It might seem silly to consider but when you ask yourself which game is the most re-released game of all time, it might come as a shock that it would be Minecraft. With so many releases since 2011 on PC, portable devices and consoles, we are talking about 16 different platforms. But if we were to look at the second most re-released game, that honor would go to the game that not only revitalized a long-running series but also redefined both a genre and an overall generation: Resident Evil 4.
Ever since the initial launch on the Gamecube back in 2005, Resident Evil 4 is that one timeless game that you see on just about every platform since. Following Leon S. Kennedy as he travels to a rural part of Europe to save the President’s Daughter while fighting off hordes of villagers infected with a mind-controlling parasite. So many things were different in the fourth instalment. From the play style, quick time events and even a “whole new the over the shoulder third-person shooter” perspective that did launch a whole new wave of titles that did follow the formula Resident Evil 4 laid out.
So why are we talking about Resident Evil 4 (RE4) when you can play it on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X when they launch later this year? With the recent trend of Remakes of both Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3, it would make sense that RE4 would be next in line. But that does pose a rather unique problem: Do we need a remake of one of the influential games of the early 2000s?
Why Remake Perfection?
So this might sound a bit pompous to say, but it is the truth. One can argue that there were high demands to remake Resident Evil 2. One can argue that Resident Evil 3 could follow suit (since the two games did come out back to back after all). But is there a group of people that look at Resident Evil 4 and can openly say out loud, “OH BOY! That 15-year-old game is sooooooo dated! Capcom needs to remake that game so it can be even better than the original!” out there?
No. No there isn’t.
Even if you are someone who can’t handle the horror genre, Resident Evil 4 did provide that unique mix of both horror and action to keep the attention of players. Even if you never did touch a Resident Evil title up to RE4, we are looking at an entirely different game that carries over a few characters while showcasing how far Leon has come from his days in Raccoon City. The idea of having a game that feels like it can welcome everyone rather than feeling like it has to “gate off” the content to anyone who isn’t a loyal fan. Unlike most games out there, many would argue that the gameplay of Resident Evil 4 is seemingly timeless and can be just as enjoyable in this day and age as it was back in 2005.
Remakes vs Remasters
If we were to look at the biggest leap from one generation to the next, it would be the leap from the Playstation 1/Nintendo 64 to the Playstation 2/Gamecube/Xbox. I’m fairly certain you could point towards a few titles from the PS2 or Xbox that saw a modern-day remake, but the majority of those titles got to see “Remasters” or games that had visual/graphical/performance updates while not changing the core of the game. In other cases of games from the Playstation 1, we have seen so many remakes. Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, & MediEvil to just name a few alongside the second and third Resident Evil titles and Final Fantasy VII.
There’s a reason why a good chunk of games from the PS2 library see a kind of “remaster collection” come out. To have games from previous generations carry over into this one. Even if you were to say something along the lines of “Well, they did remake the first Ratchet & Clank game!” that is still one game from the PS2 era that saw a remake to the dime a dozen list of titles that saw remasters.
So would this mean that we should see a new Resident Evil 4 in the future of gaming? No one is saying that either. Instead, if we were to remaster the original game once more, now would be the best time. You can spruce up the visuals and tweak it up, but everything else that was in Resident Evil 4 wouldn’t need updates (other than maybe the quick time events). It feels like if you were to give RE4 the same visual updates that we saw in RE2 and RE3, we could very well see a pinnacle title that could reaffirm the game’s status in the Video Game Hall of Fame.
So Do We Need It?
With the rumor mill dropping hints at a “Resident Evil 4 Remake” coming in 2022, chances are that it could drop at around the same time as its predecessors early in the year. Of course, until Capcom decides to officially announce it, that’s up to them, but they do need to tread lightly here. Resident Evil 2 was an example of the right way to do a remake while Resident Evil 3 was an example of what not to do. Fans want to see the original content reimagined in the new day and age and not scrapped to make room for other small tidbits you can toss in. To attempt remaking the biggest of the Resident Evil titles is already a pretty big challenge in itself, but some fans were not too happy with the story Resident Evil 3 had.
In the end, fans should be careful and try not to get too excited for this recent piece of rumor making its rounds. If we do see another Remake, let’s hope Capcom finds a way to go further up and beyond from Resident Evil 4. Otherwise, it could make people question why Capcom didn’t use that time and resources to just make Resident Evil 8.
At this point, some fans are ready to move past Raccoon City and see where the series goes from here rather than looking into the past any more than we currently have. The engine the Resident Evil Remakes are using have more than proven their worth and it probably is time to move forward to a new installment while being able to download the original Resident Evil 4, which still looks just as good as it did 15 years ago.
So what do you think?
Should Resident Evil 4 get a remake like its previous games? What would Resident Evil 4 Remake need to do to surpass the original? And what game would you say should get a remake next?
If the rumors are to be believed, we are still technically a way’s out from its release in 2022. Perhaps by that time, we might get to see what they did with the original and showcase how you can remake it.
Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @thecognetwork what you think! You can also check out our Resident Evil 3 Review here, and a comparison between the two recent remakes here. As always, thanks for reading COG!
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