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Business Game Dev Capcom made Resident Evil: Village less scary to be more accessible than RE7

Bartski

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Some criticisms of RE8 you can hear in reviews is that it's not really that scary, definitely not as tense as its predecessor...

I liked the game for what it is, I think the pacing is one of its strong points and features of some blood-chilling moments, like the house Benevento.

Most of the gameplay however felt driven by exploring some amazingly crafted environments and overpowering mobs with Ethan's arsenal...

In an interview given to AXIOS, Resident Evil: Village producer Tsuyoshi Kanda admitted the game is designed to be deliberately less scary to be more accessible to a wider audience of gamers.


Instilling fear in the player is not the only goal: "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."
  • For 2017's "Resident Evil 7," they knew they needed to get scarier: "For [that game] our primary focus was returning to our roots and looking back at the original 'Resident Evil' and assessing why it gave birth to the genre of survival horror. We drew heavy inspiration from the first title and wanted to reimagine that level of horror with modern technology. We wanted to place players in very tight spaces, as if the walls of the Baker mansion were closing in on them."

  • The horror works differently in the new one: "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."
  • In fact, maybe they did overdid it with RE7: "Some of the feedback we received regarding [RE7] 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 RE Village] relative to 'Resident Evil 7: Biohazard,' so that players aren't in constant fear."

One of the ways to achieve this goal was to give the player more safe spaces than before:

The bottom line: The big lesson is that players shouldn't be scared all the time.
  • "Something we also always have to pay attention to is the tension curve," Kanda said. "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."

Do you think it's the right direction or should Resident Evil be better off following the slightly more grounded, dark, stomach-churning direction of Resident Evil 7?
 
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decisions

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Yeah it's funny how RE7 is now becoming known for being "too scary". RE2R is probably scarier, because most of the time you are actually playing the game and have to confront the fear yourself. The problem with RE7 and RE8 (so far) is that they have way too many forced cutscene segments where you are just on a horror rollercoaster. Sure, some of these moments can be scary, but people who have played lots of survival horror games know that games are the most scary when you actually have to make choices while you are afraid and actually confront the fear.

And not to mention the second half of the game is a complete borefest. Is shooting your 30th molded really scary? Probably not for most people who have played these types of games before.

Also what is up with this idea that horror doesn't sell? Tons of casual gamers who never play games are open to horror games, because everyone can bond over being scared and they know how ironically fun it can be when getting scared from entertainment. If you get a group of friends together to play a horror game, the reason why you may stop is because the game fails to be scary. Not because it is actually scary. I have no idea where this directive would come from. The reason why RE7 didn't sell super well is because it had to reinvigorate the franchise after the most widely panned game in the series. It's just like DMC3. Just because DMC3 didn't sell well initially doesn't mean DMC shouldn't continue in the same direction, it was following DMC2. And then DMC4 sold much better even though it pretty much did the same thing because DMC3 was so well-received.
 

01011001

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It's a better game, but I didn't find RE7 scary at all.
And I played in VR, it tried too hard and was mostly eye rolling

it was scary how boring and awful the enemy designs were tho! So they fixed that in 8 lol

7 is the most overrated RE title for sure, it's one of the worst in the series imo
 
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Northeastmonk

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Dead Space 3 was the same thing. Village did horror much better than Dead Space 3. I still don’t get why they do this. Who in their right mind gets too scared to buy a video game? We don’t even get movies that do that. They have to be borderline disgusting before they are considered scary. It’s because there’s an over saturation on the market, too many companies doing the same thing. I would like to know how they got this feedback because not all fans felt that way.
 
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30yearsofhurt

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It's a better game, but I didn't find RE7 scary at all.
And I played in VR, it tried too hard and was mostly eye rolling
 

Audiophile

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The VR component of RE7 was what made it so tough for me to play by myself. Your two main senses [in regards to the real world] are totally removed and -- at the same time -- you're immersed with a genuine sense of presence in a creepy environment. Doesn't matter how logical I tried to be about it, I just got the creepy crawlies constantly.

But if we wanna talk real scary in terms of the game itself, RE1 and RE2 had an oppressive atmosphere that really gets under your skin. Those load screens with the clonk, clonk, clonk up the stairs, the creak of the door opening. The fixed camera, slow pace and subsequent sense of being limited in your ability to defend yourself.

