No matter where you stand on Resident Evil VII, there's one thing we can all agree on - it was brown pants scary. Despite us engaging in multiple playthroughs, we still found ourselves screaming at the sight of the Baker family chasing us through their decrepit mansion. For those that found the horror a bit too much, it sounds like Resident Evil Village is going to be a bit easier on the heart.
As discovered by Video Games Chronicle, a recent interview in an Axios Gaming newsletter with the game's producer, Tsuyoshi Kanda, revealed that the tension has been dissipated slightly from its predecessor. After receiving feedback that Resident Evil VII was found to be too scary, the new goal was to create a sequel "that anybody can feel comfortable jumping in and playing".
“When we develop a new Resident Evil game, our goal is not always to make it scarier than the previous title, but find a balance to deliver a scary but fun experience for players. Some of the feedback we received regarding [Resident Evil VII was] that it was too scary to play. In one regard, that’s exactly what we were striving for, so it’s a huge compliment for us, but at the same time, it’s always our goal to create something that anybody can feel comfortable jumping in and playing, so we eased up on the tension curve [in Resident Evil Village] relative to Resident Evil VII, so that players aren’t in constant fear.”
One of the ways this has been implemented is through the level design. Whereas Resident Evil VII focused on pushing players through tight, and often claustrophobic environments, the latest entry is moving to more open settings to deliver a different type of tension.
"For Resident Evil Village, we took an entirely different approach with the openness of the village and players not knowing what might be lurking beyond the trees. Something we also always have to pay attention to is the tension curve. We also find that people grow immune to fear if they’re consistently pitted up against a tense situation or environment. Those moments of solace act as a buffer to make sure that people aren’t completely desensitized to the horror. The save rooms that you often see in many ‘Resident Evil’ games is a great example of that, where players can take a deep breath and know that they are safe."
This news may either be a blessing or a disappointment to you. While feedback suggested many found the previous entry too scary, many others relished in that fear, and it was often one element the game was praised for. Both critics and fans appreciated the game's return to its roots after Resident Evil 5 and 6 stepped away from the traditional horror experience found in other entries.
It sounds like Village is taking the root of Resident Evil 4, which pushed fear into players through the sheer overwhelming hordes of zombies they would have to face. Whether this change in direction works remains to be seen, but there are only a few days left until we find out.
Are you happy the horror has been dialled back in Resident Evil Village? Let us know in the comments below.