How Capcom’s powerful RE Engine rebuilt Resident Evil 2’s Leon Kennedy, Claire Redfield and Raccoon City

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How Capcom’s powerful RE Engine rebuilt Resident Evil 2’s Leon Kennedy, Claire Redfield and Raccoon City

The iconic cast and locales of the new-gen horror remake get overhauled for a photorealistic version of the gaming classic

Just revealed at the Resident Evil panel at San Diego Comic-Con, we have a bunch of new information on Resident Evil 2, straight from the game’s producer, Yoshiaki Hirabayashi!

Remaking a true classic is no easy feat, but the talented team at Capcom behind the upcoming Resident Evil 2 is certainly up to the challenge. Originally revealed with the “WE DO IT” video that’s become well-known among fans, Hirabayashi explained how this new version of Resident Evil 2 exists because of overwhelming fan demand.

This is not just a remake – it’s a complete redesign of Resident Evil 2, including the iconic Raccoon City Police Department and the surrounding Raccoon City.

Leon Kennedy

Speaking of, one of the topics covered was Leon’s younger look in Resident Evil 2. Compared to later entries, the goal was to give him more of a fresh-faced rookie look in contrast to the hero that he becomes later on in the series.

Famous for having one of the worst first days on the job in history (they cancelled his welcoming party and everything), a lot of thought was put into how Leon’s new, yet classic, look would work with modern photorealistic graphics.

As a result, the team created a physical version of Leon’s costume, using photogrammetry technology to scan his clothes into the game and added minor details and changes afterwards.

Claire Redfield


Resident Evil 2 isn’t complete without Claire, our hero who comes to Raccoon City searching for her brother Chris. Claire’s updated design uses the same technology, scanning in a real-world costume to capture every last detail of her outfit.

The team had quite a bit of discussion on how to design her new look, and how much of it should retain her appearance from the original PlayStation release of Resident Evil 2.

Ultimately, the team decided on an appearance that would line up with the iconic scene of Claire entering Raccoon City on her motorcycle. The team is extremely happy with her final design, and hope you all enjoy it as well!

Raccoon City

For the city itself, the team put a major focus on two concepts that permeate throughout the game: a sense of wetness and playing off a fear of the dark.

Using the powerful RE Engine, the team has been able to achieve their goal of creating a sense of dread through these visual cues. The events of Resident Evil 2 take place on a rainy day in Raccoon City, causing puddles and flooding in parts of the city, while others areas are covered in the grotesque aftermath of clashes with the undead and other terrors lurking in the gloom.

Finally, it’s not Resident Evil 2 without zombies! Hirabayashi and the team discussed how they designed the scourge of undead in the remake.

Simply put, they wanted to create something monstrous that you didn’t want to be bitten by! To that end, zombies have been created with the same concepts of wetness and darkness in mind, ensuring that every encounter is just as tense as the one before.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this special look into the Resident Evil panel at San Diego Comic-Con. Raccoon City is ready to welcome you with open arms when Resident Evil 2 comes to PlayStation 4 on 25th January, 2019.

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  • Are we getting collectors edition within EU?

    • According to a Capcom community manager on Twitter, the European Collector’s Edition is being announced next month

    • Awesome, will have to check that out, 130 quid is usually my limit on CEs though. If its a hilariously crappy Square Enix style one where the basic “limited edition steelbook” one is 90 quid like with Kingdom Hearts 3, I won’t be bothering lol.

    • Oh snap, its 200 dollars in the US. Well, I’m instantly out.

    • Cheers for the info. That Leon figure looks like a RE2 version of the Kotobukiya one just released a while ago. If that’s indeed a KOTO figure, the price is alright. Hoping that EU will be getting Claire instead

  • Impressive engine same one that powers Devil May Cry 5 at beautiful 60fps :)

    • Unfortunately DMC 2/”Devil May Cry” 5, is a bit basic looking so it’s not surprising.

      I’d prefer an authentic intricate “gothic cathedral” look of the original series at 30fps rather than a plain and boring modern city at 60.

    • Devil May Cry 5 is not DMC 2. This is a sequel to 4 not DMC

  • Leon still looks like a completely different guy.