The thing is with RE, is it has evolved into different things and still maintained something special (RE5/6 aside, for the most part...:messenger_poop:).
 
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NeilH1982

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Yeah it's funny how RE7 is now becoming known for being "too scary". RE2R is probably scarier, because most of the time you are actually playing the game and have to confront the fear yourself. The problem with RE7 and RE8 (so far) is that they have way too many forced cutscene segments where you are just on a horror rollercoaster. Sure, some of these moments can be scary, but people who have played lots of survival horror games know that games are the most scary when you actually have to make choices while you are afraid and actually confront the fear.

And not to mention the second half of the game is a complete borefest. Is shooting your 30th molded really scary? Probably not for most people who have played these types of games before.

Also what is up with this idea that horror doesn't sell? Tons of casual gamers who never play games are open to horror games, because everyone can bond over being scared and they know how ironically fun it can be when getting scared from entertainment. If you get a group of friends together to play a horror game, the reason why you may stop is because the game fails to be scary. Not because it is actually scary. I have no idea where this directive would come from. The reason why RE7 didn't sell super well is because it had to reinvigorate the franchise after the most widely panned game in the series. It's just like DMC3. Just because DMC3 didn't sell well initially doesn't mean DMC shouldn't continue in the same direction, it was following DMC2. And then DMC4 sold much better even though it pretty much did the same thing because DMC3 was so well-received.

Agreed. Being confronted by and trying to escape from Mr. X was some of the scariest shit the RE franchise has done in the last decade. 7 and 8 were just action games with some gory and scary scenes. Quite low on tension but great atmosphere, though
 

22:22

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Fear as a concept is inherently subjective. Said that, personally I found RE7 to be very, very scary. For me it's on par with RE4,. Again a game generally not seen as scary. I'm (referencing my current progression) very fucking happy with RE8 in the sense it's somewhat doable for me. Very fucking happy indeed.
 

MiguelItUp

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Oddly enough, there's a section of RE8 that creeped me out more than anything in RE7 did. It was tight. But all of that is subjective, so it is what it is.

Really enjoying the game, more than I was expecting.
 
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01011001

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I like it a lot more than 7.

I never understood the praise 7 got... my guess is it is because 6 was so disliked by the hardcore RE fans that 7 was overly hyped up because it was more horror again. but for me 7 is legit one of the worst RE games. it did almost nothing exceptionally well but did many things exceptionally awfully

and yeah imma say it... 6 is better than 7! at least 6 is a very competent coop shooter with some cool mechanics... 7 was just a slow and cumbersome horror game with zero enemy variety and meh boss fights.

8 is in a completely different league to 7
 
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Never played either. Based o the quotes above, the Capcom guy thinks RE7 is much scarier.

Any gamers want to tell us non-RE gamers what the difference is between games making it less scary? Setting? Music? Monsters? The Capcom guy is full of shit and he's trying to sell more copies to casuals on the fence?
 

Velius

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If someone had told the Capcom of 1998 that their Resident Evil game was too scary they would have been high-fiving each other and handing out Op Income bonuses.

People are such pussies these days
 

01011001

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Never played either. Based o the quotes above, the Capcom guy thinks RE7 is much scarier.

Any gamers want to tell us non-RE gamers what the difference is between games making it less scary? Setting? Music? Monsters? The Capcom guy is full of shit and he's trying to sell more copies to casuals on the fence?

it's less dark and less claustrophobic... maybe also less realistic. in 7 there are many small corridors with 90° angles n shit, making you "fear what's waiting around the corner"

in 8 there are more open areas and RE4 like scenarios where it's more about tactical combat and less about strictly being scared of what's hiding in the dark. RE7 took a lot of inspiration from other first person horror games like Outlast and it was therefore also more grounded, while 8 mixes it up a bit by adding more fanatsy and RE4 elements to it (there's a gigantic fat guy called "The Duke" who shows up in almost impossible spots just to sell you stuff, similar and even more ridiculous than the merchan in RE4) while having some of those First Person Horror tropes still there but less frequent and in smaller bursts

at least that's my analysis to that
 
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mcjmetroid

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Looking forwsrd to trying 8 when I was afford it. I like the fact that it has more action and less horror.

