The Resident Evil franchise, a staple among zombie culture and survival-horror fans, began in 1996 with the original video game: Resident Evil. Since then, the massive franchise has, much like the Umbrella Corporation antagonist throughout the story, grown and dug its roots in across the globe and media platforms including movies, animated features, books, comic books, merch (I have an Umbrella Corporation BioWeapons Division ID Badge hanging not two feet from me), you name it. My first foray into Capcom's world of corporate espionage, bio-terror came via Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, originally released for PlayStation in 1999, effectively making me ten when it came out.
Since then, I've played the gamut, watched the movies, absorbed the in-depth (although convoluted) lore, and generally been an enthusiastic fan of the series. Then in 2012, Capcom released Resident Evil 6 to a wave of criticism and poor reviews. The beloved horror franchise had delved into something it wasn't: an action series. Now let's be honest: Resident Evil was never on par with say Outlast or Amnesia, but the game was horror, had scary moments, and was dripping in an atmosphere filled with dread. Unfortunately for fans of the series, the sixth installment was so far from horror and into action it would have made Michael Bay giddy. God help us.
Then something else happened... Capcom took the fans' words to heart and delivered us the Godsend that is Resident Evil VII: Biohazard. Our franchise was back and on the I'll-hunt-you-while-you're-sleeping legs it was built on. That historical tangent aside, 2019 and 2020 saw HD PS4 and Xbox One remakes of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 respectively.
The concept of remakes isn't anything new. They've been happening across entertainment and media since well before I was born (this isn't the first remake of the RE Series either). Seriously though, how many iterations of the same movie can they do? Just because you add cell phones and a new vernacular doesn't make it worth the money ...Anyways...
I picked up Resident Evil 2 last year because, well, it looked bloody fantastic. And it was. In an instant I was transported back to the world of Raccoon City with characters I knew. There were new things thrown in and a few tweaks and changes, but the game played well and it was a lot of fun. That brings me to the RE3 remake I'm currently playing through.
This game was released to mixed reviews with the general consensus among them falling into two camps: it was great or it should have just been an add-on to the Resident Evil 2 remake. So, I shrugged, waited until it went on sale and jumped in. Here's the thing: the atmosphere is amazing and being back in Raccoon City again, chased by Nemesis, and shooting zombies in the face, is awesome. But the nostalgia feeling that I was looking for, that I found with RE2, is oddly absent.
Maybe that's the thing with remakes and remasters though... sometimes they just don't hit home. I'm not naive to think that remakes aren't done as somewhat of a cash grab. I say this not knowing, in any capacity, what it takes to make a video game remake, but I would imagine, perhaps ignorantly, that remakes and remasters serve two purposes: to introduce a new audience of gamers (usually on a new platform) to a beloved series, or to give hardcore fans of a franchise something to latch onto and, well you know, buy.
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