3 Resident Evil games that deserve remakes more than Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4 doesn’t need a remake. It’s an incredibly popular game the worldwide gamer audience has repeatedly shown it is perfectly happy with in its existing form — and that it is perfectly happy to repeatedly buy on myriad different platforms as time goes on. Meanwhile, numerous other Resident Evil titles languish in varying degrees of obscurity, leading one to wonder why Capcom isn’t giving them another chance rather than simply creating a remake no-one asked for or feels is needed.

Of course, not every Resident Evil game is particularly good. Some of those games are best left in the past — and others, such as the lightgun shooters, do not have a particularly practical means of recreating the experience on modern platforms. But there are still quite a few worthy of resurrection — of which we present three of our favourites to you now.

Resident Evil Gaiden

Resident Evil Gaiden

There were a couple of attempts to bring Resident Evil to Game Boy Colour — including an ambitious, technically impressive but ultimately cancelled recreation of the first game, complete with creepy camera angles — but the one that eventually made it to market was Resident Evil Gaiden.

This title featured three playable characters, allowing you to play as Leon S. Kennedy and Barry Burton from Resident Evil 2 and 1 respectively, plus newcomer Lucia. It was originally presented from an isometric perspective with first-person RPG-style battle sequences as a means of playing to the 8-bit Game Boy Colour’s particular strengths rather than attempting to slavishly recreate the original Resident Evil experience — and it worked pretty well.

Part of the reason we don’t hear much about Resident Evil Gaiden today is that its events are considered non-canonical. Despite featuring established characters Leon and Barry, their investigation of the T-Virus aboard the passenger ship Starlight, the narrative of the game is supposedly contradicted by the main series at numerous points, and thus it is not considered to be an official part of the series.

That doesn’t mean that it can’t be retrofitted in a remake to fit in with established canon and lore, mind. A remake of this game has plenty of scope to do interesting things — whether it were to replace the original 8-bit gameplay with something more akin to the modern Resident Evil remakes, or if it were to deliberately keep the stylised mechanics and simply bring them up to date with modern presentation. Either way, Resident Evil Gaiden deserves another chance.

Resident Evil Outbreak

Resident Evil Outbreak

I always loved the idea of the two Resident Evil Outbreak games on PlayStation 2. The idea of playing what was essentially a conventional Resident Evil game, but in collaboration with other players, was an appealing one, particularly as the episodic structure made it eminently suitable for shorter sessions rather than a long-term commitment.

Unfortunately, at the time the two Outbreak games were released, getting one’s console online could be a bit of a pain in the arse, at least here in the UK; it would still be a few years before broadband Internet connections would become commonplace, and the PlayStation 2’s lack of a centralised online infrastructure (in contrast with Microsoft’s original simple but effective implementation of Xbox Live) was by no means ideal for this kind of game. Plus the PAL release of the first game didn’t support online play at all!

Remake these two games into a single package with the perspective and presentation of the modern Resident Evil Remake games, and you could be on to a winner. Eliminate the clunkiness of the original PlayStation 2 versions, make it straightforward and simple to play with friends, and we could be enjoying a fantastic multiplayer survival horror experience.

Resident Evil: Code Veronica

Resident Evil: Code Veronica

The biggie. Quite why Capcom is so keen to let this excellent installment in the series languish in obscurity for all eternity is beyond me, but this title is sorely in need of a remake to bring it in line with the newer rereleases. It’s important to the overall narrative, it features some of the series’ most memorable moments, and it’s simply a great game. Plus I doubt anyone would complain at Claire Redfield taking the lead again.

Resident Evil: Code Veronica was a pioneering installment in the Resident Evil series on its original release for replacing the pre-rendered backdrops and their fixed camera angles with a fully polygonal environment that featured dynamic camera movement. This made for some absolutely fantastic moments quite unlike anything that had been seen before in the series — and while I suspect a Code Veronica remake would probably adopt the “over the shoulder” approach of the Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes, those two games have shown beyond a doubt that there’s plenty of scope for scares from that perspective, too.

For me, Resident Evil: Code Veronica is the mainline Resident Evil game most in need of a remake — if only for the sake of making it more playable to a modern audience. Yes, a downloadable HD version was released on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2011 — I must confess, I actually didn’t know about these until five minutes ago, which shows what a terrible job Capcom must have done at marketing them — but the clunky tank controls and dated visuals of the original game mean that it’s crying out to get the remake treatment.

But no. We get Resident Evil 4, again. And I’m sure that will be fine — but, y’know, I’m kind of bored of it now!

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Pete Davison
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