The entire Resident Evil franchise has gone through several extreme makeovers. It first started out with a brutal and horrifying survival experience, then transformed into an action-focused third person shooter with Resident Evil 4, followed by many more. If you’ve been thinking about how the latest installment feels much more action-oriented than horror-oriented, then it turns out there’s a reason for that.
Resident Evil 8 is out this Friday on May 7th, but players can already get a taste of it in the recently released demo. Some have enjoyed it, while others can’t help but notice a significant shift away from Horror. It’s not that it’s not scary, but it certainly doesn’t instill the same kind of unnerving fear that Resident Evil 7 did.
As it turns out, feedback for RE7 determined that the game was too scary for a lot of players, and so the developers decided to strike a balance between horror and fun/action in order to have more users actually play the game:
“When we develop a new Resident Evil game, our goal is not always to make it scarier than the previous title, but find a balance to deliver a scary but fun experience for players,” said RE8’s producer Tsuyoshi Kanda in a recent interview.
“Some of the feedback we received regarding [RE7 was] that it was too scary to play,” they added. “In one regard, that’s exactly what we were striving for, so it’s a huge compliment for us. But at the same time, it’s always our goal to create something that anybody can feel comfortable jumping in and playing, so we eased up on the tension curve [in RE Village] relative to Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, so that players aren’t in constant fear.”
One of the ways the developers did this was through the level design: Resident Evil 7 constantly put players in tight corridors that almost felt like “as if the walls of the Baker mansion were closing in on them,” but RE Village deliberately puts the player in more open spaces to create a different kind of tension.
“For Resident Evil Village, we took an entirely different approach with the openness of the village and players not knowing what might be lurking beyond the trees,” Kanda continued. “Something we also always have to pay attention to is the tension curve. We also find that people grow immune to fear if they’re consistently pitted up against a tense situation or environment.”
“Those moments of solace act as a buffer to make sure that people aren’t completely desensitized to the horror. The save rooms that you often see in many ‘Resident Evil’ games is a great example of that, where players can take a deep breath and know that they are safe.”
I mean, it makes sense to be honest. If you make a horror game and most of the players don't finish it or give up after a while because it was too scary, then you're going to want to strike more of a balance between horror and fun next time round.
What do you think? Do you agree with the statements above? Was Resident Evil 7 too scary? How are you finding the RE8 demo? Are you enjoying it? Or do you want more horror? Let us know your thoughts!