Highly anticipated: Nvidia recently showed off a gameplay trailer for Capcom’s remake of Resident Evil 2 to demonstrate the capabilities of its newest RTX GPUs. The game was running in 4K at a steady 60fps showing that the game is going to look great. The trailer also revealed that the remake is not going to play exactly the same as the original.
While Resident Evil 2 has been remade before, this time around Capcom has decided to change things up to bring it in line with the expectations of a younger audience. That is to say, the studio feels a necessity to make it "accessible" to the modern gamer.
One of the more notable changes is a new camera system. The 1998 game used fixed cameras. This created a unique atmosphere, but it could be frustrating at times, especially in the beginning as you are getting accustomed to the fixed angles.
The remake will have 3rd-person follow camera that we are now used to seeing in action games. However, the camera will react in dynamic ways to increase suspense and add to the thrill of encounters with flesh eaters.
There are also more subtle changes such as costumes. Leon’s costume looks much different than it did in the original Resident Evil 2. The reasoning behind this and other characters’ costume variance is the game is much more graphically realistic. It’s all in the polygons according to Capcom producer Tsuyoshi Kanda.
“It’s not so much that the times have changed, but when the game looks this real, certain things stand out as being very nonbelievable [sic], kind of pulling you out of the experience,” Kanda told Polygon in a recent interview. “So Leon being a rookie cop, he has to wear a policeman’s uniform. But, like, the huge shoulder pads he had in the original are not something that — they’re a symbolic design in a low-polygon look.”
Controls are also revamped for a modern audience. Today’s gamer expects certain things from a title such as being able to control the camera especially with games that involve aiming a gun. This was part of the reasoning behind the camera changes we have seen in the gameplay trailer (above). However, developers are walking a thin line between RE2 being an action game or a survival horror game. According to Kanda, they want to avoid taking it out of the latter genre. Turning Resident Evil 2 into a simple zombie shoot or action adventure is not the goal.
“This isn’t a shooter where you can aim exactly where you want to all the time,” said Kanda. “We can bring a certain weight to the controls to make it challenging. You still panic in the moment to pick up your gun and shoot a certain part of the zombie. That feeds into the horror part. Just by making a modern, accessible game doesn’t mean you have to make a quick action game. You can make an accessible game and still make decisions that put it firmly in the survival horror camp.”
Capcom has updated the zombies to make them scarier. Again it comes back to poly-count. In 1998, the zombies were much less detailed, so the developers relied on tricks like jump scares to increase the horror factor.With today’s technology Capcom’s artist have a virtual clean canvas to completely recreate the monsters of the game making them scary without the need for jump scares.
Don’t be mistaken though. Those types of frights are a signature of horror and will not be excluded from the RE2 remake. It’s just that the game will not have to rely on things busting through doors or windows to get your gooseflesh prickling.
Resident Evil 2 is due out January 25, 2019, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.