Capcom Talks Redesigning Resident Evil 2 at SDCC Panel
The game's producer spoke about the process of revamping the original and why they did it.
By Chris Morse
San Diego Comic-Con kicked off late in the week and promised a trove of new information about all of our favorite geek and horror topics, ranging from video games to upcoming movies and comics. Naturally, Capcom had a presence at the show in their own panel for the upcoming Resident Evil 2 remake. The game's producer, Yoshiaki Hirabayashi, spoke at the panel and offered even more insight into the highly-anticipated horror title.
Playstation.Blog offered a nice summary of what was talked about the panel, which we will recap and go through with our own impressions. For starters, Hirabayashi explained why they even remade this game to begin with. Quite simply, this remake exists because there was an overwhelming amount of fan demand for it. The remake of the original Resident Evil (and its recent remaster for modern systems) was the gold standard for re-imagining classic installments of the franchise and long-time fans of the series certainly wanted to see Resident Evil 2 get a similar treatment.
One thing that Hirabayashi wanted to make clear is that this isn't simply a remake, but rather a complete redesign of the game. From the city areas to the Raccoon Police Department as a whole and the way the story plays out, this will be a brand-new experience altogether for both new and returning players alike.
Hirabayashi dove into the characters next, speaking about the process of redesigning Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield from scratch. Given that Leon is a well-established hero in the franchise and he first appeared in Resident Evil 2, the goal was to recapture his youth by giving him a fresh-faced look to better match a rookie cop on his first day on the job.
In order to capture a more-realistic look of the character and outfit, the team actually created a physical version of Leon's outfit to scan into the game using photogrammetry technology. From there, they iterated through the process of getting the appearance just right for a game with high-end graphics.
Claire, on the other hand, hasn't gotten a lot of love in the trailers or discussions up until this point, so it refreshing to hear a little bit more about her character at the SDCC panel. Her updated design went through a similar process as with Leon, with a physical outfit being created and scanned into the game to capture a more realistic appearance. They even went all-in on the motorcycle, which was on full display in the artwork released to kick off the convention.
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The last major area Hirabayashi touched upon was the approach of rebuilding Raccoon City during the outbreak to get the scenery just right. For a dark and rainy day in the city, the team used the RE Engine to really make the weather stand out, with puddles and flooding providing an aesthetic accent to the destruction and chaos that reigned throughout the streets.
Fear of the dark is another major area the Resident Evil 2 team wanted to play off of. Given the darker, rainy ambience of that night in Raccoon City, knowing that a more monstrous, grotesque zombie might be lurking just around the corner at any moment means the tension is sky-high while playing this game. The team wanted the zombies to be particularly emphatic of these overall themes, promising that these monsters are ones you do not want to be bit by this time around, based on their realistic detail and gruesome appearances alone.
The Comic-Con panel for Resident Evil 2 was ultimately quite fruitful with respect to getting a better idea of what Hirabayashi and the team were going for in creating this game. A final footnote to add while we're here is a quick report from Daily Star, who spoke with producers Tsuyoshi Kanda and Yoshiaki Hirabayashi back at E3, revealing that despite the first-person rat scene from the reveal trailer, VR is not in the cards for this one. They did not feel it was the best way to present this game and that it didn't match their vision for this remake.
We were previously unsure if VR would be an option, but it's looking like that will not be the case. We'll have plenty more on Resident Evil 2 as SDCC wraps up and we move forward into the months ahead.