As the publisher of any long-lasting video game IP can surely attest to, change and innovation are incredibly important when it comes to staving off franchise fatigue and general disinterest.
Just look at Mario and Sonic. The pair, undisputed gaming icons, have undergone almost unrecognizable changes over the years, and while the level of success enjoyed by both today varies wildly (the poor hedgehog’s speed just doesn’t translate well to modern game design, it seems), a willingness to change is what’s kept each relevant after so many years. Capcom, struggling to decide how best to advance its flagship Resident Evil property, found itself all too aware of that fact not too long ago.
Following the middling reception Resident Evil 6 received, the developer took action by going back to the drawing board. The result, of course, was a soft reboot in the form of Resident Evil 7 which, despite making some controversial changes, marked a welcome return to the series’ survival horror roots. Following that positive response, could the studio be once again opting to pursue reinvention rather than iteration for Resident Evil 8?
It’s worth noting, of course, that such a sequel has yet to be officially announced, though that certainly hasn’t stopped a near-endless deluge of rumors from appearing online. The most recent of these comes from corroborating independent sources that suggest the mainline entry will take on something of a supernatural theme featuring werewolf-like enemies and ghosts. Were that the case, it would mark a drastic diversion for Capcom from the series’ (heavily fictionalized, granted) science-based plot involving bioterrorism and mutation-causing pathogens.
The same leak also claims that both Ethan Winters and Chris Redfield will be returning, though, so if the above proves accurate, Resident Evil 8, like its predecessor, could press the soft reset button yet again. We’ll ultimately have to wait and see either way, but it’s food for thought, at the very least.
Will Resident Evil 8 represent yet another drastic diversion for the series, or has 2017’s installment set the gold standard for what’s to come? Sound off in the comments below!