I Wish 'Resident Evil 2' Let Me Be a More Compassionate Hero


Japan made it a crime to edit saves so I wouldn’t be surprised if this somehow became actual law somewhere eventually.


No they didn’t. They made it a crime to edit save and then use said edited save files for the purpose of cracking hardware/pirating software/running unsigned code on hardware/selling modded stuff with a billion pirated things on it which is never going to be effectively enforced even if they did crack down on it. No one gives a shit if you use a trainer or edit a save to give yourself 1,000 lives or whatever.


Ah. That makes more sense.


I think the game imagined and described by Danielle sounds fantastic, but I guess I’m a little baffled as to why the article framed it as a mistake of a remake of Resident Evil 2 to not be that game. Sometimes games are limited in scope in order to bring out the kind of experience that the designers intended to focus on, which is to say that the general sense of dread and somewhat campy horror-action that this remake set out to update would maybe not be served by creating a rescue system for NPCs.

If REmake 2 didn’t add more characters and instead kept it to the handful of people you come across in the game as it exists, I could see a game in which there is no tension about sacrificing resources to save these people, after all why wouldn’t you save Marvin? It would become an RE game with a buddy system which isn’t necessarily bad, but it also wouldn’t have the same focus as either iteration of RE2. You could also add more NPCs which would then present some dilemmas about who to save, but again it wouldn’t really be RE2. And as for the green herb issue: basically every game has some form of cognitive dissonance between mechanics and story.

There are some really interesting gameplay ideas that come out of making difficult choices about survival and resources, but I think it requires the entire experience to take the mechanic into account. This War of Mine isn’t exactly a horror game, but it definitely presents the horror of war by going down this route. I haven’t played them, but the State of Decay games seem to be all about working with other survivors to survive the zombie apocalypse.

The game I immediately thought of was Pathologic which creates a super horrifying experience totally based around your inability to really do everything you need to do on any given in-game day. You play as one of three optional characters that are trying to save this weird, backwards, old-timey Russian town that is being torn apart by a plague. Every day in the game you have a number of objectives given to you by untrustworthy NPCs that you must complete that day or certain characters will die. The game basically become all about managing your limited resources as you run out of supplies, the in-game economy goes into super inflation, entire districts become infected, and the social order breaks down. Pathologic is freaking wild. It’s also one of those games that you will think is totally broken from a design standpoint if you aren’t digging what it is doing because it becomes totally desperate and difficult so quickly. I personally have never finished it, but am really looking forward to the semi-remake Pathologic 2 that Ice-Pick Lodge is working on since it might smooth out some of the rough spots.


I do want to tease this point out, since I admit I’m not too knowledgeable about this remake.

This remake does pretty substantially change the game from the original experience, right? Whether by ditching the ink ribbons, redoing the voice acting, or adding Mr X, those are all changes which mark this apart from the original.

I’m not necessarily arguing that adding in a companionship mechanic would be beneficial, but I do think there is clearly a lot of scope for ‘acceptable’ changes to Resident Evil 2 in ways that a lot of people seem to like, ratcheting up the tension, removing corniness, or removing a fiddly bit of resource management. Do you think those changes were good or are they worth contesting?

Your recommendations are all solid, though! I’m not familiar with them outside of This War of Mine, but the other ones seem like good avenue for folks inspired by this.


This isn’t against you personally, but “I’d like [NEW VIDEO GAME] more if it featured [THING OUTSIDE OF VIDEO GAME’S WHEELHOUSE]” has been a video game article approach for as long as video games have existed so I’m kind of surprised at all of the confused reactions to this piece. I don’t particularly agree with it myself - to me RE2 would need to be altered so much it wouldn’t really be a remake of RE2 otherwise. But I’m not really understanding the bewilderment people are claiming with someone talking about what kind of game they would like through the lens of whatever the hot new game they’re playing is. Like have folks literally never shot the shit with someone else about video games before?


