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From what everyone could see in the short demo debuted at Sony's E3 2016 press conference, it appeared that the new Resident Evil 7: Biohazard was going to be entirely in first-person. Matter-of-fact, when I first saw the demo, I didn't even think it was going to be announced as a Resident Evil game, because it looked like some other horror game, a P.T. _wannabe. And finally, a producer for _Resident Evil 7 stepped forward to say why they chose to change the iconic third-person perspective seen in Resident Evil games. Producer Masachika Kawata said,
The final game is also entirely in first-person perspective. This is driven by the concept of Resident Evil 7, which is a return to horror. At this particular time in games, it was determined that first-person was the most advantageous way to present horror to the player. When confronting the enemy, there's no barrier between you and the enemy. This also applies to exploration and gimmicks and traps and things like that. They felt that it really gets you up close and personal with everything, which adds to that horror element.
Well everyone who's ever played a horror game like P.T. orOutlast knows a first-person perspective gets you up close and personal with the enemy. Truth is, both Resident Evil and Silent Hill come from a time when the most popular horror games on the market were set in a third-person perspective. Just take other horror games that were released at the time like Parasite Eve and Fatal Frame, both in third-person perspective. It was a trend at the time and now, with popular atmospheric horror games like Outlast and P.T., first-person perspective seems to have taken the lead. So what does Resident Evil do? They adapt, just like any horror game developer would do. Just like Silent Hills was about to do.
Kawata mentions that this move is a "return to horror" but the reality is, returning to horror would mean keeping the third-person perspective, because in the golden age of horror games, some of the most popular games used third-person. What Kawata really means is that they are introducing genuine fear back into horror gaming. Sure, they might be cheap thrills (ones that sent me jumping in front of a crowd at E3), but they work and people eat it up. People, like me, love to be scared and for awhile, we lost that sense of fear in horror gaming. But now, as Kawata notes, it's slowly coming back.
I love the fact that Resident Evil 7 is moving into a first-person perspective. I would've died and gone to heaven if I had gotten the opportunity to see Silent Hills turn into a first-person atmospheric horror adventure, but at least one of the classics got the hint and is running with the idea. And you know what? People are going to love it. It might not be the Resident Evil we know and love, it might be something totally different, but as long as it keeps its genuine elements of fear, then who are we to complain? Because what we, as horror fans, all truly want is to be genuinely scared. And I think Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is on the right track.