Leon Might Be Dying Here, But The Resident Evil Franchise Has Enjoyed A New Life In Recent Years. It’s Up To Capcom To Keep It That Way In The Years T o Come….Starting Now
Today I finally got my hands on Resident Evil 5 and now it’s got me thinking about the history of the franchise as a whole. A series of Survival Horror games that has things that people love about it, but also things they wish Capcom would do away with. Resident Evil 4 was a massive revamp of the franchise as whole and fixed some of the most glaring issues it had had since it’s inception, but there is always room for improvement in anything, even in former Game of They Year contenders. That is why I’m here tonight to explore the franchises cliches and tropes and to talk about what I think needs to go in the next game, stay the same, or god forbid even be brought back or never brought back from the former entries in the franchise.
Title Screen: *Menacing Voice* “RESIIIIIIIIIIDENT EVIIIIIIIIIIL 6!”
No….lose it or change it. Does anybody out there actually find this cool even on a B Movie game sort of level. Maybe it worked in the past when the franchise wasn’t quite so self respecting as it is today, but now it’s just kind of corny. I can do without a chain smokers voice over of my title screen entirely, but if they must have somebody tell me what game I am playing (as if I’m a moron) why not try a different voice for a change?
Camera Angles (I came in from the bottom right so why am I now on the top right of the screen? vs. 3rd Person)
I honestly don’t care how much of a purist someone is for the PS1 era RE games, Capcom, keep the over the shoulder angle. Not only is it more practical from an action game standpoint and less of a pain in the ass to utilize, but it also allows for a scarier atmosphere. If you can’t see the zombie creeping up on you until he is almost right over your shoulder then it’s more scary compared to seeing him coming a mile away because the camera is detached from your character and floating half a kilometre away.
The Controls (Is This An Action Game Or Am I Playing Basketball)
Tough call. In some ways it adds a bit to the realism because it mimics how you would have to react to a threat in real life (side step, change direction a bit and then move, aim and shoot etc.), but on the other hand when you are just trying to get from point a to point b in a video game it can seem like a bit of a nuisance. I’m going to say keep it though, but only because the new over the shoulder camera angle makes it much more practical and now it feels a lot less like that basketball gamesque pivoting in place before you can move in a different direction type affair that the PS1 era games made it.
The Dialogue (Snappy Remark, Witty Comeback, Diatribe, Diatribe, Smug Dismissal……)
Change it….I guess, or hire a writer who can capture wit with a bit more subtlety. Or maybe get the guy that came up with the idea for the ending credits to RE4 to try his hand at writing some of the games larger scenarios:
Cause honestly before I saw this Children’s Book like depiction of the village before Leon camed I would have never guessed that Capcom, a company that usually delivers it’s plot with the subtetly of a Hand Cannon shot to the face was capable of such a sinister and minimalist approach to crime against humanity. That’s normally more the dominion of something like Maus.
Wesker (The Unkillable Bastard)
– Either resolve his part in the story or write him out already. Umbrella is already gone in the usual Capcom fashion….and by that I mean that instead of every resolving any of the overarching plotlines in their major franchises they just wait until even they can’t stand their presence anymore and time jump the plotline out of the series narrative or forget about them entirely. Rebecca Chambers anyone? Honestly what did Wesker add to Resident Evil 4 besides fanservice and does anybody actually believe they’ll ever get around to him ressurecting Umbrella? Time to tie this one up or to Capcom him out of the story like they did Umbrella.
Zombies vs. Plagas:
Plagas. Why? Simply put zombies are a cliche and IMO the dominion of the greater nerds fantasies. Being a lesser nerd myself I’m into something a little less…..B Movie. Plus fighting Plagas is a lot more interesting overall, there are more variations, and you never know when an enemy you think you’ve killed is going to unleash that much deadlier threat on that is the Plagas parasite exploding out of it’s head to slice at you with it’s blade.
Honestly I’m confused as to why the franchise is being accused of racism and bigotry only now with the whole Africa arc when it seems like the franchise has been mocking Spanish/Mexican people for much of it’s history. The Spanish/Mexican ladies man seems to have become a staple of the franchise for some reason, and you know what, Carlos and Luis were great comic relief for the most part, but also had their serious side that made them important to the plot, so I’m okay with another one. Somebody needs to make up for the Leon’s of the franchise after all.
Ehhh……keep the Sheva types, but tone down the Ada’s and while we’re at it dump the Ashley/Rebecca types altogether. I’m not sure if there is really supposed to be something going on with Leon and Ada, but at least Chris and Sheva (as far as I am in the game at least) come across as a pair that is driven more by comraderie and less by cheesy sexual tension. Their dialogue between each other isn’t much better, but it doesn’t quite sound exactly like something you would hear in a fanfic either.
The Merchant (Welcome Stranjaa!)
Hands down bring back. Of all the things to take out of RE5 that were added in RE4 why this? Everyone I know absolutely loved this character and the personality he brought to the game (especially since he was one of the only other people you regularly interacted with besides Ashley who wasn’t trying to kill you) except apparently Capcom. Boooo!
The Final Scenario (Here take this special weapon and kill the final boss, oh shit the base is exploding?!)
Yeah….maybe it’s time they mixed this one up a little. Sometimes I’m left wondering what the point of the final scenario is when I know exactly how it’s going to play out and that no matter how improbable, some weapon is going to get dumped on my lap, the area I’m in is going to start to self-destruct, and I’m going to end up on some vehicle out of the area with one final awkward bonding moment with my partner character. How about having something like what was done with Leon’s showdown with Krauser in RE4 (My favourite boss fight of the series by the way) where it was a running deathmatch to see who was the manliest man in the end. I’m sure they can think of someway to do this as a final scenario and make it just as awesome.
So then, Capcom, the power is in your hands to keep improving on what has once again (finally?) become a franchise that can be respected by survival horror/action game fans everywhere. Don’t let us down with RE6.