Should Capcom remake Resident Evil 5 next?

Sam Smith
Resident Evil 5

The release of the Resident Evil 4 remake puts Capcom in an awkward position. Should they remake Resident Evil 5 next or should they consider other options?

Capcom loves a remake and for the past few years, the Resident Evil series has been their favorite cash cow – much to the delight of the company and horror fans everywhere. We’re not complaining either, the Resident Evil 1 remake is still the definitive survival horror experience, improving on the PS1 version in every conceivable way.

Then there’s the remake of Resident Evil 2, which was updated to not only play like a modern RE game but also managed to respect what made the original RE2 so beloved. It also proved, once and for all, that classic survival horror could work without fixed camera angles. This debate ended long ago, yet it still rages in some corners of the internet.

Resident Evil 4 remake screenshot
Resident Evil 4 looks better than ever before.

Resi remake gravy train

The success of 2019’s Resident Evil 2 led Capcom to fast-track production of a Resident Evil 3 remake. However, that game launched to mixed critical reception thanks to its short run time and chunks of missing content, including the clocktower area and the legendary Mercenaries Mode. Despite its flaws, 2020’s Resident Evil 3 was still a worthy remake in many ways, but once the game had been out a while all eyes were on Capcom for what they could remake next.

However, news of a RE4 remake was met with concern by some longtime Resident Evil fans. Let’s not forget, that unlike RE1, 2 & 3, the fourth chapter in the series wasn’t a janky old PS1 game, it was a GameCube/PS2 game that has been ported to every system under the sun since it was released in 2004.

The HD remaster on PS4, Xbox One, and PC still holds up rather well to this day. This made some fans wonder if the game even needed a remake. Remaking it also risked ruining what many people consider to be one of the greatest games of all time. Then there was the action/horror balance to get right. The original RE4 was very action-heavy and lighthearted, whereas the recent RE remakes have been particularly horror-focused and serious. Could RE4 work in this newly grimdark Resident Evil era?

Fortunately, the RE4 remake was a triumph, although this will inevitably lead Capcom to keep this gravy train moving. The only question is, which game will they remake next? There are a few contenders, and it’s going to be tough to call.

Resident Evil Code Veronica
Resident Evil: Code Veronica was the fourth entry in the series, before RE4.

Return to Rockfort Island?

The obvious choice is Resident Evil 5, but some fans wonder if Capcom would be better off remaking Resident Evil: Code Veronica first, a game that takes place between RE3 and RE4 and is just as important to the series’ lore as any other. Unlike the original RE4, RE: CV still feels a lot like the older entries and arguably needed a remake before RE4, the only question was if it deserved one. The game can be played on modern systems but shows its age far more than the original RE4. It also uses the style of the PS1 games, before RE4 revolutionized the series and the genre as a whole.

However, there was no denying that a RE4 remake would sell more copies, as RE4 is a much more recognizable game – and one that won multiple Game of the Year awards, unlike Code Veronica. So from a commercial point of view, it’s easy to see why Capcom chose to remake RE4 over Resident Evil: Code Veronica. It was a risky move, but in many ways, it was a no-brainer. Now that the remake is here, the company has another choice to make. Do they remake Resident Evil 5? Or are some things better left dead and buried?

Resident Evil 5 originally launched on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC, and along with the often maligned RE6, for all its faults, it still holds up well today – far more so than RE4 HD. The game doesn’t really need a remake – and in the eyes of many, doesn’t deserve one. And this is for several reasons.

You see, RE5 just isn’t as beloved as the previous four entries that have now been remade. The game isn’t bad, it’s just not exceptional. It also represents where the series’ decline began to set in, at least until Resident Evil 7: Biohazard came along and, like RE4 before it, breathed new life into the ailing franchise.

Resident Evil 5 gameplay
Resident Evil 5’s original design caused a lot of controversy.

Resident Evil’s race row

Remaking Resident Evil 5 also risks resurrecting a difficult PR nightmare from Capcom’s past regarding RE5’s setting, protagonist, and the enemies he faced. The original vision of RE5 has not aged well, and while Capcom worked to fix the issue in 2005 when RE5 was first released, a remake could dig up this old controversy and reanimate it once again. If Resident Evil 5 was to be remade, a lot of what made it what it was would need to be changed. This alone may be enough reason for them to leave RE5 in the past.

Capcom will undoubtedly be considering its next move and will be factoring in the above concern. Once again, remaking Code Veronica becomes an option, after all, Capcom is running out of Resident Evil games to remake, and RE: CV gives them another game to focus on while they ponder the viability of a RE5 remake. Let’s imagine they do remake RE5, then what, a RE6 remake? We doubt it. Would the company even bother with RE6 after the original is considered such a low point for the franchise?

That also throws the likelihood of a RE5 remake into question. If there’s no point remaking RE6, why bother with RE5? Even if Capcom does remake RE5 and RE6, surely they’d need to stop there? After all, they’ll catch up sooner or later. Whichever way you look at it, the Resident Evil remakes are coming to an end. If Capcom wants to buy time, or simply make as many as they can, then Code Veronica is the most sensible option.

Even if they bypass RE5 and Code Veronica, they could always turn their attention back to Resident Evil 1. That game could be given the over-the-shoulder view, incorporate elements of RE: Zero, and be remade in the Resident Evil Engine. The Resident Evil 1 remake is universally adored, and rightly so, but when are we going to stop pretending it’s not a well-polished GameCube game? Some fans long to see the original story remade using the engine that was created as its namesake. The opening of Resident Evil 5’s Lost in Nightmares chapter showed us what a reimagined Spencer Mansion could feel like.

Exoprimal Exosuits fighting a T-Rex
Exoprimal has given Dino Crisis fans hope that Capcom will return to the franchise.

Knowing where to stop

Could it be that Capcom will be finished remaking Resident Evil games after RE4? After all, Dino Crisis fans are crying out for that series to receive the same treatment. A remake of the first Dino Crisis, using the current Resident Evil Engine is a tantalizing prospect, especially after the success of the Dead Space remake.

A more sci-fi-focused survival horror game could tick all the right boxes, and deliver Capcom more of that sweet remake cheddar at the same time. There’s also the lesser-known Haunting Ground or even Onimusha to consider.

2025 will be the twentieth anniversary of Resident Evil 5, so we’d be amazed if Capcom doesn’t mark the occasion with something Kijuju-related, be it a remake or anything else. However, until then, this might be the last chance saloon for a Resident Evil: Code Veronica remake, so it will be interesting to see what Capcom’s next move is.

Capcom has also now confirmed that more Resident Evil remakes are indeed coming, making Code Veronica and Resident Evil 5 the two most likely contenders. What’s certain is that while we love the Resident Evil remakes – as much as they do – there are only so many more they can make.

For more Resident Evil 4 content, check out the following guides below:

RE4 ending explained | Where to find the Shotgun | Where to find the Golden Egg | Can you save the dog? | Separate Ways | The Mercenaries | Changing costume | How Spinels work | Achievements & Trophies | Remake differences | Resident Evil 4 review | Resident Evil 5 remake | Code Veronica remake

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