Making the Alligator Fight Work in Resident Evil 2 Remake Isn’t Easy

Resident Evil 2’s forthcoming arrival on new generation hardware isn’t merely a port. Capcom is rebuilding its classic horror title from the ground up. Furthermore, this fresh experience will bear some difference to the original. For example, difficulty settings will reflect player performance. Additionally, parts of Resident Evil 2’s narrative are to receive further exploration. During development, the team behind the remake, that isn’t technically a remake, nearly made another massive alteration.

One of Resident Evil 2’s memorable scenes involves Leon facing off against a giant alligator in a sewer tunnel. According to producers Tsuyoshi Kanda and Yoshiaki Hirabayashi, the match almost didn’t make the cut this time around. Some design choices from 20 years ago are tough to translate to modern audiences. Kanda tells the Daily Star,

20 years ago, the graphics that we had weren’t photoreal and that meant you could get away with… a lot of things. Things that maybe you couldn’t today. You could be fantastical with the creatures and it wouldn’t stand out too much.

So making a giant alligator–that’s a real challenge. Trying to update that into a game where you’ve got scanned faces, motion-captured actors, photorealistic environments… it’s really, really hard. Where do you even start?

Hirabayashi adds,

To make that convincing in any way was really tough. For a while, we were just thinking, ‘shall we just cut the alligator altogether? It’s too difficult’. But we knew there’d be a fan backlash, we knew we had to create one of these perfect fan-favorite moments, so… it’s a tough one, but it’s there.

Trying to make a convincing scene where a human-sized character—a guy with a knife—is taking on an alligator… that’s really silly. People don’t remember it as silly because the whole game was groundbreaking at the time, but that moment was ridiculous. It was a difficult process for us, making that work today.

We’ll see how well Capcom makes Resident Evil 2’s more fantastical elements work when the remake launches on January 25, 2019.

[Source via VGR]