It’s looking like Capcom are well on track to keep the Resident Evil conveyor belt pumping. Even though they’ve made no announcement about it yet, multiple leaks from various sources in recent weeks have spilled the beans on the fact that we’re about a year away from Resident Evil 8. Of course, we can’t be too sure about anything until we hear something from Capcom themselves, neither about the details that have emerged, nor about the fact that the game even exists- but we can at least talk about the things we hope the game will and won’t do. In this feature, we’ll be talking about the latter. So without further ado, let’s get started.
TOO MUCH ACTION
After having alienated most series fans with action-heavy approach of Resident Evil 5 and 6, in recent years, Capcom have gone back to the basics with a much more horror-centric approach, and we’re hoping they will continue to do so with Resident Evil 8. We’re not completely averse to action of course – in the right doses it can be a great thing – but we really hope the game is more about horror than it is about explosive set pieces.
CHANGING THE TONE TOO MUCH
Resident Evil 7 represented a major change in direction for the series, with its tone being one of many things that were different about it. It was much more grounded, much more subtle, much grittier, and that’s something that Capcom have carried forward into Resident Evil 2 and 3 as well. Hopefully, they will continue to do that with Resident Evil 8, because not only does it lead to more believable storytelling, it also suits the series’ brand of horror perfectly.
AN OVER-THE-TOP STORY LIKE RESIDENT EVIL 6
This is essentially an addendum to the previous point- basically, even if Capcom do want to make RE8 less grounded than something like RE7, they should ensure that they approach it with the right sort of balance. Resident Evil, from the day of its inception, has always embraced its over-the-top nature to at least some degree, so we’re not suggesting that RE8 should not have any of that. For instance, the exaggerated nature of Jack Baker’s invincibility was one of the best things about Resident Evil 7- we’re just hoping that Capcom implements that stuff in moderation. In other words, they need to make sure they don’t go down the Resident Evil 6 route, where we had a guy turning into a dinosaur, a ridiculous highway explosion that looked like it been directed by Michael Bay, and so much more.
A RUINED CHRIS REDFIELD
Chris Redfield has seen his fair share of ups and downs throughout the history of Resident Evil. Games such as the first entry, Resident Evil 5, and even Resident Evil Revelations have portrayed him very well, but then you also have moments that fans are not too fond of, like him punching a boulder, or his sorry drunken state in RE6, or even the way he looked in RE7. Leaks have suggested that Chris will be back in RE8, and that he will be back with a twist- in other words, he might not exactly be the heroic person he is so often portrayed as. And while we’re all for Capcom putting a new spin on this character, we’re hoping they don’t take things too far and turn him into something he was never supposed to be. As one of the oldest and most prominent characters in the series, Chris Redfield deserves to be treated right.
A BORING ETHAN WINTERS (AGAIN)
RE7 introduced Ethan Winters as a major new protagonist, and according to leaks, he’s going to feature in the same capacity in RE8- if that is indeed the case though, Capcom need to make a lot of improvements. Ethan was a pretty boring protagonist in RE7. He didn’t have much of a personality, and the game being first person did not particularly help matters on that front. In RE8, Ethan needs to be a much more likeable and relatable character. Resident Evil has always been known for excellent protagonists, so having two consecutive mainline numbered entries with a boring protagonist would not sit well with series fans.
A RESIDENT EVIL 4 RETREAD
This entry is working on the assumption that several of the leaks about the Resident Evil series in recent weeks are true. The RE8 leaks have brought up various details about the game that make it seem like it’s taking several pages out of Resident Evil 4’s book, from its village setting, to armoured zombies, to a castle environment, to a similar inventory system, and much, much more. That is all exciting news – RE4 is one of the greatest games ever made, so we’re always down for games that take inspiration from it – but other leaks have also suggested very strongly that just a year after RE8, Capcom are going to release a Resident Evil 4 remake. Our hope, then, is that RE8 doesn’t feel like too much of an RE4 retread, because we don’t want to be fatigued by the time the rumoured remake rolls around.
DROPPED VR SUPPORT
Being able to play the entirety of Resident Evil 7 in virtual reality is, to this day, one of the best VR experiences we’ve ever had, and if RE8 is indeed first person like the leaks say it is, it’s going to be a perfect fit for yet another VR experience. Thankfully, the leaks have suggested that the game will indeed being playable entirely in VR once again, so this is us hoping that those leaks are accurate, and Capcom don’t end up axing that feature.
DISAPPOINTING ENEMY VARIETY, LIKE RESIDENT EVIL 7
For all its strengths and its successful reinvention of the series, Resident Evil 7 was not flawless, and incredibly limited enemy variety was on of its biggest issues. The Molded – at least on paper – were an excellent new enemy type, but the game milked that concept dry. You were basically fighting just two or three types of Molded throughout the entire game, which is a shame, because Resident Evil games are usually excellent at pitting players against a large variety of enemies. Hopefully, RE8 will fix that issue. Sure enough, the leaks make it sound like that will be the case, with enemies such as wolves, beast men, armoured zombies, and an invincible witch have been leaked- here’s hoping there’s more stuff that we haven’t yet learned about.
A DISAPPOINTING FINAL BOSS, (ALSO) LIKE RESIDENT EVIL 7
Resident Evil 7 also didn’t end very well- to be specific, it was its final boss fight that was a pretty major disappointment. It didn’t have any interesting mechanics – you basically just had to shoot endlessly at a large enemy – and especially compared to some of the other excellent boss encounters in the game, the final one was a big letdown. Resident Evil 8 will, hopefully, make amends for that, and deliver a final boss fight that can stand toe-to-toe with the best this series has to offer.
A STORY TOO ISOLATED FROM THE LARGER SERIES
Seeing as RE7 was essentially a soft reboot, it made sense that its story was so isolated from the rest of the series. Sure, the game was full of references, callbacks, and easter eggs, but with a new enemy type, a new environment, a new protagonist, and more, RE7 felt like a clean slate. At the time, that was exactly what the series needed, but now it’s time for the series to begin using older narrative elements again, especially since we’ve had two remakes since then to remind us of some of those older narrative elements. In a nutshell, we’re hoping RE8 will be much more integrated with the series’ larger story than RE7 was. The greater involvement of Chris Redfield (if the leaks are to be believed) certainly makes it sound like that will indeed be the case, so let’s keep our fingers crossed.