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‘Resident Evil 7’ Will Return To Its Roots In Survival Horror

Take this with a grain of salt, folks, because I distinctly remember writing this same exact thing about Resident Evil 6, and we all know how that turned out.

Capcom wants us to know they’re listening. They’ve been a little hard of hearing in the past, but they’re picking up what we’ve been throwing down and they’re once again changing the direction of the series. It’s official, Resident Evil 7 will return to survival horror, the genre the series once pioneered.

Now, I’ve said in the past that I’ve lost much of my faith in Capcom’s ability to craft a genuinely scary game, mostly because they haven’t accomplished that since the late 90’s, with Resident Evil 3.

That’s not to say they haven’t made good games since; I’ve enjoyed each entry in the Resident Evil series since then, to varying degrees, including Resident Evil 6 Revelations was a solid attempt, and I sincerely hope it serves as inspiration for Capcom’s next effort.

On to the news.

In a chat with MCV UK, former Capcom marketing boss Michael Pattison had a lot to say about what they learned from Resident Evil 6 and how that’s affecting the direction the series will take.

“With Resident Evil 6 specifically, we probably put too much content in there, there were comments from consumers that said it felt bloated. The Leon missions went down very well, and because we did Resident Evil Revelations on 3DS, there was a cry out for us to focus our attention on survival horror, rather than be too many things to all people. You’ll find where we go next will likely be more targeted at our core fan base.

“A lot is said about the saturation of this zombie, post-apocalyptic survival horror. But it is still alive and well. The Last of Us shows a good direction of what the consumers want. Tomb Raider as well, we spoke to R&D and they looked at that and they enjoyed that experience. I think that proves there is still a strong market for that sort of content.”

So they agree that Resident Evil 6, with its four interwoven campaigns, mercenaries mode and multiplayer felt a little bloated. It tried to accomplish too much, all because Capcom wanted to find and lure in the elusive “Call of Duty gamer.” With Resident Evil 7, their goal is to target their core fans, the ones that have stuck with the series’ latest games.

The fact that he mentioned The Last of Us and Tomb Raider specifically gives me some hope, as both of those games are fantastic. They’re a culmination of everything developers have learned over this console generation. If Capcom is seeking inspiration, those are certainly two games worth looking at.

Some of what I’ve said might sound a little harsh. Don’t take any of this as unwarranted (or warranted) shade thrown at Capcom or their games, because I’m fans of both. It’s just that, as a fan, I’m more critical of what they do with the series that I’m passionate about.

What do you think? Are you a wee bit more excited about Resident Evil 7 now, or are you taking the “wait and see” approach this time around?

Have a question? Feel free to ever-so-gently toss Adam an email, or follow him on Twitter and Bloody Disgusting.



  • baby-POUNDcake

    I’m glad they’re making this decision. I’ll gladly get back into the series again. I just couldn’t stomach Resident Evil 5 or 6 -_-

    • JulesGm

      I agree. I played 5 mins of 6 and sold it.

      • Slasher716

        Yeah, I played through the demo on a PS3… I thought RE6 sucked for sure. Doesn’t even deserve the name of the franchise. Way to further ruin the Horror genre as a whole.

        I know some people say “It wasn’t THAT bad…”

        Yes, YES it was! lol

        • YaegerTheArcticWolf

          Well you do have to admit, they did do a really nice look for Leon, now the story was terrible and it felt way too much like a 3rd person shooter that tried to play like a an FPS. That would be pretty cool I think, if they were to remake some of the classic RE’s in the firstperson perspective.

    • Allan

      they said the same thing about 6

    • Absinthespade

      They always say this. Anyways 4 was good, 5 was amazing but 6 was so disappointing. Just give us a remake of 2 and Nemesis in vein of the 2002 REmake and we’re good.

  • ItsMorphinTime

    I played the RE6 Leon demo and I knew I wouldn’t be buying. Sad that I haven’t bought an RE game since 4…

  • REmake

    There’s no way Capcom is going to give us a new Resident Evil in the vain of the originals. It’s a terrible business decision to shift away from the new audience that 5 and 6 have brought it. I’m not even sure I would want a new Resident Evil game that is strictly survival horror at this point. They might as well spend the assets on a new survival horror IP and keep Resident Evil the way it is going. You can always play Resident Evil Remake on the Gamecube- it’s not going to get any better than that.
    Also I’m not sure you can say that the Call of Duty gamer fanbase is “elusive.”

