Resident Evil 2 entirely changed my perception of video games. I’ve been playing them for as long as I can remember. At one point, I had an entire gym sack full of NES cartridges, and no, they were not all Super Mario Bros 2. I had everything ranging from rage-inducing slogs like The Immortal, to other rage-inducing slogs like Contra, but at least that one had the illusion of being fun. Also, it had that cool cheat code. Those games were entertaining and maybe a little stressful, but none of them ever made me feel anything close to a deep emotion like fear or dread.
Enter the Survival Horror.
PlayStation was a rarity in my life, as the first console of that generation I owned was the doomed Sega Dreamcast. One of my mom’s boyfriend’s kids had the only PS1 I knew about, and we were over there often enough to where I became familiar with this awesome 3D gaming system. There were new layers and depths to gameplay my little six-year-old mind could not comprehend. My potential step brother allowed me to try Resident Evil 2 with my little tiny baby fingers. Shortly thereafter, I got eaten for the first time by a ravenous horde of zombies and saw blood splatter on the screen, turning into the words “You Died” as that sickening 32-bit munching/crunching sound echoed ominously in the background.
After that, I could not play any game for days. I couldn’t even entirely go down the stairs into the basement where the PlayStation lay in wait. I sat on the stairs and watched the older boy play as I cowered in fear, my arms draped loosely around the railing, ready to grip tightly for a quick escape. Needless to say, the Resident Evil brand stuck with me, and as I grew up and got all brave and whatnot, I tackled Resident Evil 3 the next year and loved it so much that I convinced Mom to rent a PS1 and Resident Evil 3 from the old Hollywood Video for a weekend, much to the chagrin of everyone who knew that letting a seven-year-old play a hard M-rated game might not be the best for my development.
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But hey, speaking of development, there are rumors rumbling around that after the massive success of that amazing Resident Evil 2 remake, Capcom has already started work on a Resident Evil 3 remake in secret. That would be cool, actually, to have the Resident Evil 3 remake come out a year after the Resident Evil 2 remake, since that’s how the releases of the originals were staggered as well. Plus, the former could use some assets from the latter for an expedited creation process which could allow Capcom to insert some new features or tighten up existing mechanics much more easily. New mechanics, you say? Like what? Well…
First of all, we certainly need Jill and Carlos to have some sort of dodging mechanic. We all remember the tricky to master quick-dodge introduced in the PS1 classic. I think that, due to how realistically heavy the character movements now feel in the RE Engine, to make the inevitable fights with Nemesis more dynamic and less frustrating, there needs to be an added element of character movement. I don’t want some dumb quicktime event, though. Maybe a button combo integrated with a minor stamina mechanic, so that players can’t just spam it against every enemy they encounter. Like, a tactical roll, or something. I mean, Jill and Carlos are both heavily trained in close quarters combat, so it’d really make sense.
Secondly, I want more guns. I mean…I feel like this is a given, as the original Resident Evil 3 had a more robust inventory than Resident Evil 2, but still, it must be reiterated. With the amazing limb destruction mechanics that the RE Engine can bring us, I’m really looking forward to just shredding zeds with Carlos’ machine gun. Do I think a deeper gun upgrade system would be dumb? It quite possibly could be, but hey, I’d like to see what they could come up with. Heck, just throw The Merchant from Resident Evil 4 in there as a cute little reference, but also let me buy a laser sight for my Lightning Hawk. What a rad idea!
Thirdly, I’d like more character interactions between our two leads. While I can’t imagine we’re going to have two campaigns this time around, I wouldn’t mind more scenes of Jill and Carlos shooting the breeze. That’s one thing I missed in the Resident Evil 2 remake, the Claire and Leon breather scenes. We only had a couple, and they were so spaced out that I didn’t feel the connection between the two like I did back in the PS1 days. I want some banter intermixed with some genuine pathos, maybe even a little fear, since these characters are constantly staring down their own mortality. But that’s just me.