Resident Evil Rebooted?
Series producer and consistent Capcom cohort, Masachika Kawata, believes it time to reevaluate the Resident Evil franchise as a whole, and some of his musings include restarting the seventeen-year-old series from scratch, effectively rebooting it.
“It would still be Resident Evil,” says Kawata, and though he admits fans’ connections to veteran characters like Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine are what makes the games work for some on a personal level, “We wouldn’t lose the essential nature of what makes it a good game just by changing the characters.”
You catch that, too? I believe Mr. Kawata just subtlety hinted some fan favorite characters wouldn’t make the cut in this proposed reboot. Before your blood rises to a boil, though, the elements Masachika says would be included just may be the fear-soaked booster shot of grueling terror missing from the games since Resi 4 traded in its scares for bullets back in 2005, kickstarting a much maligned industry trend in which survival horror titles would reconfigure their formulas to fit into the action-shooter genre.
“Moving forward,” said Kawata, “I can see us focusing even more on the horror aspect and fear in the series, and see us making something scarier than we have already.”
Kawata is adamant this reboot notion of his isn’t a direct response to the poor critical reception Resident Evil 6 garnered from media and the gaming public alike. RE6 – for as much as I’m willing to forgive it (which is a lot) – at its barest boils down to a shooter playing dress-up as a horror game. While reactions to the sixth installment is mixed (“mixed” being the kind term; “polarizing” hitting it closer to home), the general consensus is that it simply didn’t deliver on the trademark scares which cemented the classic Resident Evil entries into gamers’ minds so many years ago.
Whatever served as the catalyst (we’ll just call it “RE6’s Sales” for posterity’s sake), it would seem old school fans have the most to gain from Capcom’s scrutinizing of one of their most beloved – and most profitable – franchises. Do you find yourself craving for a return to the days when opening an unlocked door sent a disquieting pang of anxiety through your gut? Do miss it when combat was an exercise in controling the waves of panic surging through you because a wasted bullet was one bullet not staving off the dreaded, mocking “YOU DIED” screen? Well, then, I’ll leave you with a ray of hope:
“It’s undeniable to say the series returning to its roots is important,” said Kawata, “And those roots are horror.”