    • Adam Dodd

      You’re (sort of) right. Capcom won’t make another game that’s like the original three, but a Resident Evil that’s closer in style to The Evil Within (which, incidentally, was inspired by the direction the Resident Evil series has taken since RE5) is a definite possibility, and with the relative failure that was Resident Evil 6, it might be a very smart business decision.

      Genuinely scary games have seen a resurgence lately and there are more studios working on survival horror games than ever before (Outlast, Amnesia, Daylight, Dying Light, The Evil Within, etc.) so the audience is larger than it was say, when Resident Evil 4 and 5 released.

      Resident Evil 6 might’ve sold over 5 million copies, but when you compare that to how much more that game cost Capcom, it wasn’t all that successful. Plus, the reviews it received were horrible for a main entry in the RE series.

      History has proven that one poorly received game is enough to kill a franchise (Red Faction: Armageddon, anyone?), but the RE series has had two big duds just in the past year (RE6 and Operation Raccoon City), so they need to do something to reinvigorate it, and a return to horror might be the smartest move they could make right now.

      … yay for long-winded comments? 🙂

      • REmake

        Then they should drop the franchise at this point. They’ve alienated both new and old audiences. A big reason horror games have made a resurgence is because of creativity found in indie developers that make something new and fresh. Resident Evil, and generic zombie games in general, have become stale because of lack of innovation. We need more DayZ and less Walking Dead Survival Instinct.

        • Adam Dodd

          They should drop a franchise that makes them hundreds of millions of dollars annually? I know plenty of longtime RE fans that skipped the latest games but would be happy to return to the series, should it return to form. That goes for the new fans as well. They may have alienated some people, but if they make a good game, it’ll sell.

          And yes, we have seen a fair share of generic zombie games, but it’s hardly stale. In fact, I think the genre is more exciting than ever, because for the myriad bad games we’ve seen, we’ve also been given a ton of innovative ones, too. Telltale’s The Walking Dead, The Last of Us, ZombiU, State of Decay, etc.

          Capcom has said The Last of Us is a game they’re looking at to help guide the direction of the series, so if that’s the case, RE7 might end up being a good game.

          It’s okay to be hesitant, but it’s also all right to be hopeful. There’s still plenty of innovation left in the series to give us at least one more great game, I think.

        • Slasher716

          That may be true but I think that in this coming generation (PS4 & Xbox One), there will be plenty of choices for Survival Horror and Action Horror games.

          I think Capcom doesn’t care at this point just because the Resident Evil name has become so big (not only in video games but Hollywood too)

          I truely belive that this generation we will see some older forgotten games get a sequel, mainly because it’s much easier and cheaper to port and develop for this coming generation.

          I believe these are just some of the games may see a sequel:

          Nightmare Creatures
          Clive Barker’s Undying
          Dino Crisis
          (maybe) Stubbs the Zombie

          The reason that there hasn’t been alot of survival horror games this past generation is because it was too expensive for developers to take a gamble to lose out on profit. The only company that was safe was Capcom lol That all now has changed and when “The Evil Within” releases and blows minds (And trust me, it will), We will see many more AAA survival horror games in the classic PS1/Dreamcast vain. Until then, there are many indie horror games, if you’re into Indie stuff.

          • wolffearpain6336

            How can you say you KNOW that The Evil Within will blow minds? No game is great in till we can sit down and play it regardless of how promising it looks. I think the game has great potential but video games get hyped and then when we play them they end up being let downs. This happens a lot and even casual gamers know this happens. Also I believe if Resident Evil returned to its roots and updated it for modern ages then it would dominate again. Those who dont think so must not care for survival horror much. The games are dated but still very fun and I enjoyed Nemesis the most. I hated Resident Evil 6. I enjoyed 5 and did like 4 but they weren’t scary which is what I love the most about this series. All I am saying is you shouldn’t say you know a game is going to be great when we can’t play it yet. Also I would love to see a Dino Crisis game, I loved the second one and beat it so much I actually wore out my playstation CD lol.

