Resident Evil 7 is out today, and yet again, it represents a dramatic reinvention of the classic, long running series. Switching gears entirely from the over the shoulder third person action that the series pioneered with Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil 7 will be a first person game that focuses more on the psychological aspects of horror than the visceral or gory ones.
But even though Resident Evil has a history of reinventing itself, the question of why such a dramatic departure from previous games in the series with the newest title is one that often comes up a lot among fans. And speaking to Gamespot, Resident Evil producer Jun Takeuchi discussed how fan feedback after the release of the entirely action oriented Resident Evil 6 prompted a change in direction for the new game.
“After our sixth [Resident Evil] we got a lot of feedback from fans,” Takeuchi said. “I think a lot of fans loved that game. It’s a dream team collaboration of all their favorite heroes working together. At the same time, we know there’s feedback that people thought we’re going too far down the road of action horror rather than survival horror. That was great timing because internally we also felt this is the time for us to just take a step back and re-evaluate what survival horror and Resident Evil means to us. It was really just the fact that the timing of what the fans wanted and we wanted to do next matched up. It gave me the confidence to do something radical and reinvent the series.”
On the whole, the experiment appears to have been successful– while Resident Evil 7 is not the instant slam dunk classic that Resident Evil 4 was, it appears to be a successful experiment, and the best Resident Evil title in recent years. For a lot of fans, just that will do, for now- and hopefully, Capcom can continue to build on this game’s base in the coming years.