    Hopefully everyone doesn’t have really bizarre looking hair in this one.

    In RE7 it was just weird how everyone had floppy shiny plastic on their heads.

    (it’s odd Claire has a Raccoon City plate on her bike because in her back story she just arrived there)

    • Of course he does, the original design was 20 years ago. In order for a human character model to look great in early 2019, they need to build the character from the ground up today. Do you want him to look like a video game character from 15 years ago like he did in RE4?

    • You seem to forget that we’ve had pretty samey depictions of both these characters in games and CG films, the last one being a whole 2 years ago.

      For this game they basically 3d scanned two actors with very different facial features and didn’t edit the scans to look like the characters (though they made Claire’s cheeks puffier for some reason). Both Claire and Leon have much longer faces than these two.

    • Leon is VERY different looking than he was in RE2 in the jump to RE4 and it was perfectly fine back then because he looked so good and more realistic than before. Its the same thing here.

      We got a pretty atrocious and much worse looking Claire in RE Revelations 2 who, again, looked NOTHING like she did in RE2 or Code Veronica. The only hilarious thing about that one is that the character model looked HORRIBLE for a modern day game. I would take the remake one any day of the week.

    • Revelations was a spin off 3ds game originally, that got ported to the PS3, expanded into 2 and then ported onto the PS4 with models pretty much intact.

      Compare RE4 to RE6, to Vendetta (or even Rev 2) and it’s the same guy exactly, with the same facial features, just older or younger. The reason this one doesn’t look like him isn’t because it’s a spin off made by a different team, but because they copied photos of a model exactly, rather than use it as a basis to look like the character.

  • Down with remakes/remasters/re-releases/redesigns

    • Meh, better than me buying nothing from Capcom the past decade lol.

    • No thanks iamdark1988, I quite like being able to play games like Resident Evil 2 on my PS4 without needing to buy another console. Besides most other games in this series are on PS4 already anyway, it makes no sense not to have Resident Evil 2 on PS4 as well.

  • Loving everything about this remake so far! January has never felt so painfully far away…

  • Well, this is all well and good, but…

    When’s the demo being released for us mere mortals to play?!?!?

  • Wow, with the game coming out in January, I thought it was too late for such a change. This is perfect now. I do not give a single crap about how Leon or Claire look, I understand that for a game from 20 years to get a modern remake, the characters need to be built from the ground up to look more realistic today.

    This is why characters in Tekken 7 or Dead or Alive 6 look meh because they look EXACTLY like they did in Tekken 4, the last time they got a proper next gen redesign and Dead of Alive 2. Nothing has changed with the characters today because the developers just made them look the exact same and it just looks silly in 2017/2019. Then you look at the cahracters from Injustice 1 and Injustice 2 and they look COMPLETELY different visually because they built the characters from the ground up for the next game.

    Now, the only thing I didn’t like about Claire was that she didn’t look like a badass that rides a motor cycle and this looks to be fixed now lol. Well done Capcom, I was sold already but this is great news. I cannot believe I am actually hyped and buying a RE game on day one and a Capcom game too. Mental. You actually did it.

    • My mistake, its seems they are talking about the changed FOR the remake, not new changes that they have made recently. Still, confirming that Claire has a bike already makes her an instant badass right away than the character I thought they were hinting at in the trailer (the fact we never saw her holding a gun in it made me think she would have the amazing skill of POINTING like the little girl in that thrash RE Revelation 2 game lol).

  • Its amazing what Capcom was able to do with game as old as that to rebuild it completly from the ground up and to look this good i am blown away.I was too young to play this when it was launched on original Playstation but now i will definetly go for it…

  • If rebuilt from the ground up, why not add vr?

    • They’d have to spend time making things work, do extra play testing and probably downgrade graphics to hit VR framerate targets (this game looks much nicer than RE7).

      As the VR user base is very small, and this isn’t a game for everyone, the relatively few extra sales probably wouldn’t offset the extra development cost. That and they probably have information on how much VR was used in 7.

    • yea i was hoping for them to give options of all play styles (fixed/3rd and first person) with added vr would have been amazing.

  • ååååååh mmm must have must have must have

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