With Resident Evil VII taking the world by storm and with the Resident Evil 2 Remake set to be equally as impressive, we look ahead to where Capcom should take the series for Resident Evil 8. Now, I’ve made no secret of my absolute detest of Resident Evil 6 (you disgusting, vain thing), but my opinions regarding that were broadly shared with the rest of the world. Resident Evil 6 is easily the worst game in the series so far, taking a huge step back from survival horror and a massive leap forward towards action. By and large, it sucked, bad.
This, however, marked a turning point for Capcom and led them to reinventing the series. The end result was Resident Evil VII, which is ironically classed as one of the best games in the series. The shift from third-person to first person, grouped with the grueling environment and the creepy as hell Baker family, elevated the franchise back to where it belonged. The next Resident Evil game to arrive is the Resident Evil 2 Remake, which again swaps back to a third-person perspective, but thankfully, Capcom seems to have nailed it.
For me, the best third-person game in the series is Resident Evil 4. That game didn’t go too heavy on the action and it didn’t sacrifice what makes for a scary game. Instead, it blended action, stealth and horror elements to make for one of the most memorable games of all time, a path that the Resident Evil 2 Remake seems keen to walk on. Though, with that in mind, I fully expect Capcom will move back to first-person perspective for the inevitable Resident Evil 8. My only hope is that the story is, much like Resident Evil VII, an isolated one.
Resident Evil VII’s story was so isolated that apart from some in-game notes and (spoiler warning – look away if you haven’t completed it) Chris Redfield’s appearance at the end, it could have been an entirely new IP. That’s a concept that Capcom needs to follow. Resident Evil VII was, for the most part, an outstanding entry. Despite losing its way to “the action” later in the game, the core format consisted of constant scares and unease, which consistently pushed the player into an anxious state throughout the entirety of the game.
We need to see this sort of gameplay in Resident Evil 8. I’ve been playing these games since the 90s and the only thing that’s ever really allured me is that signature horror. Capcom simply needs to retain that moving forward. If they’re smart and they’ve learned from their mistakes, we’ll see another isolated story with minimal ties to the game’s history or characters, in fact, a new protagonist is a must. Capcom made a huge mistake with their cast, constantly bulking them up and making them more Chuck Norris-like per new released game.
It made an image that reflected invincibility (Chris punching a boulder, anyone?) which is why playing as Ethan in Resident Evil VII was so refreshing. Ethan seemingly knew nothing about the supernatural, and was your bog-standard run-of-the-mill regular guy, someone that was wholly unprepared for the horror that awaited him. It would be nice to see this design choice implemented in Resident Evil 8, with a female playable character taking the lead this time around. It would also be great to see another isolated location being used.
The Baker mansion and its surrounding areas were huge, yet designed in a way to relay solitude. Perhaps another mansion would work, but I have my doubts that Capcom would replicate too much of what worked in Resident Evil VII. My money’s on a location that’s equally as large, but equally as confined, such as a deserted island or something akin. In regards to the antagonists, I dare say we’ll see an equal amount as well a Nemesis-like foe to keep us on our toes. The fact of the matter is that it’s all just guesswork until we learn more.
I don’t speak for everyone, but the general consensus is that a good Resident Evil game is one that gives you limited inventory, devastating enemies, a total lack of weaponry, innovative puzzles, isolation and a decent plot. That formula, for me at least, is when the series shines at its brightest, or darkest, depending on your outlook. If you’ve yet to dive into Resident Evil VII, I fully recommend giving it a go. I would caution playing its DLC because these tend to lean heavily towards the action, but the core game alone, pick it up, like right now. Go!
Though it goes without saying that Capcom needs to follow feedback rather than adopt what they think will push the series forward. We’ve walked that path before and it didn’t end well, did it? Feedback is what led Capcom to moving from the concept of Resident Evil 6 to Resident Evil VII, so they need to get their vision aligned with what the fans want. What about you? Did you enjoy Resident Evil VII? Or not so much? Where do you think Resident Evil should go next? Should we see a Nemesis Remake? Hit the comment section below.