Fans are divided on whether the groundbreaking title needs the remake treatment or not.
Rumours of a Resident Evil 4 Remake surfaced soon after the April release of RE3.
It’s been 15 years since RE4 first came out on the Nintendo Gamecube. It broke with the series’ tradition of focusing on pure survival horror, venturing into action horror territory.
Love it or hate it, the innovative over-the-shoulder viewpoint, gorgeous graphics, and exciting gameplay made it truly innovative.
Now, with strong hints of a Resident Evil 4 Remake coming in 2022, fans of the series are debating whether it’s a good move or not. Some are worried a remake could deviate too much from the original.
So is RE4 deserving of a remake, or is this just a cash grab? After all, the original has been ported to so many platforms you can probably play it on your smart fridge by now – the original just keeps selling, and an RE4 Remake would no doubt do very well.
Updating a trailblazer
2019’s RE2 and 2020’s RE3 remakes have shown that Capcom really knows what it’s doing when it comes to breathing new life into classic games. Granted, neither of those is perfect, but despite short playtimes both are wonderful renditions of the PSX originals.
With a reimagined RE4, the thrilling gameplay could be improved on the next generation of consoles. But a recent playthrough of RE4 reminded me that, while very fun, it has its problems. The simple “shoot kneecap/melee/knife” mechanic actually gets quite stale after a while. And maybe my teenage brain was more forgiving, but the dialogue is often cringe-inducing rather than funny.
The RE2 and RE3 remakes bring a dark, contemporary tone to these classic stories while mostly respecting the original feel of the setting. Seeing RE4’s village, castle, and island in next-gen graphics is an exciting prospect.
What about Code Veronica?
A common complaint about the idea of an RE4 Remake is that it would be skipping a major title in the series, Code Veronica. That game, which is far less modern-looking and still uses old-school tank controls (for better or worse), is arguably more deserving of the remake treatment.
But it’s still possible Capcom would go back and remake Code Veronica later. There’s apparently a separate team working on the remakes and the mainline titles (like RE8, which is apparently coming in 2021). So, it’s maybe a case of “why not both?” with Capcom focusing on the more popular RE4 for now.
There could also be a case for remaking the Resident Evil 1 Remake from 2002, although a RE:ReReMake might be jumping the shark. Either way, with a dedicated team working on them, there’s still some hope Code Veronica fans could get their updated version too.
Suplexing cult leaders in 4K
On a personal level, I can’t wait for an RE4 Remake. Along with Outbreak, it was the game that really got me into the series. I went back and played the original survival horror entries and now love them even more than 4.
Survival horror purists might argue that RE4 was a step in the wrong direction for the series. It arguably had a bigger impact on the future of shooters than horror games, with its clever controls and brilliant weapons upgrade system.
And the story is definitely ridiculous (why would the US government send a single agent to save the President’s daughter?). But it’s very fun nonetheless.
Ultimately, the idea of expanding on the story and updating the look and mechanics for the next era is a compelling one.