Today, Capcom announced that they are working on Resident Evil 0 HD, a remastered HD port of their 2002 GameCube exclusive. While some HD ports/remasters feel like opportunistic cash grabs, we like to think that this one is a good thing; not just for us eager gamers, but for Capcom and the Resident Evil series in general. Here's why.
As fondly remembered as the GameCube was, the fact is it got hammered by the competition. Capcom were easily the most supportive third-party though with the original Resident Evil remake (or REmake), Resi 0 and of course, the incredible Resident Evil 4.
But back to Resident Evil 0. It's reasonable to assume many gamers have never played the GC original or the re-release that surfaced on the original Wii a while back. The recent Resident Evil HD Remaster broke sales records on PSN earlier this year, so the appetite for classic survival horror experiences is clearly there.
We're expecting a similar quality from this port, as the last one turned out very well when upgrading the GC original's visuals. There will probably be an alternative control scheme for gamers not wanting to use the old tank setup too. Frankly, we'll take the updated controls over the spin and move originals any day of the week. Not that there won't be fans out there who appreciate the older feel, and certainly the extra challenge they provide.
For many gamers, myself included, this presents an excellent opportunity to play a missing chapter in the Resident Evil catalogue. Sure, we've had the chance to pick up a copy from eBay, but unless you have an old TV knocking around the house, plugging in consoles like the Wii or GameCube into modern TVs doesn't do them any favours at all.
This second lease of life for Resident Evil 0 is yet another important step in the right direction for Capcom. After the huge success of Resident Evil 4, they focussed on the action angle too much for Resi 5 and 6, and interest started to wane. However, since then, they've been pulling us back in with titles emphasising the original's survival horror elements. Resident Evil Revelations was a good start, but it really came together with the episodic Revelations 2, which was a fond reminder of why we fell in love with zombies and Resident Evil in the first place. Add in an excellent re-release of the original game's remake and it has become clear that Capcom are waking up what fans really want from Resident Evil.
Capcom could go in two directions next. Announce Resident Evil 7, which will hopefully continue this trajectory towards the survival horror vibe but with the occasional Resi 4-esque action set-piece. Or maybe they'll finally answer the fans' request for Resident Evil 2 to get the REmake treatment too. Let's face it, Resi 2 with shiny new graphics and new controls would be fantastic. There are plenty of other games in their extensive catalogue that could do well with remakes too as I discussed in: Capcom planning more HD Remasters - are these games next?
The Resident Evil series is going through a change right now and it appears Capcom are rediscovering what made it a success in the first place. This is surely good news for the series as it seeks to re-establish its identity and it looks like survival horror could be on its way back. We're ready and it looks like Capcom may be too. Game on.