Not long after Resident Evil 7 launched, executive producer Jun Takeuchi confirmed that Capcom was already working on the followup, presumably titled Resident Evil 8. Of course, with Resident Evil 8 so early in development, Takeuchi didn't reveal any concrete details on the project, though he did tease that the team wants to continue evolving the survival-horror genre with the next game in the series.
With Resident Evil 7 not even a year old and the Resident Evil 2 remake on deck, it may be years before we learn anything about Resident Evil 8. Even so, Resident Evil 7's last pieces of DLC manage to set up Resident Evil 8 in a few different ways, and may offer fans an idea of what to expect from the game.
Anyone that has yet to play through Resident Evil 7 and its DLC may want to do so before reading on, as this article will contain spoilers.
Chris's Phone Call
Something that could be a big hint of what Resident Evil 8 will be about comes at the very end of the Not A Hero DLC. After Chris Redfield successfully defeats the mutated Lucas Baker, he is told by his Umbrella handler that there's a call for him that he has to take back at the camp. This implies that the call is of high importance and must be kept secret, otherwise there's no reason why Chris couldn't take the call at the Baker family mansion.
It's possible that whoever is trying to get in contact with Chris has his next mission lined up, which could be the basis for Resident Evil 8's story. During the events of Resident Evil 7 and its Not A Hero DLC, we learn that Chris is reluctantly working with the reformed Umbrella on this particular mission, so perhaps he's being called back by the BSAA or sent on another Umbrella-funded operation.
Then again, maybe the phone call was Ethan Winters contacting Chris about Zoe Baker (more on that in a bit) or maybe the call has no story significance at all. It could just be a throwaway line, but the urgency in Chris's Umbrella handler's voice suggests otherwise.
During the course of Resident Evil 7's Not A Hero DLC, we learn that Lucas Baker is a lot more than just a psychopath that likes to torture people with complicated traps. In fact, Lucas is actually working for an organization called The Connections, which seems to have taken Umbrella's place as the "evil science company" in the franchise's universe.
A possible Connections lab has been built in the mines underneath the Baker family plantation, which Chris explores with his ill-fated team in Not A Hero. Lucas can be found in this lab, attempting to send information about Evie (the infected child that put the events of the main game in motion) to a mysterious contact from The Connections. Unfortunately, we don't learn who exactly at The Connections Lucas is working for, but perhaps we will find out in Resident Evil 8.
Tying Up Loose Ends
Arguably the biggest way Resident Evil 7's new DLC sets up Resident Evil 8 is by tying up some of the base game's loose ends. In the Not A Hero DLC, Chris Redfield successfully defeats Lucas Baker, and his team rids the area of the Molded monsters that Evie created. The Baker family's possessions are boxed up, and Chris leaves to go answer his mysterious phone call.
End of Zoe reveals exactly what happened to Zoe Baker following the events of the main game. In End of Zoe, Zoe is saved by her uncle, Joe Baker, as he works to find a cure for her infection. As it turns out, a freshly mutated Jack Baker, who now looks an awfully lot like Swamp Thing, has spawned a new batch of Molded monsters. Joe manages to defeat the Molded, kill his brother once and for all, and cure Zoe of her infection.
Umbrella reinforcements arrive on the scene, including Chris Redfield. Chris hands Zoe his phone, revealing that Ethan kept his promise from the base game and sent someone to save Zoe. The Resident Evil 7 story ends on a happy note, and all the main characters have their issues resolved - with Chris being the only possible exception. What this means is that it is unlikely that Resident Evil 8 will bring back any of these characters, since almost all the story threads in Resident Evil 7 have a proper conclusion.
The latest DLC expansions for Resident Evil 7 offer some hints as to what fans can expect from Resident Evil 8 thanks to Chris's mysterious phone call, the reveal of The Connections organization, and by wrapping up the loose ends left by the base game. However, we still know next to nothing about the project, except that it is in development and executive producer Jun Takeuchi hopes to use it to evolve the survival-horror genre yet again.
While Resident Evil fans wait for news on Resident Evil 8, they should have the Resident Evil 2 remake to keep them busy in the meantime. Here's hoping it keeps the franchise's strong momentum going and delivers an experience that lives up to the hype.
Resident Evil 7 is available now for PC, PS4, PlayStation VR, and Xbox One.