I mean was resident Evil ever scary?
Now silent hill.. that's a different story.
 

Sub Boss

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They upped the action to be more accesible, but i thought it was as scary as 7 it got me more than a few times! 😱

And on TGS they talked about how they made 8 at least as scary as 7 :

I thinks its a great horror game, but gone from the southern gothic house and into a more common/'mainstream' fantasy gothic horror with some beautiful vistas. Its a brilliant change for the sequel
 
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Cobenzl

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RE7 in VR was amazing mostly. Definitely a new gaming experience for me. I recommended it to anyone who had a PSVR as their killer app.
 
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Sub Boss

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Also, VILLAGE is much more diverse there is even a big section thats more claustrophobic than anything in 7.

Their approach doesn't slow down the horror imho. 8 is spooky as hell
 

01011001

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Also, VILLAGE is much more diverse there is even a big section thats more claustrophobic than anything in 7.

Their approach doesn't slow down the horror imho. 8 is spooky as hell

I have to say that I also found it never as scary as 7, in no section. but there are definitely very scary sections there. and it has many of the terror like scenarios from RE4, which can be scary as well, but in a different way. more like "FUCK IMMA DIE" kinda scary and less "oh no what was that"
 
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ProLogY

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Oh man I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to scary games.. but there have been several parts in the castle so far that have had me jumping out of my chair. It’s about on par with RE7 in terms of horror so far, at least in my experience.

I am sure gamers with stronger dispositions and more experience in the horror genre may find it disappointing in this area, but if you were spooked in RE7, I assure you that you’ll find plenty to be spooked about in Village. The sound direction especially... so unsettling at points.
 

Rhazer Fusion

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I honestly never really found the Resident Evil games particularly “scary”. So far, I think RE8 is definitely the better game compared to RE7. RE7 started off pretty creepy at times, but eventually I thought the game became kind of almost comical and non-creepy in a way. Characters like Jill, Leon and Ethan talking trash to the monsters and bosses contributed to my opinion as well.
 
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TGO

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it was scary how boring and awful the enemy designs were tho! So they fixed that in 8 lol

7 is the most overrated RE title for sure, it's one of the worst in the series imo
They was dumb, I know Resident Evil enemies aren't the brightest but I would use the door peak while they lined up outside the door taking them out, and the head tracking aiming mind you lethal and the family was more comic relief then anything

I was waiting for this 😂
 
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rubhen925

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Imo game wasn't scary except the Donna residence section. Waiting for the elevator and being chased by that monstrosity was the most tense i ever was in a while. They needed more moments like that. Truly unique moment for me. Same with dolls. I can't do dolls so the whole doll sequence was creeping me the f out.
 

Sub Boss

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I have to say that I also found it never as scary as 7, in no section. but there are definitely very scary sections there. and it has many of the terror like scenarios from RE4, which can be scary as well, but in a different way. more like "FUCK IMMA DIE" kinda scary and less "oh no what was that"
Its more diverse, i definetly had those "oh no what WAS THAT 😨" moments as well as those survive enemy sections you talk about, its a much better horror experience than 4 and other REs.(but 4 is still GOAT action game of course)

As much as i love RE7, it feels unfinished and a little rough at the end, there is tons of awesome concept art of unused enemies, locations and characters. Either for lack of time/budget or whatever reason we ended with the molded. but yep 7 does some stuff better than 8 as well! They are both awesome 🥺
 
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Mister Wolf

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Ethan not scared anymore so why should I be. The Louisiana incident got that all out of his system.
 

01011001

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AMEN!

That entire portion of the game was just me running away to hide in a corner. Their sound design and execution was SO GOOD!!!

well what is scary is very subjective. the moment I had my weapons taken from me I stopped being scared. because the game basically tells you that there's nothing coming that can hurt you really, and everything that could come that can potentially hurt you can be outrun and in order to work as a gameplay element it can't really be that complex or hard to beat.

that thought alone of, "there's no real danger here" made it way less scary for me than even walking down a corridor in say RE1.

of course there's a potential for jump scares or something but those don't really scare me.

it was a small gamedesign flaw to take away your inventory in that section imo and would have been more effective if it was just handled like any other part of the game, with potential danger lurking on every corner. every creepy doll a potential enemy that you have to shoot if needed
 
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fart town usa

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I think this "toned down" comment is gonna be something that nay-sayers cling to for the rest of time.

