There comes a time in a franchises life when one of it's sequels released becomes such a huge success, in not only the franchises history but in gamings as well that the only place the franchise can go next is down.
Resident Evil 4 was released in January 2005, the game reached universal critical acclaim for it's fresh take on the series and new direction it had taken, back then though reviewers and gamers alike did not foresee the damage the franchise would take in the future because of these changes but never the less Resident Evil 4 stands as one of the most influential video games of last gen which even managed to inspire the over the should view we see in games like Gears of War and Batman: Arkham Asylum, the precision aim feature in Resident Evil 4 also featured in games like Dead Space, Rachet and Clank and GTA for example.
Lets skip to the present, after the disappointing Resident Evil 5 which was released in March 2009, many thought Capcom would take complaints of the game into account when the time came to make Resident Evil 6 however it became apparent when Resident Evil 6 was announced and showed off for the first time that this wasn't the case, Capcom had managed to ignore all complaints about the previous instalment and started working there way towards a new audience, the audience which got the Resident Evil games where they are today had been giving the middle finger for new "Call of Duty" type fanatics which get off over massive explosions, silly over the top action sequences and lots of guns with huge supplies of ammo., this was a sad day for the Resident Evil community as they had to watch a franchise they loved slowly die a painful death thanks to the more mainstream audience and the greed of Capcom. Up to the time of release Resident Evil fans easily pointed out the flaws and problems with Resident Evil 6 because of the amount of media Capcom was showing off for the game and boy there was a lot, they even included two demos which were not very well recieved however they were still called "whiners", "crybabies" and "moaners" by the majority of "NEW" supposed Resident Evil fans which came to the love the series after the new direction Capcom had taken, despite predicitng the obvious negative reception the game would get they were always told one thing, that they were "trolls".
Resident Evil 6 was released on October the 2nd and as soon as the game released reviewers and gamers concerns about the new direction the game had taken came true, the Resident Evil we all knew and love was no more, in a nutshell many people can all agree that you could say that the game was made in an effort to impress somone like Michael Bay the so called "King" of over the top action films with huge explosions and CGI effects, this was not a good thing for the franchise, I mean did Capcoms 600 member team all watch Transformers and Bad Boys 2 to see what they could include in their games actions sequences, with the final product of Resident Evil 6 it seems the answer to that question is a big fat yes.
This blog however isn't going to take a look at Resident Evil 6 and how much of a disgrace it is to the franchise, and trust me you know I could do that if I wanted, hell I kind of do to be honest around Resident Evil articles but what ticked off Resident Evil fan dosent we all need a place to vent, right? Instead I want to share (again if you've seen my comments in the past) my idea of how to fix the Resident Evil franchise while still keeping the characters and locations around which we've all came to know and love. My answer is simple, the series must be reset and go back to the beginning to where it all began, Resident Evil must go back to July 24, 1998 to the terrible and horror filled Mansion Incident.
"WAIT, WAIT AND WAIT, so basicaly you want a remake, go play the gamecube version mate"
Be honest, your thinking that right now, allow me to explain I'm not talking about a remake but more a long the lines of a retelling of the franchise but obviously not in the same vain as the horrible looking DMC reboot where you get the feeling they don't know where they are going with it. I would like to see a reset of the game where we would see an improved and expanded version of the very first Resident Evil however in this game things would play out differently.
At first these things will be small since it would be the first game and the first time things would change to impact future games, puzzles will be different, more character development on the STARS team found in various locations, rooms moved around, more sections of the mansion will be added and some new failed experiments might show up. The game play in general would also be different maybe this time there would be one single story instead of there being two altered ones depending on what character you play but like Adas separate ways in RE4 if you play the other character, like Chris for example you would meet up with or see Jill's scenario play out when playing your scenario, in the first Resident Evil the two scenarios were differnt in Chris's scenario Jill, Barry and Wesker would dissapear and in Jills Chris would be left behind, Wesker would vanish and you and Barry would spilt up but overall the two stories were roughly the same by the end of the game. What would really change in the direction of the "new" game would be the ending, before I explain let me tell you about the Butterfly effect or if you want just think of the film if you've seen it before either way is good enough for me unless you don't like Ashton Kutcher, damn there really needs to be a Dude Wheres my Car 2 dosent there, MOVING on
The Butterfly effect is basically a theory which theorises that if one thing is altered in the past it will dramatically change things in the present, simple to grasp right, we've all seen this thing shown on one show in our life's or as I've even mentioned before, the film so it's not that hard to understand unless you've went straight to the Wikipedia like many of us do when we don't understand something and now see a load of wordy and intense explanations on it.
