10 Ways the Resident Evil 4 Remake Should be Different from the Original
Capcom is keeping the remakes train going and has moved on to probably the biggest one yet with Resident Evil 4. Due out in March of next year, the survival horror remake is going to have massive expectations to live up to, and if we’ve learned one thing from past Resident Evil remakes, it’s that in spite of that, it’s definitely not going to play it safe. We’re expecting the Resident Evil 4 remake to make significant changes from the original game across a number of key areas, and here, we’ll be talking about a few of the changes we’re hoping to see.
This one is probably the most obvious of the lot. The original Resident Evil 4 is an absolute masterpiece to this day, sure, but it’s also an incredibly corny game. That’s not exactly a shortcoming- that’s what it was consciously designed as, and that b-movie aesthetic is very much part of its charm. At the same time though, that tone doesn’t fit the modern-day style and aesthetic of Resident Evil, which has become far more grounded and subdued. We saw the RE2 and 3 remakes making tonal changes to that effect, and even from the single trailer that we’ve seen so far, it’s abundantly clear that RE4 will be doing the same.
MORE FOCUSED ON HORROR
This goes hand-in-hand with the tonal changes that we’re hoping (and guessing) Resident Evil 4 will make, though not for the same reasons. The RE series’ action-focused phase began with the original RE4 back in the day, which was way more of an action horror game than survival horror. Sure, there was constant tension throughout the game, but tension and horror aren’t the same thing. We’ve got a good hunch that that won’t be the case with the remake. The trailer shows familiar scenes from the game that were set during daytime in the original taking place at night in the remake, and the general tone seems way more horror-focused. We’d love to see that applied to the entire experience.
Pacing can be a tricky thing to nail for any game, but the horror genre in particular struggles with it more than most other games, primarily because it’s a genre that doesn’t lend itself too well to overly long runtimes. The original RE4 was definitely a pretty long game by horror standards at 15-20 hours long, and that invariably led to some pacing issues here and there. Many will tell you, for instance, that certain sections of the game – like the island, maybe – dragged on a little too long. Capcom has proven with the last couple of Resident Evil remakes that it’s not exactly averse to leaving content on the cutting floor where needed (and at times where not needed, arguably), and RE4 is honestly a game that could use a little bit of that trimming.
MORE CONNECTIONS TO PAST RE GAMES
This is one criticism that you’ll see veteran Resident Evil fans bringing up frequently for RE4– that in spite of all of its many, many strengths, it feels too separate from the games that preceded it. Over the course of the first three Resident Evil games and Code – Veronica, Capcom’s series was building up to a massive showdown with Umbrella Corporation, so to see that whole plotline get dealt with in the interim between those games and RE4 and see it get wrapped up in a text screen in the beginning of RE4 felt more than a little anticlimactic. Obviously, we’re not expecting that to be changed in the remake – that would require a significant rework of the story – but we’d still like to see some changes that tie in RE4’s events to other games in the series more closely. The RE3 remake already did make some changes to integrate it more with RE4, so we’re optimistic on this front.
You can’t have a Leon Resident Evil game without also having Ada be a crucial part of the story, and she did, of course, have a big role to play in RE4. She is obviously coming back for the remake – we’ve already seen a glimpse of her in the reveal trailer – and our hope is that her campaigns – which were separate from the base experience in the original for obvious reasons – will be properly integrated into the main story itself in the remake. Resident Evil 2 did an excellent job of smoothly incorporating all of its Ada stuff into the main story, so we’re quite confident that the RE4 remake will follow suit.
EXPANDED ROLE FOR CERTAIN CHARACTERS
When it comes to prominent central characters like Leon, Ashley, Ada, and Wesker, there’s little doubt in our minds that Capcom is going to be paying close attention to how it wants to portray them in the remake, but we’re hoping they’ll be equally focused on some of the less central but still important characters in the game as well. Luis Sera, for instance, had a vital role to play in the original game, and Jack Krauser, too, had a massive presence as one of the antagonists. Our hope is that not only will we get to see more of both, but that both characters will also feel much more fleshed out and better written than they did in the original RE4. On the opposite end of the spectrum, meanwhile, we really hope that Salazar is either changed into a completely different personality (and voice) or has his screentime significantly reduced.
The Chainsaw Man, a.k.a. Dr. Salvador, has to be one of the most iconic villains not only in Resident Evil 4, but the entire Resident Evil series, so you can bet your bottom dollar that he’s going to be way, way more prominent in the remake than he was in the original. There’s just no way that Capcom passes up this opportunity to throw more of a spotlight on him. The question, of course, is this- how exactly is he going to be handled in the remake? For our part, we’d love to see him as a recurring stalker enemy- similar to Mr. X in how relentless or consistently terrifying he is, but perhaps a bit faster as well to suit his moveset. Sure, it’d be a big overhaul from the original RE4, but the RE remakes have never been afraid of making big changes.
This, honestly, is almost a necessity. The original Resident Evil 4 is timeless in many ways, but one of its aspects that some will argue hasn’t aged well is the fact that you cannot move and shoot at the same time. You will, of course, be able to do that in the remake, but that means the combat encounters are going to need significant overhauls. How many enemies the game throws at you, where they come at you from, the frequency with which they pop up, how the arenas are designed- all of that will have to be rethought to accommodate the new movement options.
EXPANDED WEAPON UPGRADES
Resident Evil 4 had an impressive variety of weapons on offer, which is one of the many things that makes it such a replayable game, as you decide to use and invest into different weapons across different playthroughs. Our hope is to see the remake doubling down on that with even more expansive upgrade options for weapons. The original RE4 was already an impressive game in this area, and honestly, the remake wouldn’t be found lacking even if it brought over its weapon progression mechanics as is, but as we know so well by now, Capcom rarely passes up the opportunity to expand on ideas in its remakes, and this might very well be one of those instances.
This one, honestly, is a bit of a pipe dream. Resident Evil 4 is going to be a huge production, to say the very least, and as a third person game, it doesn’t lend itself to VR very well (or at least the style of VR that we’ve come to expect from not only Resident Evil as a series, but the horror genre as a whole). But given how great RE7 was in VR, how promising Village’s PSVR2 version looks, and how incredible Resident Evil 4 VR was on the Quest 2, we just can’t help but hope for a VR version of the upcoming remake as well. Hopefully it’ll happen down the road, some time after launch. We’re not holding our breath for that, of course, but we’re definitely keeping our fingers crossed.