Some Details From the Unannounced Resident Evil 4 Remake

The next game in Capcom's remake series is undergoing some changes from the original.

The remake for Resident Evil 4 has not been officially announced. If you’re someone whose sole criteria for believing game information hinges on the fact that nothing is confirmed, then let me stop you early: Nothing in this report is confirmed. In part that’s because the game itself has not yet been confirmed. All the information here is provided by Fanbyte’s sources — which are hopefully both trustworthy and accurate. As always, things change mid-development and information can be out-of-date for different people, but the report featured below is to the best of our knowledge. This includes multiple verifications but no official sanction from Capcom.

Despite not actually being confirmed yet, a remake of Resident Evil 4 — considered by some to be one of the best video games of all time — has been traveling the rumor circles for some time. The story goes that Capcom, emboldened by the promising milestones of Resident Evil 2 Remake during its development, started work on a matching remake of Resident Evil 4 as the project began its denouement, which would be over 15 years old by the time of its release. That rumor is true according to our sources. The game is in development and set to be revealed this year. If all goes according to plan, of course.

The title was originally being developed by M-Two, a studio of former-Capcom and mostly ex-PlatinumGames developers that were also working on Resident Evil 3 Remake. Capcom had apparently hoped by greenlighting the project that they could entice Shinji Mikami, the original director of the game now at Tango Gameworks, to work on the title alongside old friend Tatsuya Minami; this was actually part of the reasoning behind the name “M-Two” itself. Mikami was reportedly intrigued by the offer, but felt Tango would fall apart without him, and eventually declined. After some mixed response to Resident Evil 3 Remake, Capcom shifted the project internally and put Resident Evil 2 Remake‘s project leads on it. M-Two shifted to a support studio for the title, though their original work is still being used.

From that foundation, Capcom is no longer looking for a strict scene-by-scene remake of Resident Evil 4, lauded though it may be. While the original title began with rookie cop turned secret service agent Leon S. Kennedy arriving in a European village at daytime, and slowly gunning his way all the way through the bad guys over the course of 24 hours, the remake adjusts that timeline. In Resident Evil 4 Remake, the famous village introduction set piece takes place at night. As does a decent portion of the rest of the game.

resident evil 4 remake

The reason for this time change isn’t arbitrary. Capcom wants to adjust the tone of the remake into something spookier, taking direct inspiration from discarded Resident Evil 4 demos. That footage, which was used in early GameCube preview reels, featured Leon wandering a lonely castle, getting possessed by black smoke, and fighting off living dolls, as well as other ghostly manifestations. Some of this stuff made its way into the original game in other ways. Most of it, however, was left on the cutting room floor and direct comparisons are being made during development of the remake.

Some changes to the story, such as giving side characters bigger roles and more screentime, are also planned.

Capcom plans to flesh out other aspects of the game, as well. One focus is Assignment: Ada, which was a short campaign starring Leon’s rival/sometimes lover and spy extraordinaire Ada Wong. The GameCube version of this mini-campaign did not feature much in the way of story, but allowed players to go through the game’s areas as Ada while collecting Las Plagas samples for arch-villain Albert Wesker.  It’s largely been considered a non-canon bonus that does not make a lot of sense with the game’s timeline. For the PlayStation 2 and all subsequent versions (except Resident Evil 4 VR), a campaign titled Separate Ways was added. This had far more plot and showed what Ada had actually been doing throughout the game. While it was fine, it lacked a lot of the panache and polish the main game had.

For Resident Evil 4 Remake, M-Two specifically is looking to expand on Assignment: Ada and Separate Ways by combining each into one package: a more fluid and polished companion piece. Not every source we talked to could confirm whether this was in the main game or planned as DLC, but most said it was looking to be a fairly meaty expansion to the source material.

Earlier leaks that purported to show Wesker’s redesign for Resident Evil 4 Remake were not accurate. These were from another, now seemingly cancelled Resident Evil project.

Capcom is hoping to announce Resident Evil 4 Remake early in 2022. Though the company is undergoing an historic stretch of silence over the last year with many planned announcements seeing delays for development and marketing reasons. That timeframe could be pushed back, especially as the company has seen fair success with shorter announcement-to-release cycles with the Resident Evil series as of late. As always, game development is fluid, so nothing should be considered locked-in or guaranteed until the game’s release.