Resident Evil 4 joins the recent surge of studios remaking some of the industry’s biggest games as Capcom works towards the release of its latest game in an ever-growing list of resident Evil remakes. Built from the renewed legacy of Resident Evil 2 and 3, Resident Evil 4 will be a modern rendition of one of Resident Evil’s most beloved entries, causing many to believe that Capcom is reworking the lengthy canon of resident Evil as it prepares for future games.
Most poignantly, Capcom has been cryptically referring to Resident Evil 4’s remake as a “reawakening” of the original title, which has led many to theorize on just what this could mean for the game and the series it belongs to. Resident Evil 4 possibly leading to something more could suggest that Capcom is taking inspiration from Final Fantasy 7 Remake and this could be the beginning of something completely brand new from resident Evil.
Remakes Aplenty in the Game Industry
Remakes have been commonplace within the gaming industry for a considerable time. Particularly, games that were once fan favorites or cult classics are often updated for the next generation of consoles and adapted where necessary to fit a more modern gaming rubric. However, with the gaming market becoming increasingly saturated with old favorites, it would seem remakes are struggling to either stand out from the crowd. Ace resident Evil circles back to its most recent titles, with just Resident Evil 5 and 6 to go before Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and Village are caught up, this could be something Capcom is attempting to consider and navigate.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake didn’t outright face these issues, as not only could Square Enix completely reinvent how the game played compared to its 1997 counterpart, but Final Fantasy 7 was beloved by fans and just one entry in an exhaustive series of games. With the addition of “Whispers” and Cloud’s visions around Aerith’s death, and the ultimate suggestion that the Final Fantasy 7 canon May Be Broken, Final Fantasy 7 Remake became less a remake and more a reimagining that is leading to a whole new story unfolding. now that Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth has been announced, it’s clear that Square Enix is going above and beyond the idea of a simple “remake”.
Resident Evil Is Being Reawakened
though resident Evil is more entrenched in sci-fi than fantasy, it wouldn’t be beyond Capcom’s capability to reimagine Resident Evil’s story in a way that could help either lay the groundwork for future entries or establish a brand-new canon with multiple different “universes.” If it were to follow in Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s footsteps, then Resident Evil 4 could move away from the original game and steer the series towards something new. Already Resident Evil 4 features several changes that may hint towards Capcom’s intentions, including Leon Kennedy’s outfit being different and enemies having updated behaviors to fit new gameplay mechanics. Moreover, in line with the preceding remakes, many fans are expecting further additions or improvements to various characters or storylines within the game, just as Carlos Oliveira from Resident Evil 3 or Marvin Branagh from Resident Evil 2 were given better characterization and more screen time.
However, it’s clear that the remakes going off-script is a dangerous balancing act for Capcom. Resident Evil 3 received criticism for its reimagined storyline that felt too short and cut out important content from the original. Thankfully, there is still potential for Resident Evil 4‘s remake to forge ahead and create a new narrative. In order to bring the distinct experiences of Ethan and Rose together with Leon, Claire, Ada, and others, Capcom will need to get creative in aligning the events of each game to fit a “reawakened” canon. Perhaps capitalizing on Resident Evil’s strange, inhuman viruses from early resident Evil games could be the key; the Plagues from the upcoming Resident Evil 4 remake could bring all these games under one expansive Umbrella Corp.
Resident Evil 4 Remake is set to release on March 24, 2023 for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S.
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