Reboots, while risky, have a much easier time getting along than remakes. Where reboots can forego old tropes and reimagine beloved characters, remakes have a more difficult task. A remake has to walk a fine line of staying as true to the original as possible, and yet be more than just an HD twin. People who’ve never played the original have nothing to compare, so it’s the longtime fans that creators have to worry about pissing off. In my mind, there’s no sense in creating an exact copy, so when I see that Capcom’s upcoming Resident Evil 2 remake is already showing its diversions from the original, I’m excited to get back into that world in a new way.
It appears that all of the big players of the original Resident Evil 2 are here—Claire, Leon, Ada—and also a couple new ones, too. In this recent post from Capcom, we can also gather that we might be able to take control fo the characters a little earlier than we could in the original. Before, we could only begin playing after a cinematic where the Claire and Leon were separated, and depending on which character you were playing, on either side of a crashed bus. Some writing in that post seems to suggest we might start before the separation, and then continue on afterward.
As I said, I’m all for chaining things up a bit, so long as the story being told doesn’t stray incredibly far from the original (which doesn’t look to be the case), but what I’m hoping we don’t lose in the Resident Evil 2 remake is what made that game so special in the first place, and that’s the subtle puzzle mechanics. There was always so much tension in wandering the police station, placing gems in statues, bracing yourself for the jump-scares, and listening to that soundtrack. I understand if that’s hard to replicate with the mechanics of today—the rigid way you controlled the characters and the perspective you controlled them from played a big part in that—but I would to see none of that make it into the game. All in all, I’m more excited for this than I was RE7, and that’s mostly because Capcom’s rightly manipulating me through nostalgia. But hey, as long as I get to blow up a giant alligator in the sewers, I’m fine.