Capcom Needs To Rest On Their Rotting Laurels To Save Their Beleaguered Survival Horror Series
We’re just a few weeks away from E3 2016, and all signs seem to point to Capcom unveiling another numbered entry in their long-running Resident Evil series. As a longtime fan of the franchise, I can’t help but feel equal parts excited and apprehensive about what could be in store. After all, while Resident Evil 5 & 6 felt more akin to say, ‘Gears of Evil’ than the Survival Horror games that I first fell in love with back in 1996, last year’s Resident Evil: Revelations 2 was a pretty solid return to form for the series in many ways. Sure, it wasn’t the ideal resurrection of the classic, Alone in the Dark-inspired formula, but Revelations 2 managed to do a solid job of injecting some fresh tension into a series that had all but ditched its horrifying pedigree in favor of the kind of over-the-top action that would make Michael Bay blush.
Thankfully, the folks at Capcom seem to be well aware of the Multiple Personality Disorder that’s been afflicting their onetime flagship franchise and seem determined to set things straight. In an interview with Dengeki PlayStation last year, veteran producer Masachika Kawata acknowledged fans’ concerns about the series losing its luster for horror purists.
“Since there’s been more spinoff titles, I can see how it can be perceived in such a way,” said Kawata. “And of course I believe that we should produce titles that bring out the horror. I’m thinking about it and also preparing for it.”
Obviously, this is great to hear, but talk is cheap, after all. We won’t know for sure if Resident Evil 7 will be a true return to the series roots until we finally get our mitts on the game, presumably sometime next year. If Capcom does intend to recapture the hearts of series veterans who long for the days of ink ribbons and atmosphere thick as putrefied zombie blood, here are a few changes that need to happen.