From what Capcom has revealed so far about the Resident Evil 2 remake, it seems fans will be in for a fairly faithful recreation of what made the original 1998 game so great. Of course, there will be some modern tweaks, such as the switch to a fluid over-the-shoulder third-person camera and the overall graphical update from the RE Engine, but the spirit of Leon and Claire’s harrowing journey through Raccoon City should resurface.
Even better news for fans, the development team has already announced that the original’s bonus 4th Survivor and Tofu modes will be available. Bring on the Hunk and (hunk of) tofu challenges! However, the team also recently teased that they have been working on a surprise feature in the form of a secret mode. Like most players familiar with the original game, this news piqued my interest and left me with the nagging question: What could this mode be?
In the latest issue of Japanese publication Famitsu, Resident Evil 2 director Kazunori Kadoi, team director Yasuhiro Ampo, and producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi provided a few more details about the return of the survival horror classic, including the aforementioned secret mode. Thanks to the translation of the magazine interview by user cvxfreak (via ResetERA), Hirabayashi said, “Other than the already revealed The 4th Survivor and The Tofu Survivor, there is something I can’t talk about, but if I say it anyway, it’s something we made that can make subsequent playthroughs fun.”
Sadly, not many other hints were divulged, but there are a few possibilities to examine. I’ll be breaking down three ideas I and other RE fans have had about this special feature, with one being a little more off-the-wall but worth discussing.
Let’s start with the obvious possibility of a Mercenaries mode. Resident Evil is no stranger to offering a feature where players can pick their favorite character and attempt to survive an onslaught of enemies. Capcom even developed a standalone game for the feature, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D. In fact, the survival time-attack mode has been a part of all previous mainline titles since Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, with Resident Evil 7 being the only outlier. It would make perfect sense for Capcom to bring that back with Resident Evil 2, as it could be a reimagining of the Dual Shock Edition’s Extreme Battle Mode. Players could use Claire, Leon, Hunk, Ada Wong, or any other recognizable character to take on hordes of zombies and bioweapons.
What’s still slightly confusing with this idea, though, is how it could relate to “subsequent playthroughs.” Since this was a loose Japanese to English translation, there’s a chance the director’s phrasing could either mean repeated runs of the main game or a reason for players to return to Resident Evil 2 in general. For the latter option, Mercenaries mode would fit the bill, but if it’s the former, we might need to start processing other possible concepts.
There’s always the chance that the mysterious Ada Wong will get her own campaign, similar to Resident Evil 4‘s Assignment Ada and Separate Ways missions. In the same Famitsu interview, the development team confirmed Wong will indeed be a part of Resident Evil 2, but that they couldn’t provide any additional information about her. It’s odd that they would avoid discussing such an iconic character, especially since her inclusion seemed pretty obvious to most fans. But if Capcom has been waiting to show off the famous spy through the reveal of her own standalone story mode, then the secrecy would make a little more sense.
Considering Hirabayashi’s comment again, having an additional full campaign alongside Leon and Claire’s would give players a great excuse to revisit the main game. Plus, the developers previously revealed the remake’s narrative will be a deeper experience than the original’s, which could suggest players will get more background on Ada this time.
Resident Evil 3 tie-in
The third theory is admittedly a reach, and mostly a chance for me get my hopes up. What if the secret mode was somehow a tie-in to a Resident Evil 3: Nemesis remake? Along the same lines as the Ada theory, giving players a chance to experience a snippet of Raccoon City’s downfall through Jill Valentine’s escape would fall in line with the deeper narrative experience. The events of Resident Evil 2 and 3 occurred around the same time, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to include playable moments from Jill’s perspective. Capcom also recently teased that it would be looking into developing other remakes, with Resident Evil 3 being one fans would likely back.
However, there’s the high possibility that adding in elements from the third game would be too complicated and take away from the narrative of Resident Evil 2. Also, it wouldn’t exactly offer as much replayability as a Mercenaries mode or Ada campaign. Still, one can dream!
Who knows, maybe all of these theories are a smokescreen for Capcom’s surprise acknowledgment of a myth that was started by EGM many years ago. Akuma mode confirmed?