How The Resident Evil 2 Remake Differs From Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 2 Remake
(Image credit: Capcom)

One of the most long-awaited remakes that fans have been clamoring for is Resident Evil 2. It held a special place in the hearts of gamers who grew up with it during the late 1990s when it made its debut on the original PlayStation. The game was highly lauded for taking everything that Capcom accomplished with Resident Evil and then expanded on it with even bigger battles, more cinematics, and a more horrifying story exploring the mythos of Biohazard. Capcom finally revealed Resident Evil 2 Remake at this year's E3, along with some gameplay footage of the upcoming title, and a lot of people noted how similar it was to Resident Evil 4. The developers explained, however, how it differs from the widely popular Resident Evil 4.

During this year's E3, Yoshiaki "H" Hirabayashi spoke with Gamespot, breaking down what the difference is between Resident Evil 2 Remake and Resident Evil 4, saying...

First, I want to make sure that everyone is aware right from the announcement period that just because we've gone with over-the-shoulder third person, that it's not Resident Evil 4, you know? The ingredients for Resident Evil 4 was it's Resident Evil, it's over-the-shoulder, and it's bringing in shooter elements. But this game isn't the same; we're taking the explorative elements--the Metroidvania-like backtracking exploration you've seen in previous Resident Evil games--and we're putting in an over-the-shoulder perspective, but that's it. We're not actually adding in any of the extra shooter aspects that was a part of Resident Evil 4. So it isn't going to take on the tone and style of the more action hero approach you've seen many of the characters take in previous Resident Evil games. It's still these average people stuck in the desperate situation, trying to survive.

It's true that Resident Evil 2 Remake has an over-the-shoulder camera just like what Capcom introduced with Resident Evil 4, which also starred Leon Kennedy as a super-duper secret agent out to rescue the President's daughter. However, Resident Evil 4 through Resident Evil 6 added plenty of over-the-top action elements that Hirabayashi is talking about, including being able to dive and dual-wield pistols, as well as perform a number of cinematic special maneuvers.

None of those features will be present in Resident Evil 2 Remake. The game is actually running on the Resident Evil 7 game engine, featuring a lot of photogrammetry, and 3D scanned characters so that it captures a more realistic tone. This was deliberately done so that the game has a more grounded, realistic feel to the horror, the lighting, and the character and gore depictions.

This "realism" also transfers over into how the game handles horror and action. You won't have a large cache of weapons like Rambo, but instead, you'll have to utilize resource management, with Hirabayashi explaining...

The way we can make players feel powerful in that context is they're not just going to be reeling off endless rounds of bullets; they're going to have to do resource management and they're going to have to watch their ammo. If they're able to learn the best way to aim and shoot zombies, and how to take them down or weaken them; then there's the risk and reward of taking the time learn how to get the right shot.

During the E3 demonstrations, it was also revealed that the zombies won't be pushovers like in Resident Evil 5 and the non-Leon segments of Resident Evil 6. The zombies in Resident Evil 2 Remake don't go down easily and require a lot of resources to take them out. So players will have to either run or find ways to take out the zombies while attempting to conserve ammo, hearkening back to a more traditional horror-survival gameplay paradigm.

A lot of fans are excited about the potential as the game heads toward release in January 2019 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.