Resident Evil, one of the most renowned and revered series’ in PlayStation antiquity, is at a crossroads as of late. Its fans have become increasingly disillusioned by the gung-ho, action-orientated direction series developer Capcom has taken for the past number of years, starving the franchise of its once great horror bedrock. The critically tepid reception its newest mainstream iteration garnered was enough to send anxious tremors throughout the Capcom boardroom, leading many to speculate as to what steps the ailing developer would take to rectify and once again champion its premier horror franchise. And now with ex-Capcom chieftain Shinji Mikami lurking in the sidelines, ready to usurp with the blood-soaked promise of The Evil Within, Resident Evil’s plight becomes all the more pressing.
Should it continue down the boulder-punching, Umbrella-conspiring, roundhouse-kicking path, or head squarely back to the drawing board and revisit what made the series a monumental success in the first instance? Alas, fear not, concerned fans, the answers are forthcoming. We at PSU are here to quell any such worry of the series’ direction by laying out the considered blueprint for getting it back to the upper echelons of gaming esteem it once so rightly sat upon. Pin your ears back, Capcom. Here’s how to get Resident Evil back on track.
Inject some well-worn atmosphere
The biggest aspect of a bygone Resident Evil - and the one which has fallen most foul at the face of the series’ modern transition - is undoubtedly the atmosphere. Long gone is that pervading sense of dread and unease which used to permeate every footstep, instead it’s now replaced with a direct sense of urgency more in tandem with the modern single-player shooter. This shift in emphasis is something that needs to be rectified immediately if Capcom wishes to usher in a new era on PlayStation 4. Players must feel that sense of hopelessness and immersion which was conducive to the Resident Evil of old; the slow plodding pace, masterful use of the score, and distinct sense of vulnerability are wholly required for that quintessential experience to rear its head once again. Setting will undoubtedly play an intrinsic part in this procession and it is imperative that Capcom look to inject a more believable scenario into the game’s narrative; rather than having muscle-bound, karate-versed super soldiers whose nine-to-five job is seemingly decapitating hordes of the undead with well-placed heel kicks, let’s see a character who’s unfamiliar with the run of play, a regular flatfoot who’s thrust into the gravest of events and must use cunning and know-how to emerge alive. Or just give us Barry Burton.