The Resident Evil franchise has always been about the survival horror genre even if it has reinvented itself throughout the different iterations and spin-offs. Game company CAPCOM has made different titles for the series and evolved from the first until the latest in the numbers, Resident Evil VII. Even though the developers can add or change the game mechanics, the Resident Evil franchise must always be grounded to what it is: a survival horror game.
So what does make any Resident Evil title still a Resident Evil game? Producer Peter Fabiano recently talked with game publication Siliconera about his answer to this inquiry.
Fabiano reveals that just the same as with all other major franchises out there, “… it’s important to look at the game’s roots, identify its pillars and keep those consistent while at the same time moving the brand forward.” This is especially true for the Resident Evil series. The first three games of the series, Resident Evil 1 to 3, were focused on survival horror, and the controls and aesthetic were consistent. The gameplay did change slightly from one title to another.
The producer stated that Resident Evil 4 through 6 shifted to another type of gameplay, which was more on action and now the camera was moved to the third person view. Some hardcore fans criticized this change, but many adapted quite well and enjoyed the gameplay all the same.
Resident Evil VII had a wholly different type of gameplay since it became first person, but it also made gamers nostalgic due to the claustrophobic feeling they felt on Resident Evil 1. They also introduced more jump scares in this iteration.
Resident Evil means a lot of things to many people, but it’s always attempted to continue and reinvent survival horror.
No matter how many times the mechanics have changed, no matter how many additions they made to the lore, Resident Evil will always stay the same in genre: Survival Horror.