Never underestimate the dedication and skill of a hardcore gamer. Programmer Rod Lima took on the daunting task of recreating Resident Evil 2 in the free version of the Unreal Engine, known as the Unreal Development Kit. The game is playable and a heck of a lot more functional than I would have imagined.
Siliconera spotted an updated video of Lima's progress on YouTube. The programmer extracted all the model, animation and effect assets from the Resident Evil games and then imported them into the Unreal Development Kit. The hard part was turning those assets into a playable game. Lima actually managed to do so.
In fact, you can see his quality programming skills at work in the playthrough of Claire's missions in Resident Evil 2 with the hour-and-a-half long video below. The whole thing also contains the original cinematic sequences from the 1998 release.
As noted by Siliconera, Lima altered the camera view, moving from the third-person, over-the-shoulder angle that he originally had – the same sort of camera view that mimics the gameplay of Resident Evil 4 (and onward) – and going back to the classic fixed-camera view that Resident Evil became famous for.
According to the YouTube description...
“Most of models, model animes and scenario were extracted from Capcom's Resident Evil games and I use it only for learning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyrigh...) program the gameplay on UDK.
Take note that there is and is not a lot of work that went into this project. The brunt of the visual aspects were already finished by Capcom – Lima just copied the assets into UDK. All the animations, voiceover work, audio effects and cinematics are just moved over from previous releases of Resident Evil. So in that regards, Lima had a load taken off his shoulders. Still, that doesn't take away from the fact that extracting assets and reintegrating them into a new engine still requires a lot of time and patience.
The real work is getting all of the assets working in cohesion with the engine and the code. Lima took the time to actually reprogram all of the gameplay mechanics and features from the original game into the Unreal Development Kit. Now that is a real feat of design excellence for as far as I'm concerned. Programming and coding is no easy task, and is a painstaking process to ensure that projects run bug-free. So while Lima didn't actually recreate the visual components of Resident Evil 2, just re-programming all of the game's core features in the UDK is a feat in itself that deserves a lot of recognition and praise.
Those in the comment section of Siliconera are calling for Capcom to hire the guy. The more likely reality is that Rod Lima needs to find a decent artist to team up with and design his own game. He definitely has the skills to do so.