Rumors have been circulating for months about a new Resident Evil project in development over at Capcom, and many wonder if the game will stick to using a first-person perspective as seen in Resident Evil 7, or something different.
Recently, Capcom sent out email invitations to its Resident Evil Ambassadors in Japan, which are the most diehard fans of the franchise who would test the game currently in development. Some think that we are going to be seeing a remake to Resident Evil 3, while others expect the next sequel in the series, which would be named something along the lines of Resident Evil 8.
Perspectives And Controls Used In The Past
In the past, Resident Evil games have experimented and used several perspectives. Tank controls were those implemented in the first games in the 1990s. For those unfamiliar, tank controls forced players to control movement relative to the position of the player character. This means that pressing up on a directional pad would make a character move forward in the direction they were facing.
This control system differs from many 3D games that were being released on the Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64 at the time, where characters would move in the direction of the directional pad. Tank controls receive their name from the steering of old military tanks, which is to say, needing to stop entirely before turning.
Tank controls were necessary for the earliest games of the series, as the backgrounds were pre-rendered and static, meaning that the camera could not move dynamically like other 3D games. Although tank controls are awkward to use at first, many players now consider them an iconic part of the older Resident Evil games, until other schemes became more technologically viable and popular.
How Resident Evil 4 Used The Over-The-Shoulder View
Resident Evil 4 was not the first game to use an over-the-shoulder view, but it certainly helped popularize both it and revitalize the series towards a faster-paced action game than previously seen. Many games today, including the Gears of War series, appear heavily inspired from what we saw in RE4.
A First-Person Perspective In Resident Evil 7
For the first time in 20 years since the beginning of the series, Resident Evil 7 put players into a different, first-person perspective, and it was wildly successful in its vision. Some think that the decision was merely made with the idea of providing something new to a predictable franchise, while others pointed to improving Virtual Reality technology that allowed the game to be played through the PSVR.
The decision could also have originated from the overall negative reception that Capcom received after releasing Resident Evil 6, which felt like a hodgepodge of ideas that simply did not meld together in any meaningful way.
On the other hand, we can also attribute the first-person perspective towards a return to the original vision of the genre, which is rooted in the idea of true survival-horror. Resident Evil 7 was genuinely terrifying at times compared to most of its recent predecessors, and the shift in perspectives helped immensely in achieving that.
Resident Evil 2 (2019) Modernized An Old Idea
When Resident Evil 2 was announced as a remake, debate began at once with regards to the control scheme that should be employed. The original game used tank controls, as did others that came shortly after, including Resident Evil 3 and Resident Evil: Code Veronica. However, we were no longer limited to only using fixed camera angles with pre-rendered backgrounds.
Instead, the remake offered an elegant blending of a successful control scheme akin to Resident Evil 4's with its own set of new mechanics, and few complained after seeing how well the rest of the game was made.
Where Will The Series Go?
Mentioning the Resident Evil 2 remake is necessary because, at the time of this writing, fans are still wondering if the game is going to be a Resident Evil 3 remake or something new in the series. A remake of RE3 would very likely result in a similar or identical control scheme and perspective as RE2 remake, as the originals were identical in terms of their tank controls and pre-rendered backgrounds.
However, a brand-new game in the series leaves everything up in the air. Going back to a third person or over-the-shoulder variation may no longer be the best choice for the series. If the future direction of the series is anything like RE7, where Capcom seeks to slow down the game and pump up the terrifying atmosphere, then they need look no further than the first-person perspective they have already used.
Whatever the choice is from Capcom, gamers have been fortunate as of late to see high-quality Resident Evil games, and we can only hope for more of the same.