  • Skull-And-Crossbones

    i’ll wait and see. i kinda doubt they will go back to straight up survival horror. i used to be all about RE. it used to be my favorite and “go to” survival horror franchise. but i gave up on it many years ago. in fact, RE is the reason why i started playing the Silent Hill games. RE has gone down hill ever since they did console exclusives back in the game cube and N64 days IMO. i’ve been a playstation user since PS1 so i missed out on those exclusives. i haven’t even played an RE game in full since RE2. didn’t even bother with 5 and 6 because everyone said they were more about action then horror.

  • huntermc

    I have fond memories of playing through RE5 countless times in 2 player split screen with my daughter. When Operation Raccoon City came out, I quickly rushed out on release day and bought a copy only to find out that the only way to play multiplayer was to buy a second copy and two xbox live gold accounts. Plus, the game sucked anyway. Similarly, I rushed out to get RE6, and while the split screen was back, I just didn’t care for the direction they’d taken the game.

    So I haven’t bothered to play Revelations yet, and they’re really going to have to turn things around before I’ll consider getting RE7.

    • dr.lamb

      The Resident Evil franchise is so bad when it comes to 1st person shooters and multiplayer games.

  • Taboo

    I doubt the next RE will be anything special. Resident Evil 6 was pretty underwhelming overall, even though I really enjoyed replaying Ada’s campaign. RE Revelations is a step in the right direction, but that game still wasn’t great.

  • ThunderDragoon

    I’m definitely more excited for RE7 now. FINALLY they’re listening. Only took 3 games in the main series to do it. I’m like you, Adam, I’ve enjoyed all of the games, but it really is time to get back to what made RE great.

    Sure, it won’t reach the horror level that RE 1-3 had, those are just the times we’re living in, but hopefully they can give us something worthy of calling it a great Resident Evil game, not a great game in general, if you see what I’m saying. Hoping for the best!

  • Kwonkicker

    Fuck the naysayers, Resident Evil 6 kicked SOLID ass. It was SUCH an improvement over 5, which suffered from terrible gameplay mechanics. RE4 and 3 are easily the best in the entire series. Look, the minute 4 came out the focus was going to be more action oriented, that doesn’t take away from the game. So fans bitching going “Hurr I don’t wanna play Call of Duty” just come off as childish and stupid. So now there’s quick time events and more gun battles, big fucking deal.

    Now, if Capcom will do something about that God awful DMC….

    • Adam Dodd

      Come on, you have to admit — and this comes from a fan of the Resident Evil games, both old and new — when it comes to quick time events, Resident Evil 6 overdid it a bit. Right? Right?

      • doomas10

        a bit? Adam you must be joking!

      • Kwonkicker

        I’ll admit that what 6 overdid it with is boss battles. Especially in Leon and Helena’s campaign. I’ve played so many dozens of games with quick time events I’m pretty used to it.

    • doomas10

      REsident evil 5 was far superior than 6. First of all, it had a unique setting – Africa and a proper plot. Number 6 was awful in every possible way.The enemies were awful and their designs truly laughable. The bosses terrible- seriously you fought the same guy 7 times with one transformation more ridiculous than the previous one- a giant fly! It felt so bizarre with a total linear approach and zero exploration. Now Nemesis among the best entry in the series? That’s debatable 🙂

  • doomas10

    It didn’t feel bloated. It was bloody awful! Linear gameplay, no exploration, no riddles, tones of ridiculous enemies – chicken legs and wings really? Horrible bosses and frankly a story that nobody cared! Now that I am thinking about it, the first 5 minutes of Leon campaign surpass the transformers franchise in explosions! It was terrible! Leon’s campaign was the closest we got for survival horror but that does not say much. May I point out that he says that “LIKELY” this will be the approach? LAst of us was awesome and it felt unique without overwhelming zombies and set pieces. It was more sad than scary. Give me more of that!

  • PrinnyDood

    Hmph. Been saying this since part 5, and look at it. Capcom as whole has really gone down hill in the last few years. Why? Because they keep outsourcing their Properties to other companies.

    Raccoon City
    Lost Planet 3
    Devil May Cry etc. have all been made by people outside of Capcom, and they continue to be crap. I hate to say it, but IMO the RE series is dead. They are just raping the body at this point. Just like Konami is doing with Silent Hill.

