Resident Evil 2: Where Should the Franchise Go Next?

With the Resident Evil 2 remake proving to be a massive success, let's consider what Capcom could do with the franchise next...

Resident Evil 2: Where Next?

This article comes from Den of Geek UK.

The Resident Evil 2 remake has already sold millions of copies and earned glowing reviews from basically every outlet going (this one included). The game is an imaginative remake of the 1998 Capcom classic, with areas expanded and bosses like the Tyrant made more terrifying than ever before. But, due to the never-ending onslaught of time itself, all of this success simply leads to one question… what next? 

Capcom is an enviable position right now with the Resident Evil franchise. This, its most recent remake, was a smash hit. And Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, the last proper new installment in the series, also received positive write-ups and lots of love from fans. Whatever the studio chooses to do next, though, Capcom will be under pressure to deliver another huge success.

What should the developers over at Capcom do, then? They’ve got plenty of options, so let’s have a look at what they are…

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Resident Evil 2 DLC and Expansions

In terms of the immediate future, it’s already been announced that the first major chunk of DLC content for the Resident Evil 2 remake will arrive on Feb. 15, 2019, giving fans three new chunks of story to play. Going by the title The Ghost Survivors, this DLC will allow players to experience some “what if?” scenarios from the world of the game. You’ll get to play as the gun shop owner, the mayor’s daughter, and a mysterious soldier character – none of them survived in the game proper, but this extra content will allow you to imagine a world where they did.

As for further updates, you will have noticed that the Resident Evil 2 remake doesn’t have any online offering as of yet. Adding some kind of split-screen multiplayer campaign or an online challenge mode to the game could greatly increase Resident Evil 2‘s longevity, as well as buy Capcom some time to work out what’s next for the franchise at large. No such additions have been announced yet, but we certainly wouldn’t be surprised to hear about more DLC for the remake in the next few months.

Further Reading: Resident Evil Games Ranked

Resident Evil 2 isn’t a Destiny or a Fortnite, though. Capcom can’t just keep updating it indefinitely. Players will probably enjoy playing these new scenarios, and hardcore fans would surely keep coming back if Capcom dropped new morsels of content every few months. But, eventually, barring a huge change in the way this franchise works, Capcom will need to move on and launch a new title eventually.

Resident Evil 3 Remake

What’s the most obvious thing to do after you’ve had a massive hit with a remake of Resident Evil 2? Why, remake Resident Evil 3, of course! Most fans will have had this train of thought, and it seems like Capcom is well aware of it. The Resident Evil 2 director, Yoshiaki Hirabayashi, who made it clear that fans will have to make their desires known if they want to see a remake of Resident Evil 3 or any other game from the franchise’s past.

Fan demand played a big part in bringing the Resident Evil 2 remake to life after all those years, it would seem, and so, if you want to play a similarly-remastered version of Resident Evil 3, it wouldn’t hurt to get on your social media accounts and shout about it a bit.

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Resident Evil 3, of course, originally came out in 1999 on the PlayStation. With the subtitle Nemesis, it introduced a fearsome and vastly upgraded reimagining of the Tyrant baddie. A recent fan mod swapped out the Tyrant from the Resident Evil 2 remake for a new take on Nemesis, showing just how cool/terrifying a remake of Resident Evil 3 could be on modern consoles. It would certainly make sense as the next move for Capcom.

A Different Resident Evil 3

Although the original Resident Evil 3 was received well by fans and critics alike, it took a rather interesting approach to sequel-making. Choosing to set itself in the same window of time as Resident Evil 2, this threequel relegated the second game’s protagonists (Leon and Claire) to cameo status only, preferring to focus the Resident Evil 3 narrative on Jill Valentine, one of the main player characters from the first Resident Evil game.

Now, in 2019, with the new Resident Evil 2 being such a huge and recent hit, will Capcom make that choice again and turf Leon and Claire to the sidelines for a second time? Or, alternatively, is there a chance that Capcom could task its developers with crafting a new Resident Evil 3 that includes plot elements that directly follow on from Leon and Claire’s recently-remastered adventure? 

Further Reading: How Resident Evil 4 Changed Horror Gaming

In the original franchise, prior to this age of remakes, the task of catching up with Claire fell to the fourth game in the series, Resident Evil Code: Veronica, which came out on the Dreamcast in 2000 and was set three months after the events of Resident Evil 2. Maybe it’s something of a longshot, but a new game that combines elements of the original Resident Evil 3 and Code: Veronica (with a bit more Leon spliced in) could be a smart move to keep the franchise moving in a way that doesn’t leave any characters or fans out of the equation.

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Indeed, given that it takes two or three years for AAA titles to be developed these days, the idea of leaving Leon and Claire out of the next installment would mean a fairly huge delay before fans of Resident Evil 2 can purchase the next chunk of the story. But, of course, at this stage, Capcom hasn’t announced its next Resi title and all we have to go on is our own speculation. Does the idea of the Resident Evil 3/Code: Veronica hybrid float anyone else’s boat? Only time will tell.

Resident Evil 8

Let’s not forget that, despite the success of 2018’s Resident Evil 2 and 2015’s wide release of the Resident Evil HD Remastered, Capcom hasn’t just been dealing in re-releases in the past few years. They’ve also kept this zombie-infested franchise going with new installments, like 2017’s VR-enabled Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, which proved that – as a company – Capcom is just as interested at looking for new stories and fresh ways to tell them as it is in rehashing our old favorites for modern consoles.

We shouldn’t rule out the possibility, then, that Capcom could put the remakes on ice for a while and treat us to a new horror game set in the modern day. This might even be a smart move, since overindulging in nostalgia can sometimes result in a lack of surprises and dwindling interest from players. But, since Resident Evil 7 and its two DLC add-ons wrapped up that game’s story fairly tightly, what would the plot even be for a Resident Evil 8?

Well, as is often the case with Resident Evil, Capcom could either thrust the protagonists from the last game into a new adventure or make up some brand new characters for fans to fall in love with. The idea of playing more missions with Chris Redfield (Claire’s brother, who was revealed as working for a reformed version of the Umbrella Corporation in the Resident Evil 7 DLC) is a rather exciting one, especially if Resident Evil 8 could throw him up against some fresh villains.

“Plans for the next title are already in motion,” said Jun Takeuchi, Resident Evil 7‘s executive producer, back in 2017. He also expressed an interest in evolving “survival-horror itself” as “technology will continue to advance and what players want may also change.” It’s been a bit quiet on the Resident Evil 8 front ever since, but we wouldn’t be overly surprised if there was a firm announcement coming soon.

Resident Evil Retro Bundle

While we wait for Capcom to reveal/make/release its next AAA title, whether that be Resident Evil 8 or a new Resident Evil 3 or something else entirely, there is one thing the studio could do that seems like an easy win from an outsider’s perspective: a bundle of all its classic Resi games, ported over to modern consoles in all their retro glory, is surely something that would excite players. 

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After all, as you move through life and your old consoles get knackered or lost, it isn’t always easy to go back and play a game that you loved in the 1990s or 2000s. Glossy remakes are great, as the recent Resi remasters have shown, but there is also a huge market for nostalgic gaming experiences at the moment. 

Further Reading: Why Resident Evil 6 Failed

So, if Capcom could get the technical and licensing side sorted, it would be truly fab to see the original versions of the Resident Evil games made available as an affordable bundle for people to play on their current gaming devices. Could some of these classics even work on the Nintendo Switch? It would be cool to find out.

We look forward to seeing what Capcom decides to do next, especially all of the success its found with the franchise in the past few years. In the meantime, please feel free to leave your wishlist in the comments below…