Better late than never? Probably not, but it's the best we're getting.
Even though I immensely enjoyed Resident Evil 4 and indeed meant to pick up Resident Evil 5, all the initial news that I heard about Resident Evil 6 had me worried. A dev team numbering in the hundreds, a huge budget, it seemed like the perfect example of a Triple A development cycle running completely out of control.
The fact that the game turned out to be solidly mediocre, if that, didn't really help matters either. As Jim Sterling so eloquently put it, RE 6 was a survival horror game: it symbolized the horror of game companies as they realized that they needed to rely on gamers to survive, and that horror turned into a sort of desperation. They needed more, more players, more market appeal, more everything.
The result was a game that many cited as trying to go in too many different directions and getting to none of them particularly fast.
That's why it comes as a small (if only small) relief that, shockingly, Capcom may have actually paid attention to what people were saying about RE 6. That's why Capcom has said that RE 7 will likely be aimed back at the "core fans" of the franchise. In other words, they're doing what they should have been doing all along. Gee, it only took them one huge monetary disaster to figure that one out, didn't it?
"With Resident Evil 6 specifically, we probably put too much
content in there, there were comments from consumers that said it felt
bloated," Pattison told MCV. "The Leon missions went down very well, and
because we did Resident Evil Revelations on 3DS, there was a
cry out for us to focus our attention on survival horror, rather than be
too many things to all people. You'll find where we go next will likely
be more targeted at our core fanbase."
I have gotten the impression that some even tend to think that RE 4 was a steep departure from the roots of the franchise, but at the same time I believe that, as the series most successful and well received incarnation, that looking to what made that game good, then also innovating in the proper fashion would be a good place to start.
Although the man that gave the quote above, Michael Pattison, is no longer at Capcom, he was when the quote was first provided. I dearly hope that even after his departure that Capcom still plans on taking what was said into account. Then again, I think that even a company like Capcom has no choice but to listen when something that cost them so much money was received with pretty much lukewarm feelings.
Still, I guess it could be worse. They could have just pulled an unnecessary reboot cough DMC cough oh man, excuse me, just flared up there.