At long last, Capcom has officially announced Resident Evil VIII: Village, set to release on Xbox Series X, PS5, and PC in early 2021. We here at TGP happen to be avid RE players ourselves, and I personally cannot contain my excitement for this next installment of the revolutionary horror IP. RE8 will be a direct sequel to RE7, following and concluding the journey of current RE protagonist Ethan Winters, in his never-ending struggle to find out “what the hell is going on”. In all seriousness, though, we really don’t know the full extent of what is going on in RE8. From Chris Redfield executing Mia Winters to the Spencer family and Umbrella likely making a return, the trailer for RE8 left more questions than answers (which in all honestly, isn’t entirely a complaint from me). Although certain features have been confirmed, such as the triumphant returns of the first person perspective and the new age RE inventory, many have been left up in the air. All that’s left to do now is wait until more information is released by Capcom, or, speculate like there’s no tomorrow. While I will be writing a lore speculation article at a later date, as of right now I’d like to ponder the aspects of RE8 I feel would be welcomed, and those that wouldn’t; rather than making assumptions on the steps the narrative will take. Without further adieu, here are our hopes for Resident Evil: VIIIage.
Want: Don’t Hold Back the Horror
Resident Evil 7 introduced a level of sadism to RE that had never been seen before, and it was for the better. It made the game more atmospheric, intense, stressful, and above all else: horrifying. If anything, I would hope RE8 ups the stakes with the insanity on display, cranking the dial past eleven. To put it plainly: Capcom, hold absolutely nothing back, show us the most wretched nightmares you’re capable of imagining. Based on the trailer it looks like this request will be honored, but only future gameplay will tell if that’s accurate.
Don’t Want: Hollywood Action
Recent statements by Capcom have indicated that RE8 will lean more into action, which given Capcom’s history could mean a multitude of things. It could mean that there will be more enemies on screen and more ammunition available to account for that, which is what I believe they meant by their statement (for reference, think RE2R to RE3R). I have no issues with this as I’ve completed RE3R thirteen times, but I would have a problem if they take it too far and delve back into Hollywood action set pieces. I don’t believe I need to illustrate what I mean by “too far”, as RE5 and RE6 are prime examples (and although I love those games, they are not Resident Evil). Capcom, the line you are walking is a fine one: please stay on the right side of it.
Want: Leon S. Kennedy and/or Jill Valentine
Now this one I threw in here a bit out of bias, but come on Capcom! Where’s Leon? Where’s Jill? After the C-Virus outbreak was eradicated in 2012, Leon Scott Kennedy was seemingly M.I.A, being absent and not even mentioned in Revelations 2 or RE7. As for Jill, after rescuing Chris and Sheva with Josh in RE5, she has apparently disappeared as well. Granted, we saw Leon make a spectacular comeback in RE2R with Jill swiftly following suit in RE3R (along with being the main protagonist in Revelations 1) , but chronologically they are nowhere to be found in the present day. Don’t get me wrong, Chris Redfield is by far my favorite RE character and I’m always ecstatic to see him, but Leon and/or Jill showing up in RE8 (even if it’s only a slight cameo) would make me beam from ear to ear.
Don’t Want: Bullet Sponge Enemies
Before anyone wants to tell me to “get good”, let me preface this by saying that I have beaten almost every Resident Evil release multiple times and a good number of those on the highest difficulties available, and RE7 happens to be my favorite out of them all. However, there are occasions in RE7 where a molded can take over an entire pistol magazine to put down on normal difficulty, which is pretty absurd. Without enhanced handgun ammo, flight is the superior option to fight in RE7, which I don’t necessarily always appreciate. I prefer having the choice as to how I want to handle encounters, instead of stunning and running because I know I’ll just be wasting ammo otherwise. RE2R is an even worse offender of this, at times requiring me to deliver FIFTEEN precise headshots on STANDARD to a regular zombie before they are permanently dealt with. I got to say, I’m not a fan of that one bit, and I hope RE8 can find a better equilibrium for damage output by the player (closer to the consistency of RE3R, since RE2R doesn’t have as much consistency).
