Remaking an all-time great is tricky business- here’s what we think Capcom should do.
Remaking a game is always a daunting task for developers, but when you’re remaking a game as legendary and beloved as Resident Evil 4 – often considered one of the greatest and most influential games ever made – it must be doubly so. Thankfully, Capcom have a pretty good track record with remakes. Even though the recently released Resident Evil 3 has disappointed its fair share of people, the remakes of the first two games in the series won nothing but the highest of plaudits- and we’re hoping at RE4 remake – which, as per the rumours, will be out in 2022 – will follow in their footsteps.
There’s a lot it will have to live up to, and like everyone else, we have our own take on what we want to see (and not see) from it. In this feature, we’ll be going over fifteen things that we’re hoping Capcom will do with the Resident Evil 4 remake. So without further ado, let’s get started.
NO CUT CONTENT
Perhaps the biggest issue people have had with Resident Evil 3’s remake is how much content it cuts- without going into spoilers, there’s a sizeable portion of the original game that doesn’t make its way into the remake. Cutting content is not necessarily a bad thing in remakes, but it has to be done in moderation, and with a certain level of deftness, which many would argue RE3 lacked. Resident Evil 4 was a pretty long game, full of iconic sections, and we’re hoping Capcom will be bringing all (or most) of it over into the remake.
DON’T REMOVE ANY MAJOR ENEMIES OR BOSSES
The remakes of both Resident Evil 2 and 3 caught flak – to varying degrees – for removing enemies from the original games- RE3 in particular came under fire for removing the Grave Digger, a pretty memorable boss fight from the original game. Resident Evil 4 had some of the best and most iconic enemies and bosses this series has ever seen, and we’re hoping the remake will be wise enough not to remove any of them. From the Chainsaw Man and El Gigante to the Regenerators and Del Lago, Resident Evil 4 is full of excellent enemies that we’re hoping to square off against once more when the remake rolls around.
Speaking of enemies that were removed from the recent remakes- both Resident Evil 2 and 3 removed giant spiders, much to the dismay of fans, and it was a real shame- in the latter’s case in particular, because giant spiders featured a lot more prominently in a certain section of the original RE3. RE fans have been hoping to see spiders rendered in disgusting detail in the RE Engine for a while now, and so we’re hoping that Capcom will deem RE4 to be the right game for that. Yes, there were no spiders in the original RE4, but hey- no one’s going to say no to giant spiders.
DON’T REMOVE THE SHOPKEEPER
The mysterious merchant from Resident Evil 4 is one of the best and most memorable things from the seminal game, and even though he isn’t really important to the story or anything like that, he is a crucial part of the experience- and he absolutely needs to be in the remake as well. Maybe even give him an expanded role. Given the much more grounded and realistic tone that recent Resident Evil games have had as opposed to the much campier nature of RE4, there’s a very real possibility that Capcom might not think the shopkeeper fits with Resident Evil’s new style anymore, but if that really is a thought that’s entered their head, it’s one they need to quash, pronto.
As we mentioned earlier, one of our biggest hopes for an RE4 remake is that it won’t cut out too much content- but we do hope Capcom remix some of the locations in the game. With the remake, they have the perfect opportunity to take locations such as the village or the castle and make them even better. Maybe make them more interconnected with more Metroidvania elements, in classic RE fashion. Hell, maybe even make them bigger. Remakes are always at their best when they try new things while keeping the spirit of the originals intact, and we’re hoping that’s a philosophy Resident Evil 4 will subscribe to as well.
MAKE IT MORE HORROR
Though it was only with Resident Evil 5 and 6 that the series temporarily dropped its horror roots, Resident Evil 4 was the game that started that trend. It was by no means lacking in tension – it was overflowing with it, in fact – but it was no longer horror like previous RE games had been. With the remake, Capcom have a chance to inject a little more horror into the experience. We don’t want them to go too far with that either, since doing so would mean completely changing RE4’s DNA- and that’s something we absolutely do not want. But injecting a little more atmosphere into the game would give it the horror vibe that this series is known for.
As great as RE4 was, it wasn’t without its issues- and most of those issues arose because of the game’s storytelling choices. The camp and cheese of RE4 are part of the game’s identity, and we understand that Capcom will probably want to retain some of that- but they don’t have to retain all of it. The character of Ramon Salazar in particular was particularly grating, from his voice to his mannerisms to even the way he looked, and that’s something Capcom need to fix with the remake. We don’t want Salazar gone – it’s hard to imagine what the game and its story would even look like if that did happen – but we do want him to undergo significant changes.
