Don’t worry too much, fans who enjoy hurling controllers across the room in terror, Capcom insists that they haven’t left you behind. In an interview with Eurogamer, Tsukasa Takenaka explained how the company hasn’t left the horror angle in the dust, but has simply been working to expand the genre.
After Resident Evil 4, there were quiet murmurs about how the game focused on action, combat, and quick-time events, completely leaving behind the slow-paced, pensive horror gameplay fans knew and loved. After Resident Evil 5, these complaints became angry shouts. But, Takenaka insists that Capcom’s trademark terror-laden design was not absent from these titles, that they were, instead, “different kinds of scary experiences.”
What we were trying to do with those games is explore different kinds of horror. For instance, Resident Evil 4 is not about zombies. It’s about the Ganados speaking in human words and coming at you with weapons. That’s a different kind of horrific thing than zombies.
Takenaka goes onto explain that the development team had no interest in moving away from gameplay likely to leave your pants soiled, but wanted to explore different methods of terrifying the player. It seems the Capcom team is very aware of the response the audience has had to this shift, citing critical forum posts and other negative feedback from fans.
“I think that you’ll like the direction the dev team is shifting for the next one,” Takenaka stated to VG24/7 during E3. But, don’t get too excited, as he did not use this as an opportunity to reveal a single detail about the mysterious Resident Evil 6. However, we know someone, somewhere at Capcom is drawing some pretty terrifying concept art of something twisted toting a chainsaw.
Personally, I felt the team did a really powerful thing for the horror genre with RE4. Considering my inability to play it for significant stretches of time, I found it plenty terrifying. But, at the same time, the action created a much more engaging experience and likely captured a broader audience. Admittedly, RE5 may have strayed from the horror camp a bit too much with big explosions and karate kicks.
There is nothing even close to a release date for the nebulous Resident Evil 6, which may still be in development for some time. But, Takenaka’s statements indicate that the team has a grasp on what to change and that bodes well for survival horror fans.