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Why a Resident Evil 5 Remake Should Be Rethought: A Case for Rewriting


With the recent release of Resident Evil 4’s remake, Capcom’s nostalgic journey through its survival horror legacy seemed to reach its zenith. Yet, the haunting question lingers: what lies ahead for the franchise’s remakes? While the natural progression might suggest a remake of Resident Evil 5, a critical re-evaluation on its 15th anniversary unveils a significant dilemma: should it be remade at all?

Resident Evil, at its core, epitomizes survival horror, a genre synonymous with tension, fear, and strategic resource management. However, Resident Evil 5 deviated drastically from this archetype, morphing into an action-packed spectacle that bore little resemblance to its predecessors. Its relentless gunfire, cover-shooter mechanics, and bombastic set pieces were more akin to Western shooters than the atmospheric dread of classic Resident Evil titles.

Director Shinji Mikami’s brilliant reinvention of Resident Evil 4 with its over-the-shoulder camera angle injected new life into the series, balancing action with terror. However, Resident Evil 5 strayed further from the series’ roots, transforming enemies into mere cannon fodder and environments into linear corridors devoid of exploration and authenticity.

While remakes have the potential to redefine their source material, Resident Evil 5 poses a unique challenge beyond gameplay mechanics: its problematic portrayal of Africa and its people. Set in a fictional West African country, the game perpetuates harmful stereotypes and colonialist imagery, depicting Black inhabitants as violent primitives infected with a deadly virus. In an era where racial sensitivities are paramount, such depictions are rightfully scrutinized and condemned.

Addressing these issues would require extensive revisions, potentially transforming the game into an entirely new experience. Yet, such a departure from the original would render it unrecognizable, begging the question: is it still Resident Evil 5?

Capcom’s recent remake of Resident Evil 2 showcased the studio’s ability to honor the essence of the original while modernizing its gameplay and presentation. However, Resident Evil 5’s fundamental flaws present a daunting challenge that may be insurmountable without sacrificing its identity.

Looking ahead, Capcom finds itself at a crossroads. Rather than revisiting Resident Evil 5, the studio has the opportunity to chart a new course, either by exploring untapped corners of the franchise’s universe or by reimagining its timeline altogether.

In the wake of Resident Evil 4’s remake, Capcom’s post-credits scene hints at future endeavors, teasing elements from Resident Evil 5. Yet, it also symbolizes the studio’s willingness to deviate from established canon, offering a glimmer of hope for the franchise’s evolution.

As fans eagerly anticipate the next chapter in the Resident Evil saga, one thing remains clear: the future holds boundless possibilities. Whether Capcom chooses to rewrite the past or forge a new path forward, the legacy of Resident Evil will continue to captivate audiences, transcending genre conventions and sparking meaningful discourse for years to come.

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