Mark your calendars, nostalgia aficionados: today is the day when the trend of remaking classic games for new consoles finally approaches self-parody. Capcom has announced that it will be remaking the 2002 GameCube remake resident evil again, with HD versions coming to the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC in early 2015 [Update: The original version of this story left out the PC version. Ars regrets the error].
Capcom’s press release makes it clear that this new game is not directly based on the original game from 1996 resident evil but is instead the “definitive revisit of that iconic 2002 resident evil title.” That 2002 remake, which premiered on the GameCube and eventually came to Wii in 2009, added improved graphics and sound, improved puzzles, and a few minor control changes to the classic PlayStation title.
The refresh announced today features high-definition graphics (in 1080p on Xbox One and PS4) for the first time, remastered 5.1 surround sound, and a widescreen 16:9 display mode. Players can also choose between the classic ‘tank’ controls made famous in the original games or a more modern, Resident Evil 4Control scheme in style that’s more directly mapped to the control stick, a change that’s likely to remove some of the tension that comes from wrestling with the controls in the original.
Secondary remakes for classic games are rare, but not entirely unheard of in the games industry. The NES era Super Mario Bros. And Final fantasy games have seen several remakes on both home consoles and portable systems, sometimes with significant variations from each other (compare the versions of Super Mario Bros. 2 And 3 seen in Super Mario All Stars and the Super Mario Advance games for example). Capcom’s own Super Street Fighter II Turbo have a Anniversary collection on the Xbox and PS2, then one HD remix on PS3 and Xbox 360 years later. And the original Tetris has been renewed and redesigned countless times over the years.
Either way, we find it hard to believe it’s the last resident evil will truly serve as the “definitive” version of the game that popularized the survival horror genre. For that we will have to wait for the virtual reality version to come out in 2018. Or maybe the 4K version that will undoubtedly come to next-gen consoles in 2021. And don’t be surprised if your grandchildren laugh at you when you try to explain the difference between the original resident evil and the Resident Evil: Holodek Edition that they are having fun.