It has more down time which translates to less time being constantly on edge but it's still damn scary at times. It's also equally intense as RE7 when it wants to be. Some of the enemies in the factory will literally make you run for your life. Lady D isn't as intense as Jack but there's plenty of unnerving situations and moments that will frighten players.
 
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AGRacing

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I'm approaching the "doll house" now and I think it's plenty scary enough. I HATE dolls.

The suspense is what scares me the most! I think people who aren't scared in suspenseful situations just don't have any imagination.
 

matty3092

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I don't understand how people can say RE8 is not as scary as RE7 I'm guessing most people who say that played it in VR which isn't really a fair comparison.
 

Kokoloko85

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Im way more tense and scared playing this then RE7, so I dont agree.

RE7 had good atmosphere and loved how it made me feel like I was playing classic RE going back and forth in the house And in some ways but this is way better.

The castle is more classic RE, more gothic, more back tracking. RE7 was more creepy, WTF is wrong with this family but this is scaring me way more and enemies are waaay better.
 
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carlosrox

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The first hour or so of the game is plenty tense/scary so I dunno what this even all about.

I haven't even gotten into the Castle yet.
 
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wtftad

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well what is scary is very subjective. the moment I had my weapons taken from me I stopped being scared. because the game basically tells you that there's nothing coming that can hurt you really, and everything that could come that can potentially hurt you can be outrun and in order to work as a gameplay element it can't really be that complex or hard to beat.

that thought alone of, "there's no real danger here" made it way less scary for me than even walking down a corridor in say RE1.

of course there's a potential for jump scares or something but those don't really scare me.

it was a small gamedesign flaw to take away your inventory in that section imo and would have been more effective if it was just handled like any other part of the game, with potential danger lurking on every corner. every creepy doll a potential enemy that you have to shoot if needed
I had the exact opposite reaction (ie the subjectivity you spoke to):

When they took away my weapons I thought that added to the suspense of that area. Since you still take damage from certain things I felt like a sitting (or cowering under the bed) duck!

Also dismantling your "doll wife" was a nice touch imo.
 
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Saint Boot

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Resident Evil 7 did not scare me to be honest. Most of it was just gore porn trying to play up Saw, The Hills have Eyes, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with maybe a little bit of Deliverance and Wrong Turn thrown in. That might be fine for some, but not much for me.
 

Jibran#one

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I'm 35 years old and I remember when 7 launched I put my kids to sleep , got the whole thing planned out that I'm going to have an all nighter , took me around 2to 3 hours when I said fuck this shit playing it alone with lights out in the middle of the night.
Ive played this for like 3 hours it's most definitely tense but not scary atall
 
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HarryKS

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I didn't play the previous Resident Evil because it was too stressful. They have a point.
 

WizeVibez

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RE7 was only scary for an hour or two. Even in VR. Resident Evil just isn't a very scary horror series. And Village takes a lot after 4, which was the least scary of the series at the time.
 

St0pThatGuy

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Some criticisms of RE8 you can hear in reviews is that it's not really that scary, definitely not as tense as its predecessor...

I liked the game for what it is, I think the pacing is one of its strong points and features of some blood-chilling moments, like the house Benevento.

Most of the gameplay however felt driven by exploring some amazingly crafted environments and overpowering mobs with Ethan's arsenal...

In an interview given to AXIOS, Resident Evil: Village producer Tsuyoshi Kanda admitted the game is designed to be deliberately less scary to be more accessible to a wider audience of gamers.





One of the ways to achieve this goal was to give the player more safe spaces than before:



Do you think it's the right direction or should Resident Evil be better off following the slightly more grounded, dark, stomach-churning direction of Resident Evil 7?
I think RE4s pacing and tension was perfect. It always seems to have a place you could stop at breathe in just the right places. Finding the shooting gallery was a cool moment too.