The Resident Evil spinoff, which pits a team of four players against one human-controlled ‘Mastermind,’ is a drastic departure from Capcom’s core survival horror franchise, a truth that’s resulted in a mass of disgruntled (putting it lightly) fans unhappy with the developer’s decision. The disdain exhibited by purists is somewhat understandable, too. After all, the critically acclaimed remake of Resident Evil 2 released earlier this year is considered a magnificent return to the series’ roots and many had expected the Japanese institution to follow its success either with a sequel to 2017’s Resident Evil 7 or another remake.
The sentiment is one that’s since been echoed by one of the studio’s producers, Matt Walker, who took to Twitter in order to address fans directly.
Been seeing a lot of people who are not pleased with the idea that we’re making Project Resistance. It’s totally valid that people want more of that quality core experience offered in RE2 and RE7. My take- we as a company need to continue to branch out and try to offer up new
— Matt Walker (@retroOtoko) September 12, 2019
Simply put, Capcom believes in the importance of exploring experimental ideas, not just as a means of spurring franchise growth, but to prevent genre fatigue and stagnation. For Resident Evil, in particular, such concerns are completely valid, especially if one considers its tumultuous track record. A wariness of tinkering with Resident Evil 4‘s celebrated gameplay formula too much ultimately resulted in two sequels that were criticized for leaning too heavily on past successes rather than attempting innovation.
On the flip side, however, Capcom’s track record with spinoffs in the same vein as Project Resistance have often failed to impress. Both Umbrella Corps and Operation Raccoon City, in particular, were designated bargain bin status almost immediately following their respective releases. That being the case, some semblance of skepticism is certainly warranted, but as always, final judgement should be reserved until the full picture is realized.
Project Resistance is currently without a release date but those eager to get an early hands-on can do so next month via a beta test. See here for all the details.