An official remake of Resident Evil 4 is reportedly in the works and set to be revealed later this year. While it will make significant changes to the original game, the remake was nearly headed by original director Shinji Mikami.
According to a report by Fanbyte, the upcoming Resident 4 remake was first being developed at M-Two (a studio formed primarily of former PlatinumGames developers) under the auspices of Capcom. By agreeing to the project, Capcom had hoped to entice Mikami to join the game and work alongside PlatinumGames founder Tatsuya Minami.
Although Mikami reportedly considered the offer, he ultimately declined, believing his own studio, Tango Gameworks (which he founded in 2010 and is currently developing Ghostwire: Tokyo) would collapse if he were to leave.
Consequently, work on the Resident Evil 4 remake continued without Mikami and moved over to Capcom’s internal development team after Resident Evil 3 Remake, which M-Two also assisted on, received a mixed critical reception.
Fanbyte claims Capcom is making substantial changes to the original game, leaning into its horror elements. Several segments of the game will be altered, with much of the game now taking place at night, including the much-loved introductory sequence in which protagonist Leon S. Kennedy fights his way through the infected Ganado village.
Drawing from early demos of the original game that were left on the cutting room floor, the development team is aiming to draw on their supernatural ideas to establish a spookier tone for the remake.
It will also restyle some of the original game’s side content, combining the Assignment: Ada and Separate Ways expansions into a single package. Side characters, such as Ada Wong, will also be given “bigger roles and more screentime” in the main game.
A change of direction
Since the successful critical and commercial release of Resident Evil 2 Remake in 2019, rumors that a similar Resident Evil 4 remake is underway have been circulating widely in the game’s community. Usually ranked as the best in the series, and often said to be one of the best games of all time, Resident Evil 4 has a huge following and its remake has a lot to live up to.
Capcom’s attempt to entice its original director to contribute to this reboot, however, is somewhat surprising. Much of the success of Resident Evil 2 Remake hinged on its alterations from the base game. The core gameplay remained, but its levels, fixed camera, plot, weapons, and persistent antagonist Mr. X were all changed to bring the game in line with modern triple-A titles.
That Capcom was keen to bring back Mikami might suggest it had originally wanted to keep the upcoming Resident Evil 4 remake closer to the original. That’s not entirely unexpected, given it was released in 2005 (seven years after Resident Evil 2), established several mechanics that are now considered staples of the series, and more closely matches modern games.
Had Mikami accepted Capcom’s offer to develop the remake, it’s possible that even bigger changes would have been made. In a recent interview with Newsweek, Mikami said he hopes any eventual remake of Resident Evil 4 improves on the original’s story, which was only written in two and a half weeks.
Of course, the Resident Evil 4 remake hasn’t yet been officially confirmed. Fanbyte reports Capcom hopes to reveal the game early this year.
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Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games.