I think that’s fair. Largely we think of games in relation to other games we’ve played. I guess where the article didn’t work for me is that it seemed to focus on the remake itself rather than use it as a jumping off point to further dive into those ideas and as a result it seemed constrained.

So I guess I framed my initial comment wrong: I’m not baffled, I think that the article was too hung up on the limits of a remake to explore an optional path for the survival horror genre itself.


I haven’t played the remake either, but I’ve seen a couple videos discussing the changes. As someone that played the original game to death I, personally, don’t feel like ditching the ink ribbons or expanding the scope of Mr. X drastically would change the core focus of the game. From my somewhat uninformed view the remake seems like it’s more about recreating the feeling of playing the original than the exact mechanics. I think that’s pretty different than making it a game where you are no longer alone and are looking to save other survivors. It sounds pedantic, but I would call the latter a “re-imagining” rather than a “re-make”.

Really, I’m not too hung up on that debate. The topic I think is way more interesting is how you could incorporate those sorts of survivor mechanics into new experiences.


Since I brought it up, here are some articles written by Quintin Smith from Rock Paper Shotgun that go far deeper into Pathologic than anybody reasonably should:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

They’re worth a read even if you never intend to play the game.

And here is a link to some early footage of the sequel/remake.


I read those articles back when he published them, and though I had never still have never played the game, they’ve stuck with me longer than most games writing has. Great recommendations.

Also welcome to the forum!

@NeoRasa: fwiw I’ve been marveling at the amount of new accounts that were created to respond to this article. Last time I can remember seeing this happen in real-time was during some of the RDR2 coverage. Given how many were created in bad faith and whose posts no longer grace this thread for those reasons, I’d guess it made its way into corners of the internet not normally associated with introspectively examining the play experience. I don’t mean this derisively, just being frank about it.


Thanks for the welcome!


I feel like it’s necessary to point out a few in-world things:

  • Marvin is bit. Herbs help your character because it’s a video game. There is no cure for the G-Virus, which is the virus loose in RE2. No spoilers about either.

  • The G-Virus is basically the T-Virus, but kicks in quicker. I feel like you’re assuming the virus behaves like in The Walking Dead, where it kicks in after it kills you. This isn’t the case. Anything can be infected (including insects and plants), and can change into one of the zombies/bioweapons while still alive. It just takes longer in living tissue than dead tissue, and the victims normally go so crazy or are so mortally wounded at the time of transmission that they end up dead before it kicks in anyway. The T-Virus took 5-7 days to take full effect, the G-Virus takes 2-3 days. The series has always been about making these bioweapons more dangerous and faster to take effect, which you can see in the full timeline of these games.

  • You can probably tell that I am a complete nerd for this lore.

  • By this time, the virus (well, both) has been loose in Raccoon City for about three weeks. There are barely any survivors left. Supply scarcity came from everyone when they were still alive, doing as Leon and Claire are doing now: Looking out for themselves.

  • The anti-police sentiment is striking. Maybe if you played the entire game as Claire, and read up on RE1, you’d see that the game never tried to elevate the police. Just the officers of day-to-day life. Unless you’re stating that the officers, like Marvin, Leon’s superior officer, who set up a funny little game for Leon and a welcome party for him as well are some sort of evil entities. Marvin never struck me as evil. He clearly doesn’t strike you as evil, either. The beat cops wanted to help. Finish Claire’s campaign and you’ll probably find some satisfaction for the vitriol.

  • Just a clarification about Claire’s skills and gun: Her brother is a former Air Force pilot, and went on to be part of S.T.A.R.S. (RE1), and they don’t have their parents. So, he taught her how to fight, shoot, and survive if he wasn’t there to help her. She doesn’t just carry her sidearm everywhere (she’s a 19-year-old college student, for God’s sake). She hasn’t been able to reach her brother for three weeks at that point, and she went there with precautions.

Yeah, if you want a genre game that you have to spend the entire time saving people, Dead Rising is your best bet.


Hi all,

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