Resident Evil 6 Developers Talk About Action and Horror
Action? Horror? What's Resident Evil 6 doing?
Most horror fans might tell you that one of the worst things happening to the genre is how it's becoming less horror-oriented, and more action-oriented. Then again, I suppose you can say that about any genre, but still, stick with me here. In an interview with Gamasutra, Resident Evil producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi, and director Eiichiro Sasaki talked about how and why Resident Evil has become more action-oriented, and the thought processes behind those decisions:
We have four campaigns in this game, and I think that allows us to show horror in different lights.
With Leon, we have that gothic, classic Resident Evil-style horror; with Chris, it's more like a horror of the battlefield with his group. With Jake's campaign, he's being chased by this creature, and being stalked, and with Ada it's more of a very classic Resident Evil-style single player experience as well.
And of course you add to that with her mysterious spy persona, and whatnot, and it's a completely different style of horror. And then you want to bring all four of these horror experiences together under the umbrella of RE6.
You don't make the player feel completely powerful. And one of the ways you do that is you can give them a powerful weapon, but what if you limit the amount of ammo they have? So now it becomes a choice of when you use this ammo....hat kind of tension that you give to the player -- by not letting them know when they can use these weapons -- I think maintains the horror elements in the game. So while there's still action, I don't think we're losing the horror, just because we keep action in the game.
Tellingly, Yoshiaki asks the interviewer why he thinks action and horror are mutually exclusive. Are they or aren't they--what do you think, dear reader?
Perhaps there is something to "horror" deeper down that isn't compromised in a more action-oriented title. If done right, anyway. Managing your resources can be said to be the juggling of your vulnerability. Then again, though highlighted in horror games, that's not exactly special to them and I can name a ton of titles where I'm actively doing ammo conservation.
We'll see how well Resident Evil 6 manages its horror and its action on October 2nd.