If you’ve been following the teases for Resident Evil VII, you would have noticed the upcoming sequel is quite the departure for the survival horror series. Changing up the camera angles is nothing new for the series, of course – after the static cameras of the first three games and the over-the-shoulder revelation of Resi 4 – but a switch to first-person is certainly the most drastic switch up the series has undergone in a mainline entry.
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This change, along with the apparent lack of zombies, now seemingly replaced by gloopy ink monsters and murderous hillbillies, has prompted people to wonder why Capcom didn’t just call the game simply ‘Resident Evil’ and consider it a reboot. Well, that’s because the story will tie in, you silly billies. Not only that, but the core gameplay will be more familiar than you’re probably imagining.
“If you look at just the gameplay that’s been shown so far, you may think of it as a reboot at first, but the story and narrative have shaped up to fit the series as a numbered title,” says producer Masachika Kawata in a Game Informer interview. “It is still a Resident Evil title, which draws on the series’ roots of horror, exploration, puzzles, and combat while offering something new.
“Rather than playing it safe and sticking with what we’re used to, we strived to create something new that would impact players in a different way with a more immersive, personal experience. We wanted to create a game that really pushes survival horror to the forefront and focus on what makes a game scary, while still being a fun and entertaining experience from a gameplay perspective.”
While Kawata agrees that it might be tough to see the similarities at first glance – especially so since the videos released so far have shown very little of the gameplay – the core of the game will be identical to classic Resi, despite the perspective shift. “Resident Evil VII contains many of the hallmarks that fans love including exploration, item management, and puzzles,” Kawata explains. “We’ve made a lot of effort to really strengthen the core of survival horror to the fullest, so you’ll get the sense that this truly is a Resident Evil title when you get your hands on it. This game also embodies one of the central themes of Resident Evil which is the balance of tension from fearful situations with the relief from being able to overcome them.”
As for the reason Capcom have released so little gameplay footage so close to launch, Kawat says it’s all because of spoilers. “In order to fully enjoy a horror title, we don’t think it’s good to release too much information beforehand. What’s hidden in the darkness? Who are the enemies? How do I escape? These are questions we would prefer to leave unanswered before the player experiences the game, so that they can uncover things on their own,” he says. “As a result, we understand some fans have questions about the contents of the game, but we assure you that we’re ready to deliver a Resident Evil horror experience of the utmost quality.”
The survival horror sequel releases on January 24, 2017. Here’severything we know about Resident Evil VIIso far.