    Sad really, I used to love those games.

    • DreamWave

      I completely agree. Capcom’s last great game imo was Mega man 9 on WiiWare, along with the incredibly inventive and innovative Zack & Wiki. Nowadays they’re completely selling out all for the mighty dollar and for these mindles Call of duty fanatics. The ‘true’ survival horror genre has become a niche market sadly. And considering the crazy high budgets, TIME and number of people/teams these big companies are dishing out equals the SAME shit over and over. they can’t afford to take a game. This is one of the reasons why i loved the wii so much, there was a ton of innovation and creativity with that console not only because of the groundbreaking control scheme but because games cost a lot less to make vs the other HD twins.

      we’ve officially entered the bronze age of gaming, at least outside of nintendo. games have turned into interactive movies, story tellers, visual showcases, with scripted ai and explosions, with zero innovation or creativity to boot…with gameplay being the most important thing taking a giant backseat. if it weren’t for nintendo, i would just quit gaming all together and work on my retro collection. 😉

      • DreamWave

        Can’t afford to take a ‘gamble*’ whoopsie!
        Also, capcom shouldn’t be outourcing their franchises to western devs, they don’t have a trinket of talent vs the japanese that started it all. 😉


    Well let’s hope so. The first three games, including veronica, were amazing and exciting. Even the remake of the first and the prequel were outstanding. The the many spin offs were terrible and lacked any structure. Then the series literally died with the horrible sequels. Four, Five, and so on…

    To change the nature and style of the franchise was a huge mistake. The only reason I can think of for the big “change” from the ‘free roaming’ to a ‘level/stage’ environment was to attract a younger crowd. The reason the originals were so much fun is because it was like basically being in a giant labyrinth with puzzles. That’s what made Resident Evil so much fun. Not to mention knowing danger is lurking near by.

    So if this is true then I pray they save the franchise and go back to it’s original roots. Like they did with the remake, I think they were on the right direction then and should have remade two and three with that same look. But Capcom, like many others, sells out and kills a wonderful franchise.

    • JADAMA

      Also to add… BRING BACK THE DOOR SCENES! That was kind of it’s trademark image. 🙂

      • Rick-Taylor

        Hell yeah, loading door screens are a much missed staple of the games.

        • Kwonkicker

          And a sign of gaming’s past. That would be a terrible idea. No one wants to see doors loading on modern systems with our improved technology now. We might as well bring back memory cards.

          What made Resident Evil fun was the intense story and plot, the gameplay, the characters, the environment and of course all the creepy and badass monsters and the like you encountered. No one gave a shit about the puzzles and riddles to solve, if anything those would be the least memorable portions of it. Who wants to wander aimlessly trying to solve a puzzle when the more relevant portions of the game are so much more entertaining?

          Again, this is what I’ve been saying since RE4 came out: Whiny and bitchy fans that don’t want to see good solid action and gameplay and instead complain about more gun battles and quick time events. Geez…

  • YaegerTheArcticWolf

    I really hope they mean it this time and actually do go back to survival horror style, I also hope that we get one long campaign with one character or a partnership between 2 characters, honestly I think Resident Evil 4 was the best when it came to storytelling and sticking to a theme. Resident Evil 5 told a good story but my god Sheva was so retarded at times. RE6 just had way too much going on in it. Would be nice to see a game with Leon as main character for the entire game. Been too long since I’ve played an entire Resident Evil game as my main man Leon lol

  • Rick-Taylor

    If all of RE6 was like the first 2 chapters of Leon’s campaign, we would all be praising it and calling it one of the best games ever…… atleast I would be. It’s not and instead has become one of the worst games in the series. I personally would prefer Capcom to release the Outbreak files, Gamecube remake, and Dead Aim on current systems for download or disc.

  • 905Justin

    They have said the same thing for resident evil 6….and look what we got. If they really are going to make it like the old ones they better bring back the music composers from resident evil 2. I have a hard time believing anything capcom says anymore.

  • guarino2002

    It felt bloaty? The game just completely sucked. The graphics were horrid, the controls were horrid, it was like resident evil was given off to a b rated indie developer.

