Resident Evil 2’s Item Balance Took Tons Of Trial And Error, Says Capcom


Getting Resident Evil 2‘s item/resource management metagame into the pitch-perfect shape required for launch wasn’t easy, Capcom has revealed. As per the latest issue of Game Informer (thanks, Destructoid), co-director for the critically acclaimed survival horror remake, Kazunori Kadoi, states that the secret to that success is trial and error, and a lot of it at that.

Personally, I’ve often found myself pondering how developers decide where, and with what frequency, to place the necessary resources that the player needs to survive and the Resident Evil series, perhaps more than any other, is a prime example of how to get the balance just right. Kadoi’s revelation might make the process sound oh-so-simple, but it’s tough to label it anything but modest.

Make healing items too commonplace, and the player will feel decidedly less unsafe knowing that they have restoratives to fall back on after a nasty zombie bite. Too few, and the whole affair can devolve into a messy game of trial and error, allowing little room for mistakes. It’s that same intuitive sense of when (and when not) to reward the player that Kadoi and the rest of Resident Evil 2‘s team spent countless hours fine-tuning, a process that, according to Kadoi, all comes down to “playing the game over and over and over and…over.”

In light of the end result, Capcom can rest easy in the knowledge that its attention to detail paid off, but it’ll be interesting to see how it plans to handle such balance for a potential future remake. The original Resident Evil 3 famously did away with static item placement and instead relied on a series of predetermined loot pools for non-essential key items, including randomized gunpowder types.

Could Resident Evil 2‘s adoption of a similar ammo crafting system be considered a hint that a remake of Jill’s manic escape from Raccoon City is already in the works? Who knows, but fans are already suspecting that Mr. X is a prototype for that game’s Nemesis, so the evidence is certainly mounting. Fingers crossed, eh?

Resident Evil 2 is available now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, and you can find our own glowing review of Capcom’s survival horror masterpiece here.

Source: Destructoid