The Resident Evil franchise's success has been dwindling for years. The release of the Resident Evil HD Remaster earlier this year is indicative of something that seems to be clear to everyone else but Capcom - gamers love survival horror. The Resident Evil games have been trying to take what Shinji Mikami achieved with Resident Evil and Resident Evil 4 and mesh them together ever since. However, the way in which they've done so has been extremely uneven.
The games can't decide what kind of experience they want to offer horror fans. They want to include a sufficient amount of action in order to widen the appeal of the franchise, while simultaneously attempting to channel the terror of the originals. Capcom have been failing to mix the two and perhaps the only one who can do it is Shinji Mikami.
Should Resident Evil 7 Follow in the Footsteps of The Evil Within?
The Evil Within was released last year to critical appraisal. Fans and critics loved the combination of action and survival horror. However, if they wanted it to be a truly great game, Tango Gameworks needed to place a much greater emphasis on character design and story in my opinion. But even then, The Evil Within is lightyears ahead of what Resident Evil 6 achieved.
So what does Resident Evil 7 need to do? The Resident Evil franchise has split itself between the numerical entries and the Revelations series. The latter wishes to supply survival horror fans with a more true-to-form RE experience. There's a far greater emphasis placed upon survival and the series in general focuses more readily on the desires of fans of the original games.
Resident Evil 4 is a remarkable game - the way in which Shinji Mikami balanced horror and action was sublime. However, this title has affected the series' trajectory. Mikami was gifted at mixing the serious nature of horror and complete and utter farce. Those left at Capcom do not have the same power of direction. Therefore, when I look at The Evil Within, I'm not entirely sure that's the road that Resident Evil 7 should go down.
The Evil Within is't as finely tuned as Mikami's other works. For instance, the game forces you to conserve your ammo due to how limited supplies are. Yet you'll frequently be ambushed by enemies that the game forces you to kill. It upsets the survival focus of the game and removed the option of player choice. But The Evil Within isn't a bad game, I just think that if Mikami can get the balance wrong, then Capcom certainly can!
What Do You Want From Resident Evil 7?
I'd really love to see Resident Evil 7 focus on survival horror once more - tone everything down. Capcom have taken fan's feedback to heart, according to company officials, and they hope to focus on what made the original game's so popular. Resident Evil HD was a massive success for Capcom and I think that success will awaken the company to the fact that they need to change how they're developing their games.
The Evil Within is a great action-horror. However, I don't think that Mikami's new IP is what should inspire Resident Evil 7. But if you disagree, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the Resident Evil franchise and The Evil Within!