Resident Evil 7 director Koushi Nakanishi discusses what the overall design philosophies are at Capcom heading into development of the new Resident Evil title.
When a franchise has as many iterations as Capcom’s beloved zombie survival horror series Resident Evil, there will inevitably be innovations that are well received and those that are reviled by long-time fans. Resident Evil 7, though, stands at a strange crossroads in that regard. It has been some time since the last entirely new Resident Evil title, and Capcom recently revealed that Resident Evil 7 would get full PS VR functionality, making it the first ever game in the series to employ the fledgling technology. Will Capcom still be able to take the lessons it has learned from past Resident Evil instalments and use them in such a bold new gaming world?
The answer, at least to Resident Evil 7 director Koushi Nakanishi, is a resounding yes. According to Nakanishi, while the Beginning Hour Resident Evil 7 demo content won’t make it into the full game, it’s still a prime example of the philosophy the development team has adopted in creating the new Resident Evil experience:
“The teaser is kind of a tonal preview instead of a content preview…it’s focusing on up front to the key pillars, which are fear, horror, and exploration of an environment.”
Essentially, Nakanishi is saying that the demo isn’t meant to show off what Resident Evil 7 will offer fans in terms of gameplay, but rather what the new game will bring in aesthetic and design principle. The demo is a sampler of emotion, not mechanics, and Nakanishi stated that he believes first-person gameplay is the best at evoking feelings of horror and anxiety. The Resident Evil 7 director did clarify, however, that Capcom is fully aware of what makes a new Resident Evil game a successor to the series:
“The other key pillars of Resident Evil – puzzle solving, resource management, and combat – they’re coming down the line. They’re all in there, but we’re focusing on horror has come home…so if you thought the games were going away from horror in previous years, this is just a statement of intent, purpose, to say it’s back.”
To that end, there’s a good reason the Resident Evil 7 demo, which already has guides cropping up to help gamers attempt to solve its many mysteries, doesn’t feature any Quick Time Events. That’s because the QTE mechanic that was polarizing for so many gamers since Resident Evil 4 is officially nowhere to be seen in Resident Evil 7.
Of course, some things are sacred in the Resident Evil universe, no matter how much they make sense. Herbs will be making their return to Resident Evil 7 after a brief series hiatus, and the health-restoring plant life that has been the savior of many a playthrough is sure to receive a heroes’ welcome from fans. Whether or not the VR technology will simulate any side effects ingestion of these miracle plants remains to be seen, however.
What do you think about Resident Evil 7 becoming a first-person game? Are you as happy as everyone else seems to be that QTEs are officially a thing of the past? Let us know in the comments below.
Resident Evil 7 will be available for PS4, PlayStation VR, Xbox One and PC on January 24, 2017.