Want: A Satisfying Conclusion
As previously mentioned, Capcom has stated that this will be the end of Ethan Winters’ journey. If that’s the case, I need answers to the following: who are The Connections? Have they been undermining Umbrella this entire time? Who is in charge of them, is it Wesker (please no)? What exactly was Lucas trying to send to them in Not a Hero? Was the molded outbreak and shipwreck always planned, or truly just a terrible accident brought on by Eveline? These are just the inquiries I have left over from RE7, and if this is the last time we’ll see Ethan, I need to know. RE8 will certainly add more questions on top of these , but if they are all answered I’ll be satisfied. I cannot adamantly express enough how much I don’t want any loose ends lying around if this is truly the end of Ethan’s story. Now this next point can definitely be argued, but I personally hope Ethan makes it out of this whole experience alive. In my opinion, he deserves it after all he’s been through.
Don’t Want: Tacked-on Multiplayer
We all know why this is here, so I’ll make this point short and sweet. I love RE3R, but I can’t help but feel that content was cut (some justifiably cut, such as the worm in Fox Park, but other cut content such as the Clock Tower was inexcusable) in order to leave time available to develop Resident Evil: Resistance. RE: Resistance is an asymmetric multiplayer game created to establish a live-service platform and sell microtransactions by being set in the RE universe, however it’s anything but RE. I have very little interest in it and still have not played it to this day. I can only imagine how grand in scope RE3R could have truly been, if it wasn’t for RE: Resistance detracting from the development process. I don’t imagine they will, but I hope Capcom does not repeat the same mistake again, let alone with the next mainline RE release. If you want a quality multiplayer RE game Capcom, have a development team who’s not already busy making a game create it from the ground up.
Want: Larger Explorable Areas and Backtracking
Although RE7 had quite a lot of enjoyable backtracking, it lacked the open-ended nature that RE4 made many accustomed to. While RE3R’s Downtown Raccoon City had many corners and crevices to explore and rummage around in like the areas of RE4, it’s the only area with that freedom throughout the entire game, along with minimal backtracking required. If Resident Evil 8 could have open-ended areas such as the Downtown Raccoon City of RE3R, with the consistency of said areas such as RE4, and the backtracking and area memorization of RE7, we could have a flawless masterpiece on our hands. With a subtitle such as Village, I hope this is the goal Capcom is striving for.
Don’t Want: Wesker is Alive
He’s an iconic villain, and he should stay that way. Wesker became so powerful it took leaving him to melt inside an active volcano and decapitating him with two RPG’s to put him in the grave. Capcom has been dropping hints of his survival over the years since, and I hope it isn’t true. There’s nothing Capcom could do to top what they already did with Wesker’s character, that is without diving head first back into ludicrous action absurdity. Let RE5’s finale have meaning. Let Wesker lie, his time is done.
Want: Quality Post-Launch DLC
RE7’s DLC was everything it should have been. We got a variety of videotapes that brought new insights to the Baker family’s backstory and later sadism, a conclusion to Chris Redfield and Lucas Baker’s RE7 storyline via Not a Hero (which was free), and End of Zoe; an insanely fun conclusion to Zoe’s story where you play as Joe Baker, and acts as an overall epilogue to RE7’s story. I had no problem paying more money for these experiences, as I felt they were well worth the asking price and was not content that was cut from the original game. After being left incredibly hungry over the announcement of no DLC for RE3R, I hope Capcom continues and expands RE8’s story post release, in a worthwhile manner.
Don’t Want: A Short Experience
RE3R took many by surprise with how swiftly it concluded, even on a first playthrough. I don’t imagine we’ll see the same result with RE8, as it has had more time in development, but I feel the need to address this concern nonetheless. Capcom, this game should take 15-20 hours to complete on a first playthrough, MINIMUM. Anything less than that would honestly be pitiful, especially since RE8 will be the first next-gen RE iteration. A quality, lengthy, and replayable experience such as RE7 and RE4 is what the community expects. Allow me to reiterate, I love RE3R, but another game of such an unsubstantial length will not suffice, especially if it’s the immediate following release.