The Resident Evil 2 remake is a hit. It sold bundles, it’s critically acclaimed, and I’ve barely seen any fans who aren’t happy with it. It’s doing so well amid other Capcom hits that a lot of folks believe the publisher is “back.” Based on an interview with the game’s director in the latest issue of Game Informer magazine, it looks like the series is in good hands.
Kazunori Kadoi, who’s been with Capcom for over two decades, was given the shot to co-direct the remake with Yasuhiro Ampo and he kind of never looked back. Kadoi explains that although the team ‘considered’ including the tank control scheme originally as an option, they decided that since they enjoyed the tension of the modern over-the-shoulder cam they decided to have “one defined camera” to avoid “splitting their energy,” which would have resulted in a worse game overall (I can think of a few developers that try to do too much, so this is a good tip). Kadoi says that the obvious Resident Evil 7-based RE Engine link influenced their process quite a bit, freeing them up to spend more time on the combat system.
He also goes on to note that they wanted to make Raccoon City bigger in scale and corrects the notion that USB devices weren’t around in 1998 (they were invented in 1999 before they hit the mass market): Kadoi maintains that since it’s actually just an authentication dongle, which was around at the time, their historical accuracy is safe (this guy is a boss). As for the Tyrant, he tracks your location “no matter how far [they] may be from the player,” which is a neat factoid. Oh, and Leon and Claire’s stories aren’t “both canon” per se, as Kadoi claims that “whatever story you choose” is the main timeline.
The most interesting bit of the talk is when Kadoi shares his philosophy on resource management/design, stating: “[it’s] not much of a secret aside from a lot of trial and error! It’s about playing the game over and over and over and…over. It’s about constantly tweaking the game along the way until it feels like the right level of balance.”
It’ll be interesting to see how many times the team will have to test out Resident Evil 3 if they do decide to remake it next (all signs point to “yes”). If you haven’t played it before, RE3 has a semi-random distribution mechanic for items, allowing for more variety between playthroughs on top of some of the bigger choices (like staying to fight the Nemesis boss that stalks you the entire game or running). While it clearly seems like a lot of work I’d love for that to return as it’s a big part of the game’s DNA.
Resident Evil 2 [Game Informer]
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Resident Evil 2 remake director: getting the right item balance is ‘a lot of trial and error’