After a brilliant showing at the October Resident Evil Showcase, it’s no secret that Resident Evil 4’s remake is on track to become one of the biggest and most successful games of 2023. The original version of RE4 is already such a universally beloved classic, but it feels like Capcom are doing their utmost to improve on the excellent formula instead of remaking it wholesale, which begs the question of if the remakes will stop here.
There’s only so much that can be done to improve the gameplay of the Resident Evil games, and considering Resident Evil 4 introduced the over-the-shoulder mechanic to the series in the first place, remaking Resident Evil 5 and 6 might not yield as many returns with regards to gameplay. Maybe there’d be some charm in seeing a co-op take on the gameplay shown in the recent Resident Evil remakes, but for the most part, it’d just feel like a fresh coat of paint. Then again, a Resi 6 redemption arc sounds fun too.
If Capcom wants to continue remaking Resident Evil titles (given how successful they’ve been so far, I reckon they definitely do), it would probably be wise for them to go back further than Resident Evil 4 once again. Some have already suggested a remake of Code Veronica, which Capcom stated they currently have no plans to remake, but if the “opportunity comes, maybe”. In the meantime though, Capcom might just start getting into the business of remaking remakes.
The original Resident Evil game has already been remade once before since its original release on PS1, with the release on Nintendo GameCube in 2002 featuring overhauled visuals, redesigned gameplay sections, new subplots and so much more. This is the version that has subsequently been ported to countless other platforms since. There was also a new control scheme introduced, but the first Resident Evil game has never been given the “over-the-shoulder” remake treatment. Should Capcom even dare tread on such hallowed ground?
There’s a lot of arguments to be made that Capcom should leave well enough alone, as the claustrophobia of Spencer Mansion is best showcased through the tank controls and fixed camera angles. Somehow, seeing Jill and Chris fumble their way through the mansion feels more appropriate in the situation than an over-the-shoulder remake that goes from “oh, zombies” to popping headshots in no time flat.
You could also make the case that remaking the original Resident Evil without the classic controls would damage preservation efforts. Tank controls have become somewhat outdated, only really used in indie horror titles that are designed to evoke the nostalgia of titles like the classic Resident Evil games. Seeing the original game being remade in a completely different way might be like the last bastion of tank controls being overwritten in favour of modern controls.
Still, Capcom have been more than willing to create full remakes of Resident Evil 2 and 3, changing their fixed camera angles and tank controls with the over-the-shoulder third person shooter style. If that style of gameplay can easily be applied to those classics, there’s no reason why the original Resident Evil can’t receive the same treatment.
Speaking on a personal level, I’m someone who was sucked into the Resident Evil series in the middle of its over-the-shoulder era, having picked up Resident Evil 5 on the Xbox 360 as a teenager. I’d never been interested in the gameplay of the original Resident Evil trilogy, and having been spoiled by more modern action titles, I feel like it’d be hard to go back. The remakes of Resident Evil 2 and 3 allowed me to experience two of gaming’s biggest titles in a manner that better suited me, and it’d be nice to be given that same opportunity with Resident Evil 1 as well.
Truth be told, it’s hard to see where the Resident Evil series is going to go past titles like Shadow Of Rose or the Resident Evil 4 remake. We may see new titles, or more remakes, or both. Perhaps we’ll even see Outbreak get another chance to shine. Either way, there are probably lots of modern Resident Evil fans who’d jump at the chance to explore Spencer Mansion in a remake of some kind.
Just make sure to get rid of those giant bloody spiders first. You hear me, Capcom?
READ MORE: Resident Evil 4 Remake: All Editions, Prices & Pre-Order Bonuses Explained
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