Anyway back to the first Resident Evil games ending
If the ending was different it would then change future games so when it comes to playing them in the future the developers can make new stories out of them while keeping much loved characters around and without messing with their own personal back stories, yeah I don't want Leon's hair to change to black with him starting to swear left and right while flipping as many people as he can off as he smokes a cigarette, that's something I don't want to happen, I love slagging DmC off, hey thats another franchise Capcom is screwing up give me a break.
Lets say for example at the end of Resident Evil, after the surviving STAR members blow the Tyrant up the mansion doesn't explode, no cliches where the mansion was equipped with a self destruct button which can be easily accessed and activated in a lab which would probably need a lot of security clearence before you could actually use it. The most important thing about this event is if the mansion doesn't blow up then surviving Zombies/mutants would be roaming around the Arklay mountains and wander into Raccoon city, this changed event means that the Raccoon City outbreak happens sooner instead of later before rats get the chance to spread the virus after Birkin transforms and leaks the virus into the Sewers, with this changed event it means William Birkin wont get hunted down by Umbrella, wont become infected with the G Virus and could possibly escape with his family to be in future games, imagine if they experiment on Sherry and she becomes a villian. See what I mean such huge changes already to the story and thats just the beginging.
With the Raccoon City outbreak happening sooner the STARS team who had just got back from the mansion Incident wouldn't even of had time to quit STARS after giving the corrupt Brian Irons their report never mind disbanding all together and leaving Raccoon City, they would in fact be trapped in the city as it is boarded off and quarantined.
Leon S Kennedy would then arrive as the city is boarded off, he could then see a women named Claire who is trying to get into the city to find her brother, he tries to stop her but she wont give up, Leon being the good man he is would then help her go into the city and find Chris. Ada Wong would still be around, bump into Leon and ask to go with them to find her boyfriend John. Now from here a number of things could happen it's all about what they would want to do, you could make anything up because as I'm trying to point out with this idea you could tell so many different stories, here's my idea anyway, this however could be made into three games if they wanted about the incident and what happened to each character.
One game would be about Chris, Barry and Rebbecca as they try to escape while trying to find Jill.
The second game would be about Leon and Ada as they bump into the lost Jill
The third game would be about Claire and Carlos as they help to save Sherry (if she gets left behind) or help save a new young character and escape. Near the end of the game they would meet up with Chris, Barry and Rebbecca and all leave thanks to Brad Vickers who is still alive and get away in his helicopter.
Over the three games in the Raccoon City Incident Nemesis would appear in all three stories along with old foes like Mr X or even new Tyrants thanks to the changed story. William Birkin though could of escaped by then to be in a future game with Wesker. Maybe Nemesis would appear in his first form in Chris's game, follow Leon in his second form and the "I'm really ticked off" form would be in Claires game where he is finaly defeated
The possibilities are endless, maybe Barry and Rebbecca could get lost instead and star in their own game, Ada might go with Chris instead of Leon in which Leon would then meet up with Carlos, who knows maybe Billy would return to help Rebbecca out again since he's on the run and has nothing to live for there's just so many things you could do with the game.
The point of this blog is that with a reset Capcom would have a fresh start on the franchise and could correct the wrongs like bringing in the Las Plagas for starters, maybe Umbrella would find out about the Las Plagas sooner, think of it as a threat and destroy the entire town before the events on RE4 play out, who knows, you have to remember Birkin could still be alive and perswade Wesker that the Plagas is a threat, "If we can't have it, no one can" attitude towards the situation.
So with these examples I have given you what sort of stories would you like to see, what characters would you want to be paired up, what things did you think were a mistake and would want changed, with a Resident Evil Reset anything is possible and the best thing is those characters you've spent so much time investing in would still be around.
However at the end of the day this is all just one idea from an average gamer on a gaming news website, knowing the big brains over at Capcom HQ they are probably looking at what over the top action elements they could add for Resident Evil 7 and how many AI partners they could fit in the story, hopefully though that won't be the case. Anyway a guy can dream and so can you what would you like to see in the future of Resident Evil?