Last week, we took a little trip into the foggy resort town of Silent Hill in a list of things I’d like to see from the inevitable next entry in Konami’s longstanding survival horror series. I enjoyed our trip, as brief as it was, and I hope you did too. Since I can’t take on one legendary horror franchise without diving into the other, today, I’d like to take you on another trip, and this time our destination is the now infamous Raccoon City.
Read on for my list of six things I want from the next Resident Evil!
Seeing as this is the most obvious thing many of us would like to see, I figured we’d go ahead and get right into it.
Resident Evil used to be scary. It was unpredictable, ambitious and truly frightening. Its horror was omnipresent and introduced in a way that forced us to adapt quickly — a polar opposite of the slow build up of tension and dread that games like Silent Hill and Fatal Frame prefer. Ever since Resident Evil 4 turned the series on its head, each subsequent game has been less rooted in horror. The last two were entertaining, and as far as co-op action games go they’re some of the best, but they’re essentially just eye candy now. Much of the protein has been lost.
If Capcom wants to win back the fans its alienated over the years, they’re going to need to make a few drastic changes, starting with the constant overpowering of the player. I don’t want access to laser guns, bazookas and grenade launchers during my first playthrough. Like the foam finger in Dead Space, these should be rewards you have to unlock. There’s more to this than the weapons, but we’ll get into it more later on.
You know it, I know it, even Capcom knows it. Resident Evil 6 was bloated. In an effort to appeal to everyone, they threw everything they could into the game. Horror fans were given Leon and Ada’s campaigns, while newcomers to the series were gifted with Jake and Chris’s action-packed stories. On top of that was the expanded multiplayer, which included the return of Mercenaries and the brand new Agent Hunt mode, where you can enter another player’s game as the enemy with the goal of impeding their progress — similar to Dark Souls.
That’s more than enough, but through post-release DLC, Capcom introduced three more modes: “Predator”, “Survivors” and “Onslaught”. Personally, I think asking us to pay for multiplayer modes is an extremely stupid idea, since the longevity of a game’s multiplayer depends entirely on how many people are playing, so a paid DLC mode instantly limits how many people have access to it. It’s nonsensical, stop doing that.
The “five games in one” approach also needs to go. Just give us two refined campaigns and invest the resources that would’ve been spent on additional campaigns into making the two meatier experiences that are distinct from one another. It’d also make them easier to tie together more often and in more interesting ways.