Many survival/horror purists really dislike the direction their beloved Resident Evil franchise has taken.
Like so many other franchises caught up in the "faster is better" trend, the series became more action-oriented, much to the chagrin of true terror fans. But if you're looking to place blame, RE creator Shinji Mikami says to point the finger at the original Resident Evil remake for the GameCube.
In a recent interview, he told IGN that had it not been for the remake's "commercial failure," the franchise would've stayed the course. He also added that working with other developers will inevitably result in a more action-based game:
"If you want to keep a great horror game franchise, you have to work with people who really like horror games. If you bring in developers from other places, you’re going to end up with a more action-oriented game. With Resident Evil 4, I intended to make more of an action game–5 and 6 were outside of my responsibility, of course–but with Resident Evil 2 and 3, that wasn’t necessarily the intention I started with. They just naturally became more like action games."
With RE4, Mikami wanted to shift; instead of trying to scare the player, he wanted to make a fun, more accessible game that would revive the flagging sales of the franchise. And it worked. By the way, there's another series that has followed a similar path:
"I suspect that Dead Space followed the same path. It naturally became more about action. When developers think about their players… I don’t think it’s the case that they were thinking, ‘Okay, if we want to go from two million units to four million units, we need to put in more action.’ It’s a more intuitive process than that."
Mikami's new project, The Evil Within , should be a return to form for the horror master, and a whole lot of fans are banking on exactly that.