Well, the Resident Evil fans are upset again. Must be Tuesday. This time they’re moaning about the way water looks in an unreleased video game, because time is a flat circle I guess, and I’m getting Nietzsche-pilled from the discourse.
Game Informer’s YouTube channel shared some new Resident Evil 4 footage, and people all over the internet freaked out because the rain looks kind of bad. We’re calling it ‘Raingate’ and we’re making our voices heard. Capcom, you better fix this shit. I don’t know what I’ll do if the rain looks bad in some parts of the Resident Evil 4 remake. Please, I need this.
Obviously, this is a non-story. “Gamers are mad about a game they haven’t played” is just business as usual as far as I’m concerned. The only thing that makes it newsworthy is the fact that we seem to have a bizarre water-based cultural trauma. It’s a good thing Nixon didn’t send burglars to the Firegate Building or we’d probably be spending all of our time debating the muzzle flashes in Call of Duty.
Raingate is the fourth generation of Puddlegate, which started on account of a Marvel’s Spider-Man gameplay demo that featured a puddle with kinda bad reflections. If it sounds like I’m being dismissive about this, it’s because I am. Gen 2 of Puddlegate came from Cyberpunk 2077, which apparently patched out some big puddles and left only smaller puddles. Then came the GTA Trilogy remaster, which was an unmitigated disaster all around, but specifically featured some very ugly, chunky rain. The rain in the new Resident Evil 4 footage is being compared to the rain in the GTA Trilogy, so now you’re all caught up on this very stupid saga.
Does the rain look bad? Yeah, I guess. But seeing as how I’m not going to be playing Resident Evil 4 through a YouTube video, I think the smart thing to do is reserve judgment until I actually get my hands on the game. The rain in the footage is big, white, and distractingly streaky, but it’s easy to imagine that YouTube’s compression algorithm might have a hard time with small, fast moving objects. The RE Engine (which somehow stands for Reach for the Moon Engine, not Resident Evil Engine, a fact I’ll never get over) has served Capcom well for the last six years, and I can’t think of any examples of notably bad graphics or particle effects in any of the recent Resident Evil games. It’s probably fine, and it’s definitely nothing to get upset about right now.
Or maybe the rain will look just like it does in the video. Will anyone actually care? When Scarlet & Violet came out a few months ago, no one was willing to criticize its very obvious flaws. People would rather slap their own mothers than acknowledge that a game they like is less than perfect, so why do we always freak out water?
Criticism is a good thing and I don’t think people should just happily accept whatever garbage the five remaining game companies want us to sift through, but this isn’t criticism, it’s complaining. Worse, it’s complaining about something that doesn’t even exist yet. If you ever find yourself hand-wringing in YouTube comments or Reddit threads about a weather effect in a game you’re looking forward to, you’ve become too attached. Resident Evil 4 could totally suck, but that shouldn’t hurt your feelings. I don’t want to hear about puddles, or rain, or the tears you’ve been crying over them ever again.
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