Whatever you think of Resident Evil 3 Remake, it’s already become a financial success as reports show that Capcom’s latest remake has sold a whopping two million copies in just a week. That’s an amazing number considering there are hardly any gaming stores, if any, that are open and selling the game. It only makes sense for Capcom to capitalize on the current momentum and remake another classic game from the Resident Evil franchise.
All the rumors do seem to be pointing that the next Resident Evil in the pipeline will be a remake for Resident Evil 4. After all, it is one of the most beloved games of the series and even brought the then dying series back from the grave (even though it also almost ironically put the final name in the coffin for the franchise). It seems like a no-brainer that a remake of this super beloved game would sell like hotcakes.
Here’s the thing, though. As much as I think a Resident Evil 4 Remake would be a sales smash for Capcom, I don’t think it’ll be the critical success. In fact, I think it would be trying to fix something that wasn’t broken in the first place.
First off, Resident Evil 4 is a game that is on almost every modern console. And I mean almost every modern console. The game has been out on the Nintendo Gamecube, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U and PC just for starters. It’s also received a release on the PC several times and some downgraded versions of the game has been playable on mobile devices as well as something called the Zeebo. Just recently, Resident Evil 4 has been ported to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. Sorry, original Xbox and Dreamcast. You seem like the only one who missed out!
Now, think about that. This game is playable on virtual everything and no one seems to be complaining about the game’s age. If they did, I don’t think fans would have an issue of buying it over and over and over again. It’s something like this that makes me think that Resident Evil 4 is a little too new to need a remake.
Another thing that makes me think twice that a Resident Evil 4 Remake would be a good idea is the fact that the gameplay doesn’t really need an upgrade. When you look at the original Resident Evil 2 and 3, there are some things that really needed retooling, and I’m not just talking about the super blocky graphics of the time.
Things like the static camera angles and the tank-like controls may have been necessary when they came out but feel very clunky today. These were things the Remakes fixed as they had a more dynamic over-the-shoulder point of view so you can see the action clearly. This allowed for better aiming controls as you now had to really aim for that zombie’s head instead of just pointing up. This viewpoint also made it possible to better control your character as it played like a shooter. You know, like Resident Evil 4! The only thing the Remakes have over the original Resident Evil 4 is the ability to move around while aiming. Otherwise, the controls are pretty much the same!
Resident Evil 4 is also an extremely big game. Resident Evil 2 and 3, the original ones that came out on the PlayStation, are short by comparison. You can probably beat them in around six to eight hours in your first playthrough. You can’t really do that in Resident Evil 4 as there are so many areas to go through! If they do remake the game, there’s a good chance Capcom may order some locations cut out to save on development time or costs. I don’t think fans would like anything cut out, especially when you see fans upset with Resident Evil 3 cutting out locations like the infamous clock tower area.
However, the biggest issue I have with remaking Resident Evil 4 is what Capcom might do with the overall tone. The original Resident Evil 4 changed things by putting more focus on action rather than horror. But it also changed something else. It made the game more cheesy. Oh, the earlier games already felt like a B-movie horror film with the terrible voice acting and out-there plots. But Resident Evil 4 took things to a whole new level as it went all out!
If you haven’t played Resident Evil 4, today’s gamers may be surprised that, in that game, you control one of the protagonists of Resident Evil 2, Leon S. Kennedy. But while Leon was a little wet behind the ears in the second game, he became a full-fledged action hero in the fourth game! Some of the insane things Leon S. Kennedy does in Resident Evil 4 is kicking a villager’s head so hard it explodes, suplex an enemy to crush their skulls in, jump from the top of a tower to the ground without breaking a single bone in his body and backflipping around to avoid lasers!
There are other things that makes Resident Evil 4 a divine cheese-fest. You have the Merchant who appears out of nowhere to sell stuff to Leon; you never question why he’s there or what are his motives. You face off against little people with a superiority complex. And, of course, you have those wonderful corny one-liners that Leon and the rest of the cast of crazy characters deliver with such panache!
Now, if Capcom did remake Resident Evil 4, what are the odds they’ll keep the cheesiness?
One of the reasons why the Remakes for Resident Evil 2 and 3 worked so well was because the original games were supposed to be scary. The Remakes definitely capture the spookiness with all the dark areas. I have a sneaking suspicion, however, Capcom might make the mistake and try to remake Resident Evil 4 following this template, as in trying to make the game scary.
But Resident Evil 4 isn’t supposed to be scary. It’s supposed to be a fun shooter. That’s part of its DNA. If Capcom ditches the silliness for a more serious tone, then it wouldn’t be the stupid fun game that captured the imaginations of many gamers who’ve played it.
Personally, I would rather see Capcom give Resident Evil – Code: Veronica the Remake treatment. While I know I’m in the minority who thinks the game is actually good, that just makes the idea of making a Resident Evil – Code: Veronica all the more enticing.
Code: Veronica may be a Dreamcast game but it still plays like the Resident Evil games that came out on the PlayStation. It still has the tank-like controls and combat mechanics. The camera does pan and scroll around somewhat but they’re still very fixed to a particular angle. The graphics, even the HD remastered version, looks very dated. The dialog and voice acting does need a little touching up, to say the least. Also, they really need to rework Steve Burnside, one of the most annoying characters to ever be in a Resident Evil game. I mean, Capcom did a great job of reworking the dweeby Carlos Oliviera in Resident Evil 3 Remake! They can certainly do the same with Steve!
If Capcom does announce they’re making Resident Evil 4 Remake, I’ll still be excited for it. But I just think they really need to think twice about it. If they push through with it, they really have to make sure that can somehow elevate a game that everyone thinks is almost perfect in their minds while still ensuring it keeps the soul that made it the smash hit it still is today.
That is going to be one tall order so I’d rather they not rush through it.
Do you think it’s a good idea to remake Resident Evil 4 now? Let me know in the comments section below!