Resident Evil 7: What We Would Like to See in the New Video Game
For many, their interaction with the Resident Evil franchise of games has been somewhat of a love/hate relationship, rising to such a high standard with fan-favourite entry Resident Evil 4 before taking a much more action-orientated route with Resident Evil 5 and most definitely to Resident Evil 6. Overall, it’s fair to say that Resident Evil is a video game series that is struggling to find its identity and place within this modern world of First Person Shooters, MOBAs, MMOs and others, so how should the new Resident Evil game return to form?
With Capcom making it clear recently that they have big things planned for the Resident Evil franchise later this year, it seems appropriate to discuss aspects that we’d like to see from the next major entry in the series. Whether it’s going to be Resident Evil 7 or what some are predicting to be a clean slate reboot simply entitled Resident Evil, here are 7 things we at IGcritic want to see from the new Resident Evil instalment.
A returned sense of atmosphere and dread
If there’s one thing the Resident Evil series has most definitely lost in its later iterations, its most definitely the horror, more specifically it’s sense of atmosphere in dread. I don’t know about you, but personally, I can’t even remember the last time a Resident Evil game actually scared me, this is largely because the newest Resident Evil games are no longer survival horror but rather action adventure.
What made the original Resident Evil game so revolutionary 20 years ago in 1996 was its sense of isolation and ambience all of which combined to make the player feel scared, not knowing what was lurking around the next corner. This was greatly helped by the fixed camera angles, and whilst it doesn’t make sense for that to return, it’s important for the new Resident Evil game to be a survival horror game at its heart.
Tight, over the shoulder gunplay
Released in 2005, Resident Evil 4 singlehandedly inspired the third-person shooter genre as we know it today, all whilst still remaining a horror game at its core, an impressive feat even by today’s standards. This is a feature that I’d love to see return in future instalments as it brings a much-needed sense of fairness within survival horror games such as Evil Within and Dead Space.
No matter how many enemies or obstacles are thrown at you, when playing from an over the shoulder perspective there’s always a chance to achieve some much needed crowd control. Whereas the previous fixed camera angles succeeded in its obscurity, it didn’t feel fair, that’s why I’d like to see this third person perspective continue without being as fast paced as either Resident Evil 5 or 6.
A focused narrative on a smaller scale
A major negative from the newer Resident Evil games is this feeling that the world is always at stake, or at least most of its population. What made the original game so powerful was its limited sense of scope, being confined to Spencer mansion made for a more personal story and objective which unsurprisingly works well for a survival horror game.
Instead of a globetrotting, unfocussed adventure that spans 4 campaigns like we got from RE 6, give us a smaller setting with which we can identify with more. This would also make every zombie encounter have a lot more meaning also.
Let me remind you about a time before the movie 28 days later was released, when zombies walked instead of ran, bit instead of shot and more importantly used their numbers to keep the pressure on. This is an element Resident Evils 1 through 4 understood perfectly, using traditional zombies effectively as opposed to infected foreign cultures that shared more in common with a shooting gallery.
If and when Resident Evil 7 does surface, it’d be great to see them utilise the scare factor of slow moving enemies to help provide that sense of dread we talked about earlier. Other series such as Dead Island and House of the Dead have shown that these original but effective zombies can keep players on the back foot, even if they are presented in a George Romero/B-movie style.
Effective micro-management of resources
What used to be considered a quintessential element in the survival horror genre was the need to manage and organise your various items and pickups during live play, a design element lost in Resident Evil 6. To some this choice might seem somewhat archaic but is a small yet perfect way to bring a sense of panic and urgency to the player not through terms of story but in the meta game.
Resident Evil 4 took this to the next level, having players purchase bigger cases to allow themselves to carry more stuff, having a Tetris-like rotate and place mechanic that even tested your organisational skills. Survival horror is better when resources are limited, having to micro-manage these resources is just the icing on the cake.
Continue the inventive boss fights
There’s no denying it, the Resident Evil franchise has without question delivered some of the most inventive and memorable boss fights around, and it’s hopeful that this sentiment will continue into the future of the franchise. Simply in the creature design alone, it’s only when playing any of the Resident Evil games that we see some of the most creativity around.
From the nemesis groaning “STAAAARS” as he lumbers his way towards you to the deformed Albert Wesker that has finally gone insane, it’s pretty much a guarantee that these memorable boss fights will carry over into Resident Evil 7, acting as a great way to shake up the tense survival horror gameplay we’ll hopefully see in the main sections and allowing players to feel challenged and empowered.
Slow down the pace
There’s nothing more meaningful or suspenseful in a survival horror game than time. Resident Evil in order to become fresh again needs to move away from the bombastic, fast-paced action game it has become, opting instead to be more methodical and perhaps psychological as it leaves the player alone with their thoughts. Slow down the pace and this can easily be achieved.
Capcom is expected to announce their plans at this years E3 event taking place in June.