May 28, 2022

Resident Evil 8 Questionnaire: Gameplay Speculation

Resident Evil Village

“How do you know if there’s a vegan in the room? They’ll tell you.” So the old joke goes (not to be condoned, we love our veggies at ABG)*. But the truth is often found in humour, and so it is for Resident Evil enthusiasts and their preferred entrant to the series.

Stick any two in a room at one time, and they’ll be at it for hours. Cries of “yeah but in 4 you get the atmosphere of 1 and 2 plus an action game” followed by the inevitable “but it’s not really a proper Resi game is it?”. Meanwhile, someone mumbles something about 5 and 6 and is immediately ejected from the room. Righty so.

Honestly, we love them all. But with such variation to playstyle across the series conflicting preferences among the fan-base were all but inevitable. So it’s of no surprise that in posting a question asking fans to comment on what they want from Resident Evil 8 is causing something of a stir.

I completed the questionnaire myself, curious to dig a little deeper into the machinations of Developer Capcom’s intent. Beyond the usual marketing faff (suffice to say someone at Resi HQ will wonder why a 12 year-old girl has such driving passion for the original PS1 debut) there appear to be some common threads. So sit back, grab a cup of tea and let’s get pulling.

“Base on what you have seen so far, what are you expectations…”

The first question with some real meat on it, Capcom invites us to tell them what we expect to see in the game. The options range from “there will be a range of new enemies” and “it will be a scary horror game” to “there will be returning enemies” and “it will be a fast-paced action game”.  From the trailer, we know there’s a wolf-man-thing and what appear to be witches. But from the options listed I wouldn’t rule out zombies just yet.

But horror or action? The comparisons with Resi 4 from the trailer are clear. If Capcom can once again achieve the gold standard set in balanced play and pacing that were set in that crowning achievement, the Umbrella universe will be the better for it.

“How has the following information influenced your interest in playing the game?”

With options ranging from “ability to play as Ethan Winters”, the penultimate protagonist in the Resi series, to “the return of characters from previous Resident Evil games” it really is all up for grabs. A new story, in a new setting, but with an unequivocal link to the broader Resi universe perhaps. Whichever it is, Umbrella will undoubtedly have its grubby mitts all over the misadventures that befall the Village.

“Please select which titles you expect [Resident Evil 8] to be similar to”

Again Capcom coaxes us to let them know which of the many editions to the franchise we would most like Resident Evil 8 to replicate. I ticked 1 and 6 just for the lols. Honestly, as long as we can walk and shoot I’ll be happy.

Is anybody listening?

With such open-ended questions teasing myriad possibilities in play it seems there is still a lot we have yet to learn about the upcoming title. But was this all marketing playback, or are Capcom genuinely interested in what people want from Resident Evil 8? If the latter, will my answers be considered, and ultimately shape the development? It’s an interesting thought, and a novel approach to a triple-A title more akin with the endless, ceaseless betas available to all and sundry on Steam.

But fair warning, Capcom. By giving your fans the possibility of speaking out, you had better be listening. Putting a game out that misses the mark of your expectant audience is never great. But doing so after cajoling direct feedback from them is unforgivable. In inviting us in, you have moved the goalposts. Now we are suitably invested, the bar set so high in recent years has just inched up again.

Take a look at the survey yourself, and let us know what you think in the comments. Maybe this old fan boy’s imagination is running wild. But then again, maybe not.

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