"Resident Evil 4" changed both the gaming landscape and the franchise from which it was birthed. It helped popularize the over-the-shoulder perspective in third-person shooters, helped bring about the trend of quick-time events in action games, and depending on who you ask, saved or doomed the "Resident Evil" Franchise. According to PC Gamer, Capcom is reportedly capitalizing on the success of the remakes of the first three "Resident Evil" installments with a remake of "RE4". Here's why this is a bad idea.

The world of survival horror

For the uninitiated, the "Resident Evil" franchise revolves around a series of viral outbreaks caused by an evil pharmaceutical company known as the Umbrella Corporation.

Seeking to create a biological weapon for the military, the company created the T-virus in a laboratory hidden within a mansion near a mid-western town known as Raccoon City. However, things got out of control, and all the researchers, staff, and local wildlife became exposed to this virus, turning them into bloodthirsty zombies.

Although a rescue group known as S.T.A.R.S. managed to uncover Umbrella's insidious secrets and blow up the mansion, the virus spread out to Raccoon City, forcing the government to launch a missile at the city in an attempt to stop the outbreak from spreading.

"Resident Evil 4" puts players in control of Leon S. Kennedy, a survivor of the outbreak of Raccoon City. He's been tasked with rescuing the president's daughter, Ashley Graham, from a cult located in a rural village in the middle of Spain.

Leon attempts to question one of the locals, but the man becomes hostile and lunges at him with an ax. After shooting the villager in self-defense, Leon discovers that this community's has been hit with a viral infection similar to the one in Raccoon City. The only difference is that these infected aren't zombies and as such, are faster, able to wield weapons, and can even outsmart their prey.

To make matters worse, Leon and Ashley get injected with this virus and could succumb to infection if he doesn't find a cure fast enough.

"RE4" was markedly different from its predecessors in both mechanics and tone. Gone were the fixed camera angles, claustrophobic environments, and stiff controls of the previous installments.

With a higher focus on action, the gunplay and movement were radically modified to make players feel more powerful. In turn, the enemies were changed from shuffling corpses to sprinting villagers armed with knives, grenades, and even chainsaws. Also new to this installment, was a more tongue-in-cheek tone with cheesy one-liners, campy villains, and outlandish situations.

The game was released to the GameCube and PlayStation 2, receiving rave reviews and strong sales. Through its multiple re-releases on platforms such as the Wii, PlayStation 4, and PC, it netted Capcom 8.43 million dollars in sales. With versions on 11 different platforms, it just might be Capcom's most re-released game.

Back from the dead

In 2001, Shinji Mikami, creator of the "Resident Evil" series, decided to make a total re-imagining of the first installment utilizing the graphical prowess of the GameCube. However, instead of just following the first game to the letter, Mikami made several changes to the game. The story and voice-acting were entirely redone, some new monsters and plot elements were added, and certain puzzles had new solutions to trip up familiar players. It was an entirely different experience from the original.

Many years later, Capcom would remake "Resident Evil 2" and change things even further. Instead of retaining the cinematic camera angles of the original, the "RE2" remake would adopt the over the shoulder perspective from "RE4." While the spirit of the original was intact, players wouldn't really get an accurate idea of how the series progressed graphically and mechanically.

Fans may counter that the original games had shown their age with their B-movie acting and archaic controls, making it hard for a modern gamer to take them seriously. I'm willing to accept that argument for the first three games, but I believe that "RE4" still holds up and that the goofy charm of it would be lost in a remake.

The first three titles were intended to be serious horror games, but limitations in technology, budget, and resources meant that there had to be some compromises. The characters were supposed to be American, but Mikami's team was in Japan and they could only afford to hire any local English speakers they could find; resulting in some hilariously bad acting. The game was supposed to be a 3D horror game, but graphical limitations meant that they had to use still images for the backgrounds.

With the increase in tech and money, the remakes were able to deliver an experience that the originals couldn't. That's not the case with "RE4."

Why a remake would be pointless

A grim and gritty remake would be ill-fitting for Leon's adventure which features a lively and sarcastic weapons merchant, a short Napoleon villain who has a giant robot with his likeness, and dialogue such as "Where's everyone going? Bingo?" Graphically, the game has held up remarkably well with expressive character models and detailed environments. The controls are probably the only aspect of the game that shows its age. Though its over-the-shoulder perspective helped pave the way for "Gears of War" and "Uncharted," the inability to move while shooting or control the camera freely may confuse modern players.

I'd be willing to concede to minor graphical and control touch-ups, but that's it.

I propose that instead of remaking classics like "RE4," Capcom should instead have another go at the dumpster fire that is "Resident Evil 6" or maybe even the more flawed but interesting entries such as "Resident Evil 0" or "Code Veronica." Bottom line: there's still plenty of old "Resident Evil" titles that could benefit from a remake. "RE4" is not one of them.

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