Here is a share of a recent IGN article, which I thought, really communicated what the fans want. (It did for me, and I’m an OG in regards to Resident Evil)
7 THINGS RESIDENT EVIL 7 NEEDS TO DO TO WIN ME OVER
How to return Resident Evil to its roots.
BY CHLOI RAD
Resident Evil 7 is just a few months away, and we still don’t know what it actually looks like.
Capcom says the Beginning Hour demo is a “tone piece” designed to match the final “feel” of Resident Evil 7, and not an actual gameplay preview. The recent Lantern demo, available exclusively at conventions and private press appointments, is a section straight out of the game, but rather than give us a look at the “core” gameplay of Resident Evil 7, it pulls from one of the found footage sequences that Capcom has confirmed will be a recurring element.
None of these things, save maybe a brief glimpse of gunplay in the most recent Texas Chainsaw-inspired trailer, have told us much about how Resident Evil 7 is actually going to play. As a long-time Resident Evil fan with high hopes for the franchise’s revival, I have mixed feelings about what we’ve seen so far.
Below are seven things Resident Evil 7 needs to do to win me over and return the franchise to survival horror greatness.
1. Put horror first, but do it right.
Resident Evil has always had jump scares, from its infamous window-bursting dogs to its shadiest interrogation rooms. But the Resident Evil brand of slow-burning tension and quiet survival horror — punctuated by these memorable moments of climactic terror — doesn’t really align with the run-and-hide panic of a game like Outlast, which the most recent Lantern demo noticeably pulls from. I want Resident Evil to be scary again, but not in the way we’ve been shown so far.
Resident Evil 7: Lantern Gameplay Trailer – Gamescom 2016
Horror in Resident Evil is that mounting panic when you realize you didn’t conserve enough ammo to deal with an unexpected encounter — it’s the regret, anxiety, and quick-thinking demanded when you find yourself face-to-face with a boss after ditching your only green herb so you could have room in your inventory for a new key. It’s a horde of zombies suddenly breaking through the windows of a room you’ve passed through without incident dozens of times before now. It’s your safety net being broken, coupled with a growing distrust of your environment and its capacity for unexpected change. (Which is part of why the fixed-cameras of its early installments worked so well.)
Resident Evil isn’t cowering defenseless in a corner from an angry hillbilly, and it definitely isn’t ghosts, as seen in the Beginning Hour.
Give me horror in Resident Evil again, but do it the Resident Evil way.
2. Return the focus to survival horror-style puzzles.
The demand for a more puzzle-heavy horror game is popular among fans of the early Resident Evil titles, but a lot of people seem to groan at the thought of piecing together odd items, extracting keys from emblems, and constantly swapping out ammo and herbs for important puzzle pieces — but I love it.
I want Resident Evil 7 to return to the series’ statue-pushing, crest-embedding, gem-collecting, key-hunting roots. The teasers so far seem to indicate that it will: the Beginning Hour was full of adventure game-style problem solving and the Lantern demo contains a brief segment where you hold a strangely-shaped statuette up to a light, rotating it to cast a shadow in the shape of a spider over a painting in order to open a passage in the wall. At the end of the Lantern demo, you can even see a discarded crank beneath the Baker’s home — what feels like a deliberate nod to a classic Resident Evil puzzle.
“I want to see puzzles at the core of Resident Evil again. The puzzles in Resident Evil are good because they force you to always be planning and strategizing, making your journey more stressful, and consequently, more uncertain and scary. Finding out the most efficient path through the Spencer Estate was part of the fun and tension of the original Resident Evil and its 2002 remake.
I wouldn’t mind seeing the obstacles adjusted to accommodate a new generation of players who might not see the appeal in early survival horror / adventure game-style puzzles — maybe a larger inventory for players with limited patience, or more of an internal logic to the objects you’re collecting — but I do want to see puzzles at the core of Resident Evil 7.
3. Let us explore a memorable location.
The Spencer Estate is one of the most memorable and masterfully-designed spaces in video game history. Some games can take you on a journey across a vast open-world that took ten years to create, filled to the brim with things to do and see, and yet it’s this one, dimly-lit mansion in the middle of the forest that I remember most.
Resident Evil Remastered Trailer
Maybe Resident Evil 7 doesn’t need to give us a setting as iconic and near-perfect as The Spencer Estate — I don’t know if it’s possible to top. But Capcom does need to create something distinct and finely-tuned for the kind of puzzle-solving and smart backtracking that Resident Evil is famous for. Part of what made that sinister old mansion in Resident Evil so distinct was the many layers of circumstances it built up over the course of Chris and Jill’s time there. It made it possible (and required you) to revisit old locations with interesting new stakes in mind, find new shortcuts and treat old ones with caution, and uncover new secrets in the places you’ve passed by again and again and again.