  • Destroyer_13

    re6 was kinda bad. leons campaign was ok though. but overall there was waayyy too many qte’s. I was looking at the bottom of the tv for like half the game. they need to slow things down! and bring back puzzles. and not just pushing a block onto a switch, like real puzzles where we have to actually think or go to our files and read them. yes bring back the door open scenes. and last but not least … NO CO-OP. keep it single player.

  • VictorCrowley

    RE is one of those series that surprises me it’s still around. I remember enjoying part 2 immensly, but never really went beyond that. I’ve played bits of Code Veronica, 4, and 5. None of them were particularly interesting to me.

    I may give 7 a look if they really take it back to the golden era.

  • falco39

    just remake re0, re, re2, re3. Those were the best re series hands down. I say this cause I won’t buy another system just to play these series.

  • Bianca Ibitoye

    I love how people love talking so much shit on resident evil 6 but re6 had a lot of the same elements of re4 the only difference is that it was updated to our time period yet ohh it wasn’t scary enough people just stopped paying attention to how good the game came the plot for re6 was great and the game play was fun. all people really want is for Resident evil to be more slow and for them to try to scare you. >[ I’d rather they say they want Resident evil to be more toward scary than shooter game just say that but don’t just say the game sucks cause you’re stuck in the 90’s.

  • creepozoid

    “With Resident Evil 7, their goal is to target their core fans, the ones that have stuck with the series’ latest games” – do these words come from the developers? If so, then that sounds incongruous with the rest of the article and would make me wonder if they’ve been listening at all. The only RE I’ve bothered with since the huge disappointment that was 5 is Revelations on the DS. While nowhere near as brilliant as The Last of Us or the first two Dead Space games, it showed real promise with real survival horror elements and a taut claustrophobic atmosphere. I didn’t need to buy RE6 to know it didn’t appeal to me at all as a horror fan. I was the same with Dead Space – massive fan but entry 3 sorely let me down so I didn’t buy it. It’s not so much a case of us turning away from a beloved franchise as the developers turning away from their core fans! Following the false promises that RE6 would return to its horror roots my expectations are through the floor at the moment but I’d love to be proven wrong this time. In the meantime lets hope Alien Isolation can provide the scares we’ve been craving

  • endgame81

    “Now, I’ve said in the past that I’ve lost much of my faith in Capcom’s ability to craft a genuinely scary game, mostly because they haven’t accomplished that since the late 90′s, with Resident Evil 3.”

    Yeah…. no, i dont agree. assuming you are ignoring the REmake (which was scary as hell) because its, well, a remake, you seam to be saying code veronica wasnt scary, cause at least for me, it totally was

  • Dustin Brown

    I am a huge fan of the entire series, though the original, Code Veronica, and 4 were my favorites. I think 6 was unfairly criticized. I had been looking for a Resident Evil with more substance and long gameplay. Though, it is possible in other Resident Evil to milk the gameplay, it was also possible to run right through them. What I miss the most from the early games was the not knowing part of the story, reading documents and investigating, which Revelations has start to bring back. I also miss the intricate problem/puzzle solving. I like the newer games because of the increased functionality of the characters and better camera angles. However, I think most people are right that Resident Evil has become too much of a shooter game. I miss the anticipation of action. We all want to shoot zombies, but what was scary about the earlier games was not knowing when this opportunity would come. The earlier games had a perfect balance of anticipation and action. Additionally, if ammo was short, tight corridors made it hard to escape without wasting ammo. I miss dogs jumping through windows while it is relatively quiet, zombies bursting through doors, and X breaking through a wall. The newer games just don’t have that. There’s only one part in Revelations 2 that made me jump (Barry’s final campaign, Revnant burst through the ceiling). I remember playing the original game (I always saved once) and had to battle Tyrant and did not have enough ammo to defeat him (I had to start over). I miss strategy, though it sometimes was frustrating, like it was in this instance. One thing I hope they do not change is co-op. It is more fun playing with a friend, but they do need to find a balance that makes co-op difficult, as well. I liked what Revelations 2 tried to do with it, but it was not much fun being the secondary character. They need to make both characters need each other, both with unique strengths and weaknesses, but gives the human player equal enjoyment playing as either.

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