Resident Evil is on a hot streak at the moment. 2 pretty great remakes have just hit and people seem to love them. Despite this success, we learned recently that the upcoming Resident Evil 8 will be a massive departure for the series .
Many fans of the series are somewhat shocked by the news. After all, why would Capcom need to shake-up a series which is doing so well? Well, this massive departure for the series might actually be the best idea Capcom has had in a while.
The first Resident Evil game was released back in 1996. It was quite unlike anything else that had come before it. While games like Alone in the Dark have similar gameplay styles, it was Resident Evil that took that idea and added an amazing atmosphere, a campy horror story, and for the time impressive graphics.
If you take a look back at the really good games in the series, they’re the ones that have been big departures. Resident Evil 4 was a stunning game, despite making numerous changes which many die-hard fans probably wouldn’t have liked the sound of .
By the time we made it to the 6th game, the style was stale. Almost no one liked RE6. Then Capcom busted out yet another completely different style for RE7 and again managed to find huge commercial success. Is it any wonder they seem intent on keeping the shake-ups happening?
From the evidence of the rest of the series, one face seems to make itself clear. Capcom and the Resident Evil series thrive on Chaos. The worst games are those that are the 3rd or 4th entry into a specific style. Either that or they’re those games that cynically try to ape a completely different genre like Umbrella Corps.
Whereas the best games are those that strive to try something new like 4 and 7 do. Resident Evil 8 could be the best game yet if Capcom really does have a brand-new idea to try out.
Of course, it is possible that RE8 comes out and is terrible. If that happens it’s likely going to be because it tries to do something that’s already well over-done. If there’s a universal truth behind Resident Evil, it’s that just adding familiar characters and zombies to a creatively bankrupt genre is a fool’s game.