The second 2018 Capcom Developer Interview installment has been released, and this one focuses entirely on Resident Evil 2. Capcom spoke with Resident Evil 2 Producer Tsuyoshi Kanda about a number of topics related to the game’s development, including information on how and why the story has been changed, what makes this installment’s Lickers better, and how the developers attempted to amp up the tension during zombie attacks.
Here are some of questions and responses from the Capcom Developer Interview with Kanda.
Q: Around when did development [on Resident Evil 2] begin?
Kanda: It actually started right in the middle of the development of Resident Evil 7. That game provided full-VR support on PlayStation 4, and we wanted to make it an overwhelming and immersive experience, diving into the depths of terror. Resident Evil 2, on the other hand, was designed to go beyond pure terror: we wanted it to have real drama, befitting of the label "horror entertainment." With these core principles, along with a deep respect for the original Resident Evil 2, we sought to reimagine the game from the ground up. I believe that the end result will prove entertaining for both those who have played the original version, as well as those who haven’t.
Q: So could you tell me about some of the things you changed and some you kept?
Kanda: Even as we say that it’s completely reimagined, of course we were conscious of maintaining the world and "play-feel" of the original. However, if you already know about all of the scary parts, it loses some of its impact, so when it comes to the horror aspects we’re changing some pieces from how they were in the original, while remaining faithful to the original motifs. For example, one of Resident Evil 2‘s greatest charms is the feeling of exploration, so the layout of the police station has been changed from the original to maintain that experience.
Q: Are there any changes to the story?
The overall plot remains the same, but we’ve rearranged some of the events that occur throughout the game, or tweaked things to make the game a bit easier to understand as a whole. We’ve also tried to deepen the narrative experience and the relationships between not only Leon and Claire, but all of the game’s characters, in order to increase the dramatic tension.
Q: Are there any things that you were unable to accomplish 20 years ago, but were able to include now thanks to new technologies?
Well, when it comes to graphics, the RE Engine has allowed us to make a game with a much greater level of three-dimensionality and detail. For example, in the original game, the Lickers were introduced in an FMV cutscene in which they appeared on the ceiling, but when you fought them they only ever crawled along the floor. In this version you’ll face Lickers with 360-degree mobility, creating much more expansive battles overflowing with tension and the sense of really being in the thick of it.
Q: Sounds like a tough fight!
There’s also the scariness of the zombies—the ability to create that sense of presence, even in things like the characters’ movements when being bitten by a zombie. This time we decided to go with a third-person, over-the-shoulder viewpoint, in order to show off the actions and performances of both the player characters and the zombies they encounter. The gnawing and biting in particular is one of the core characteristics of zombies, and so we put a great deal of effort into those animations.
Q: Is there anything non-graphical that you’ve been focusing on in order to capture the Resident Evil feeling?
Yes, the sound. We used Capcom’s "Dynamic Mixing Stage," a 3D sound booth built in 2017, along with Dolby Atmos technology giving Resident Evil 2 full 7.1.4 surround sound support. Furthermore, by implementing binaural techniques we are able to modify sounds in real time, which lets you hear the groans of zombies from all around, in relation to your character’s position. You’ll be able to experience the terror through your sense of hearing, as well as sight.
Resident Evil 2 will come to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on January 25, 2019.