if you don't have the ammo to finish it, OR you can finish it in 5 seconds if you shoot 3 BOW Rounds and 3 Acid Rounds. THATS IT! This one also has some unintentionally funny cut-scenes that'll keep you entertained the whole way.

  • Avatar
    Danny
    2 years ago

    When it comes to my favourite RE game, my mind goes with RE2, but my heart goes with Code Veronica. I love my Dreamcast, and having a exclusive (at the time) Resident Evil game for that system was great. Especially as I was kinda bummed out that RE3 was more of a side story, than an actual follow up to 2. So was super hyped that CV was a real sequel.
    RE2 was also the beginning of my video game crush on Claire Redfield. So been able to play as her again in Code Veronica was a plus. It was also cool that we got the pay off of her linking up with her brother Chris, considering her looking for him was a big part of her story in 2. Chris part's were also great, and at the time I was hyped for any Chris and Wesker interaction. As was the first time since the first game.
    Many don't like CV because it was the start of the over the top, goofy stuff. However, for me it was just the right amount of B-movie camp. Nowhere near as bad as it got in later entries.

    I am also very much with you on RE4 being the worst thing to happen to RE as whole. Stand alone, it is one of the best games ever made, but unfortunately for me, it's success took the series far away from the survival horror aspects of those early games, that made me fall in love with the series. Which is probably another reason I have a soft spot for Code Veronica, as it was pretty much the last game in the series to have that style. (Though 7 was a step back in the right direction, and RE2 Remake seems set to scratch that itch too.)

  • Chris Davis Avatar
    Chris Davis
    1 year, 11 months ago

    @ me when it's Nemesis time, baby