If Resident Evil 7’s singular location can capture half the magic of the Spencer Estate, I’ll be happy.
4. Give us firepower, but not too much.
Resident Evil 4 is a fun game, but it’s also the game that doomed the franchise. The switch from slow, third-person survival horror with fixed camera angles to an over-the-shoulder, third-person action game reintroduced the series to a new audience who came to expect the larger arsenals and quick-time events that more recent installments in the franchise are known for.
The switch to first-person in Resident Evil 7 is meant as a way to return the series to its horror roots, according to the game’s director Koshi Nakanishi. While the change could end up working for it, it would be a mistake for this perspective shift, combined with zombie-shooting gameplay, to turn the franchise into a horror-flavored first-person shooter. Early Resident Evil games had bursts of action and boss fights, but their tank controls, claustrophobic environments, limited ammo, and other factors made sure you still felt helpless even as you were laying incendiary grenade rounds into genetically-modified bioweapons.
I want Resident Evil 7 to embrace combat, as long as it doesn’t become an action-packed FPS where mowing down enemies is a quick and easy option rather than a desperate effort to escape danger.
5. Connect to the old games in a meaningful way.
We know Resident Evil 7 is a direct sequel to Resident Evil 6, rather than a vaguely-related spin-off or complete reboot, but the question of how things all fit together is still up in the air.
I have my own theory, based on the Lantern demo, that Resident Evil 7 could have ties to the Las Plagas parasite in Resident Evil 4. In the demo, Marguerite Baker makes frequent mention of “accepting a gift.” The family’s apparent resistance to pain, sickly pallor, and instability remind me a lot of the Las Plagas-infected villagers from Resident Evil 4. The Los Illuminados cult those villagers worshipped also viewed the parasite as a kind of spiritual “gift,” which could be what Marguerite is referring to.
This is all speculation, though — I desperately want Resident Evil 7 to connect to past games in some meaningful way. With the drastic changes to style and structure we’ve seen so far, what would be the point of calling it a Resident Evil game without some ties to the events that shaped the series’ story? This is a good opportunity to bring in new fans, and I’m not against that, but seeing some beloved characters return in a way that makes sense would be an easy way to get existing fans emotionally invested in this new installment.
6. Subvert stereotypes instead of embracing them.
Resident Evil is no stranger to controversy, coming under fire in 2009 for what some fans viewed as an insensitive portrayal of black villagers and tribespeople in Resident Evil 5’s fictional African region of Kijuju. Meanwhile, we know Resident Evil 7 is set on an old plantation in modern-day Louisiana. The eerie backwaters of the Deep South are a highly-romanticized setting in a lot of fiction thanks to its striking imagery and dark, sometimes shameful past. I’m a big fan of Southern Gothic myself, but I also acknowledge that its locales are too often the subject of bland, easy, and exploitative horror. If Capcom can handle this setting well without resorting to shock value, or cringe-inducing stereotypes like “incestuous hillbilly family,” the game will be better for it.
I’m not concerned with Resident Evil 7 telling a smart story about American history — level design has always been more important to Resident Evil than locational accuracy. It just needs to do something interesting with its rural setting that goes beyond tired stereotypes about the American South.
7. Do something cool with the found footage.
There’s plenty of potential here for more complicated puzzles.
I’m a sucker for found footage. I’ll watch any found footage movie that comes out, good or bad, though most of it is pretty bad — but still, I watch. But found footage in video games is a little different. It loses magic without the live action element, but there are still neat ways to include it. Resident Evil 7’s incorporation of playable found footage sequences in particular has a lot of potential that I hope Capcom fully explores.
The idea isn’t entirely new — in the 2002 remake of the first Resident Evil, for instance, you can find a tape that reveals the final moments of a fellow S.T.A.R.S. member. But scenes like this served as supplemental story bits and weren’t playable. The Beginning Hour demo showed an interesting new way it could be used to change your current environment. As you may know, there’s a locked drawer in the kitchen of the Beginning Hour’s farmhouse, but once you pop in the video tape and explore the house in the flashback, found footage scene, you can locate a lockpick in the kitchen, open up the drawer, and then return there in real-life to search its contents.
There’s plenty of potential here for more complicated puzzles, non-linear storytelling, and even some sinister foreshadowing that I hope doesn’t get squandered on cheap scares or simple run-and-hide sequences.
Resident Evil 7 is looking a lot different from the Resident Evil a lot of us know and love, but even with the changes, I can detect shades of the classic games channeling through. But will the vague hints and teases here and there actually add up to a worthy sequel?
We’ll just have to wait and see.
ALL CREDIT IS TO THE AUTHOR AND NOT MYSELF, THIS IS CREDIT TO IGN
The original article can be found here!