You don’t need to have played Resident Evil 4 to understand its importance in the gaming world. Hell, it’s the reason third person shooters and adventure games are built the way they are; it set trends and inspired hundreds of games since its release. So the question remains; Why do we need a remake of this well documented and lorded masterpiece?
Remakes are nothing new in media. Tetris has been remade so many times it’s almost impossible to count. If you really want to get into it each Super Mario and Zelda game is a remake really, as they all have the same base story just told in a different way. I don’t know about you but I am well up for remakes myself, many of you may think they are just lazy cash grabs but look at the recent barrage of remakes we have had, including but not limited to Resident Evil 2 and 3, Dead Space and Final Fantasy 7. All of these have been highly praised for taking something old and improving on what came before.
Yes, Resident Evil 3 cut stuff out but I have been assured the stuff which was cut was crap in the original version. Which brings me to Resident Evil 4, a game I personally consider a perfect video game, a game I play through at least once a year, a game I have played through at least once this year and am now working through the VR version on Meta Quest 2. RE4 is a game that has amazing sound design, a dopey B-movie script that keeps you invested and wanting Leon to say something corny (the bingo line for instance or “your right hand comes off?”). The graphics are STILL to this day pretty to look at and it’s a 22 year old game!
Admittedly the graphics are starting to age quite noticeably in this HD 4K age, so why do we need this game to be remade if it’s so perfect?
What Capcom have done with the Resident Evil remakes is inspire other developers to remake beloved games from the past. Do you really think EA would’ve green-lit Dead Space Remake had Resident Evil 2 not made Capcom a boat load of money? Short answer, no, they wouldn’t have. Slightly longer – answer they saw The Callisto Protocol getting a lot of traction and didn’t want a similar IP to overshadow something they shelved 10 years prior.
RE4 is amazing but as time has gone by and gaming has evolved it’s starting to feel old. The tank controls are slow and are pushed close to the limit of what we need a game protagonist to do; standing in one space not able to move whilst shooting is both a strength and a drawback for the game and the remake has shown us that Leon can really move around the map freely now. The RE4 remake could be taking notes from Resident Evil 6 maybe (whether that’s a good thing is up to you)? Beside the graphical overhaul, extended scenes, better character development and generally everything the remake seems to be doing, releasing a well made remake that expands and improves on what came before gives us hopes for remakes in the future.
OK OK I hear you “we have too many remakes and it’s lazy and unoriginal”, but think about the people that are making these games. How old are they? What did they play when they where 16? That’s right, all the remakes you see coming out now! They are looking at games they adored and are bringing them to a new modern audience, whilst looking at previous cheap cash-in remakes we have had before and said “nope, none of that we can do better”. And they are!
Just look at the remakes we have from the last seven years as well as upcoming. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Abe’s Odyssey New ‘n’ Tasty, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2, Dead Space remake, The Last Of Us, Resident Evil 4, and later in the year we are getting Alone In The Dark! All of these are remakes of games that are at least ten years old, and all of those remakes have done exceptionally well, or are expected to do exceptionally well.
Alone In The Dark is a remake of the original game that is hard to acquire and play in the modern age. It is a landmark game which helped survival horror games flourish in a 3D environment. If it does well it could open the door for AITD 2008 to be remade, a game people hate but when they look into it has so much potential. If the controls were tightened up and the script made slightly less B-movie style it could be one of the best games you’ll ever play (I am a fan of 2008 and genuinely think it’s brilliant, but I’m not blind).
We could see remakes of games that truly need it because they are stuck on old hardware like Cold Fear, Time Crisis, hell, any on-rail FPS (I’m looking at you Meta Quest and PSVR2) and Beyond Good and Evil (the sequel of which is never coming out). I’m not saying these are the games that should or will be picked, but they are games I want.
When Resident Evil 4 remake releases and likely breaks sales records, you just wait and see the amount of remakes that will be announced among the hideous discord of “do something original”. If you want original games, support indy developers and buy those “original” games you ignore because it’s not Call of Duty or looks too odd and strange for you to want to try. Nothing is truly original these days.
My point is we need RE4 to be remade as it’s going to change the landscape of gaming again. It will breathe new life into the genre and in turn bleed out in to other genres in the strangest ways. If you don’t want to spend £70 on a remake then don’t and just wait for a sale. Also don’t treat it like it’s lazy. Dead Space was basically the same game but added more than enough to evolve the game and make it worth it. Plus it’s one of the most stunning to look at having been rebuilt from the ground up.
I think I’ve ranted enough today, have a great day and don’t forget to be nice to each other.
Written by Stuart.
Edited by Alexx.