The Resident Evil series has been through its set of major changes and growing pains since its inception back in 1998, something highlighted by its changes in perspective. It has gone from tank controls and fixed cameras to an over-the-shoulder camera with manual aiming in Resident Evil 4, and the series saw a complete reset to a first-person perspective with Resident Evil 7. The franchise has had its ups and downs, with many viewing the heavier action games in a less than favorable light, which led to the aforementioned soft reboot of the series and with Resident Evil 7 and it’s sequel Resident Evil Village.

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While both the new games were mostly well-received from critics and fans for bringing the focus back to horror and inventory management, they also left many players wanting their favorite characters to return. Fortunately, some of them did return in the acclaimed remakes of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3, and they brought the classic third-person perspective along with them. With the upcoming Resident Evil Village DLC Shadows of Rose and the upcoming remake of Resident Evil 4 both featuring a third-person camera and gunplay, a case can be made for Resident Evil staying third-person after these next two entries.

RELATED: Resident Evil Village’s Third-Person DLC May Be a Perfect Lead Into Resident Evil 4 Remake


The Connection To The Characters After Village: Gold Edition, Resident Evil 4 Remake

One of the biggest reasons for the series to remain in third-person is because of how many fan-favorite characters there are, and the cinematic scope of the more recent games and heavier emphasis on narrative prove that the franchise has evolved yet again. While Resident Evil 7 and Resident Evil Village were criticized by many for their protagonist Ethan Winters being un-relatable and bland, the remakes of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 saw the return of Leon Kennedy, Claire Redfield, Jill Valentine, and other fan-favorite characters. They behaved differently than the original games, for sure, and not everyone enjoyed the changes made to the characters, but they also helped draw the players into the experience in a way that the faceless Ethan Winters could not do in either of his appearances.

Some of the more powerful scenes in Resident Evil Village were the ones that did away with the first-person perspective and presented a complete third-person viewing of all the characters involved in the narrative. As such, this design choice seems essential for the franchise moving forward, allowing the story to be presented more organically and helping the player to connect more to the characters featured in cutscenes.

Some may argue that nostalgia plays more of a role for fans in regard to liking the old characters, but both the remakes of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 saw additions and changes to the cast. They behaved in a much more believable way than in the original game, and some fans even preferred the more modern approaches to Leon Kennedy and Jill Valentine.

Their core identities were still there, but the way they delivered their better-written dialogue and interacted with other characters during gameplay was enhanced by the third-person perspective. Visually seeing Leon’s wound from Annette Birkin’s gunfire in the sewers, or being able to see Claire put her jacket around Sherry Birkin, helped form a better connection to the player-characters that just isn’t possible from a first-person perspective.

RELATED: How Resident Evil Village: Shadows of Rose Could Explain Rose’s Clone

The Limitation Of Resident Evil in First-Person After Village: Gold EditionResident Evil Village Cave Exiting Castle Dimitrescu

While Resident Evil Village did add new gameplay mechanics to the game, such as the ability to push enemies away after a guard, it also took away some key mechanics and gameplay of the core Resident Evil experience. Resident Evil has been through a lot of different gameplay mechanics, and the balance between horror and action will seemingly continue to be a priority moving forward.

There’s been a heavy focus on survival like in the original Resident Evil, there’s been a dash of arcade-y campiness and loot like in Resident Evil 4, and there’s been action so over-the-top that Resident Evil 6 tried to please absolutely everyone and did not succeed, despite selling well. These constant changes and additions, as well as others like the Resident Evil 3 remake dodge and counter mechanic, prove that the series’ gameplay mechanics can be drastically changed and improved.

However, a first-person perspective limits what is possible from a design point of view. The basic shooting mechanics are almost identical from Resident Evil 7 to Resident Evil Village, with the games being quite basic when it comes to puzzles and level structure as well. It at times feels like Resident Evil Village is just a first-person Resident Evil 4, and many feel that the game isn’t as memorable or revolutionary as Resident Evil 4, a game that prided itself on being able to organically weave many different elements together.

While that can be the case for first-person games, it’s hard to distinguish many of Resident Evil Village‘s improvements over Resident Evil 7, as Resident Evil Village plays almost identically to RE8 but with more enemies. It’s also difficult to see the series progress any further in first-person. The combat of Resident Evil works because it is easy to play and understand, and there does not appear to be many places for the series to go in terms of gameplay from a first-person perspective now that Village has improved the foundations left by Resident Evil 7.

With the next two major Resident Evil projects confirmed to be played from a third-person perspective, the series should stay there to continue on from where the fantastic remakes of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 left off. While nothing is known yet regarding Resident Evil 9, and with Capcom re-doing the entire Resident Evil Village main game in third-person, it’s unknown what exactly the future for the series holds, but a third-person perspective for Resident Evil should be in the cards.

MORE: Resident Evil 4 Remake Needs To Improve On The Other Remakes’ Grapple Mechanics



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