Resident Evil‘s been expanding its increasingly action-oriented empire for years now, but – while the gesture’s much-appreciated – it hasn’t exactly seen many of its finest hours on PC. Resident Evil 4 was a brilliant scare-‘em-up chainsawed in the clavicle by one of the worst ports ever, Resident Evil 5 was profoundly mediocre, Operation Raccoon City was execrable, and Resident Evil 6, well, it’s not out yet. But cries of agony from consoletropolis’ direction don’t exactly bode well. So yes, the once-legendary survival-horror series is in a pretty bad place at the moment. But there is hope. Well, sorta. If nothing else, DICE at least saw Capcom saying the right things.
During a brief exchange in Las Vegas, Capcom VP of strategic planning and business development Christian Svensson explained to RPS that Resident Evil’s due for a much-needed revamp:
“I wouldn’t say [we released] too many,” he began. “Revelations, Operation: Raccoon City, and Resident Evil 6. So it was a lot in 12 months. And then we’re bringing Revelations to consoles and PC in a few months. But after that, you’re going to see us scale back, take stock of what worked and what didn’t work, and think about what the future of the franchise is.”
But what, exactly, does that entail? More zombies? More guns? More mountainous swirls of B-grade cheese? According to Svensson, it’s a matter of sifting through all those options and more to figure out what actually sticks.
“Well, you have to understand, we have a couple different sets of Resident Evil fans,” he explained. “We have those who love Resident Evil 1, 2, 3, Code Veronica, and Zero, and then we have those who came along during the RE4 era and like things a little more action-oriented, and RE5 even more [action-oriented]. And then RE6 was even more action-focused than that.”
That’s not to say, however, that Capcom’s slowly sinking flagship is completely without direction. There is an end goal in sight: focus. And Svensson admitted that RE6, especially, was fairly lacking in that department.
“The hard part is taking all these things and figuring out how to make something for everyone. That was especially the aspiration of RE6. I don’t know that it worked out exactly the way we hoped, but moving forward, I think you’re going to see a bit more focus – as opposed to trying to be all things for all people.”
So no more disjointed mishmashes of shooting, horror, action, vehicle segments, frustrating on-rails marksmanship, and so many other genre giblets. Or at least, that seems to be the goal. Only time will tell whether or not Capcom’s actually capable of resuscitating its overly bloated El Gigante of a franchise. But hey, if that doesn’t work out, it could always just switch developers. I mean, Dead Rising and Devil May Cry certainly didn’t fare too badly. Just saying.