One of the things that get brought up most often when people speak of the few things that are wrong with Resident Evil 4 is its escort missions- anytime you have to look after Ashley, the game turns into a chore. Ensuring your own safety and survival are hard enough in Resident Evil 4, and when you throw Ashley into the mix, things become a bit too hectic for their own good. An RE4 remake needs to fix that- either by removing the escort missions entirely, or making Ashley’s AI competent enough to at least take care of itself in the mot fundamental ways and not need Leon’s help for every tiny little thing.
GIVE MORE SCREEN TIME TO LUIS
Luis Sera had a pretty prominent role in Resident Evil 4, but we think he could do with a lot more screen time in the rumoured remake. Given more depth, more backstory, and more of a presence, Capcom could turn him into a legitimately great character. Just look at what they did with Carlos in RE3- he was a major character in the original game as it is, but in the remake, he was flat-out excellent, perhaps even just as good as Jill herself. Sure, Luis is nowhere near as important to RE4, and we doubt he will be given as much importance as Carlos was, but we still think he’s a character who could really shine if he were given some more screen time.
MORE INTEGRATED SERIES LORE
Resident Evil fans have begun noticing a bit of a trend with RE games of late- the new releases have all been moving away from the series’ lore to varying extents. RE7 was, due to its nature as a soft reboot of sorts, very far removed from the series’ larger story, while the RE2 and 3 remakes ignore many of the finer details that the original games had that connected them to the Resident Evil lore. With Resident Evil 4, ignoring that lore to the same degree as the recent remakes would be a pretty bad idea. From Wesker’s involvement to the role Ada plays in the story to so much more, so much of RE4’s story depends on the more nuanced details from previous Resident Evil games. Though we understand that Capcom are trying to clean up the series and its larger story and make it leaner and meaner, continuing down that path probably wouldn’t be the best idea for a remake of Resident Evil 4.
Speaking of Ada Wong, she has a pretty big role to play in Resident Evil 4 (as she does in pretty much any game with Leon in it), so it goes without saying that she will do so in the remake as well- which we’re particularly excited to see, after how excellently her character was portrayed in last year’s Resident Evil 2. In fact, we’re hoping that she will even have her very own playable sections. In the original Resident Evil 4, though Ada was not playable in the main campaign, the unlockable mode “Separate Ways” saw players stepping into her shoes, while “Ada’s Report” also delved into her story more deeply. Our hope for the remake is not only for all that content to return, but to be integrated into the main campaign itself. Have sections where we’re playing through Ada and seeing things from her perspective every now and then while Leon goes about his own mission is something every fan of the series will be hoping to see.
REMOVE THE QTEs
Quick time events were all the rage back in the 2000s, and Resident Evil was all about them during those years. Resident Evil 4 was full of button prompts, and it shoved them in every chance it got- whether it was to dodge boulders, avoid certain attacks in boss fights, or hell, most of the fight against Krauser, the game was full of QTEs. By now, the industry has matured enough to realize that QTEs are almost never fun, and we’re hoping Resident Evil 4’s remake will come to that realization as well. Please, Capcom, if you’re listening- remove those QTEs entirely.
Oh, and speaking of Krauser…
FLESH OUT KRAUSER
One of may antagonists in Resident Evil 4, Jack Krauser definitely left his mark on players. And sure, a lot of that had to do with the boss fight against him, but his past with Leon and the frenmity the two of them shared was also responsible for that. Our hope is that with RE4’s remake, Capcom will take the chance to flesh out his character a lot more. We saw the better part of his backstory in Darksider Chronicles, but maybe an RE4 remake could find ways to integrate that stuff into its own story, maybe through flashbacks or notes or other kinds of exposition.
BRING BACK MERCENARIES
The Mercenaries mode has been one of Resident Evil fans’ most beloved things in the series for as long as it has existed. Sadly, the recent RE3 remake removed that mode (which is a shame, because the original RE3 was the first game ever to have it in the first place)- hopefully, RE4’s remake won’t make the same mistake. The Mercenaries was particularly good in Resident Evil 4, not least because of how excellent and tense that game’s combat was, so here’s hoping the remake features it as well.
Inventory management is (almost) always a crucial part of the gameplay in Resident Evil games, and though it was quite different in RE4 from its predecessors, it was still a vital gameplay mechanic. In fact, in changing it, the game made it even better. Resident Evil 4’s Tetris-style inventory management was a stroke of genius, and the remake needs to bring that over as it is, completely untouched. No item boxes, no fixed slots- we want those expandable briefcases and the actual space management to make a return completely unscathed.