If you know anything about the Resident Evil franchise, you probably know this: it essentially invented the survival-horror genre in 1996 before moving farther and farther away from it and closer to straight-up action. That journey culminated with the amped-up but underwhelming Resident Evil 6, sending Capcom fumbling for the reset button with Resident Evil 7.
Due out in January 2017, Resident Evil 7 has been not-so-subtly promoted as a return to form for the franchise. And in a new interview with Eurogamer, Producer Masachika Kawata made the case that Capcom has achieved just that with the game.
“It almost feels like this time around we were able to achieve the ideal image of what Resident Evil 1 could be,” Kawata told Eurogamer. “Given that you have all these photo-realistic environments and you’re able to traverse through them with a first-person perspective, having that level of immersion, with all the latest technology, it was kind of cool to be able to be like, here’s that very, very original concept from the very beginning, and we’re able to take that vision and really apply it.”
Just how has Capcom gone about doing that? For starters, they’ve put players into the shoes of Ethan, a virtually defenseless man who, unlike recent series protagonists, is completely unprepared for the horrors he encounters. His best defense is reportedly to run for his life rather than to pull out a gun and start blasting glowing weak points.
Still, some series fans might be concerned about changes like the switch from third to first-person. Exectuive Producer Jun Takeuchi admitted that many at Capcom had the same concerns, but those concerns faded once they spent some time playing the game.
“Once people could actually get their hands on it, they had a moment of realization,” Takeuchi said, “like, it’s all OK, we can proceed with this because our concerns were – I’m not going to say invalid, but they weren’t justified. As long as we can make the game the way we want to make it, it will still be Resident Evil no matter what the camera angle is.”