[As Read on GIO.]
This isn’t the first time that the Resident Evil series has sought out a new direction or sought to go in a completely different one. We first experienced that with the surprise success of Resident Evil 4 which buoyed the series for several more years even off of the return to semi-stagnation in terms of creativity that came subsequently with main series entries such as RE5 and RE6. However, I will admit that I’ve been somewhat worried by what I’ve seen thus far. Not because it seems such a far cry from classic Resident Evil at times, but because it just doesn’t seem like the first-person survival horror vibe is going to hold up at the moment.
The main reason for my title is that I’m equally torn between thinking this game could be something new and great (or new and terrifying, yet still in a good way) or it could fall flat like I think most people thought Resident Evil 6 did for all it accomplished as well. One thing is certain- it will not just be “more of the same” as it seems to ditch a lot of what fans have grown accustomed to and not just in terms of HUD and point of view. If done properly I really think it could channel somewhat of an Outlast vibe and that’s what I’ve seen thus far in terms of potential from gameplay and trailers and creepy demos.
Now, with Outlast 2 on the horizon that is truly an interesting possibility to entertain as well. So far this title reminds me of the creepy madness that plagued players across Resident Evil 4, and to some extent with the increasingly manic majini in Resident Evil 5. While RE6 took us back to the zombie apocalypse in earnest (sort of I guess), things have largely gotten stale with the golden exception of a few handheld and console spinoffs (Revelations 1 and 2). I don’t think you need traditional zombies in order to make the Resident Evil formula work and I applaud the developers for the titles they’ve attempted to create without the series staple. That being said, I really want to see how this game works- from a gameplay perspective as well as a story perspective.
The weaker elements of the previous two titles have been story by far, as the gameplay has often been acceptable to good even if it is borderline ludicrous or repetitive at times. I want a “less is more” approach right now but I also want to see it done properly. Spend less time focusing on multiplayer modes and extra outfits and ultimately useless downloadable content packs and craft an interesting, creepy, and horrific story for players to enjoy the atmosphere and illusion of. Those are what got our heads wrapped around the franchise in the first place and I think those elements are what we keep hoping to see again and again as well.
Ultimately, I think Resident Evil 7 DOES have the potential to be a memorable experience and even a good one, however my main concern is that the simple changes to gameplay will have an adverse effect rather than a beneficial one. So many times in franchises, change can be a breath of fresh air and a good thing however by the same token in other instances it can ruin the overall experience. I sincerely hope that is not the case for this game but as is I’m not setting my standards too high lest my expectations go up in flames.