How did you determine what direction you wanted to go with the gameplay? Obviously, Resident Evil's been moving away from horror and more towards action. How do you determine that kind of thing, and what goes into determining that?
YH: One of the goals with this game is that I wanted an ensemble cast where I could have all these human relationships, and focus on how horror is shown differently depending on the point of view of the character. As you know, we have four campaigns in this game, and I think that allows us to show horror in different lights.
With Leon, we have that gothic, classic Resident Evil-style horror; with Chris, it's more like a horror of the battlefield with his group. With Jake's campaign, he's being chased by this creature, and being stalked, and with Ada it's more of a very classic Resident Evil-style single player experience as well.
And of course you add to that with her mysterious spy persona, and whatnot, and it's a completely different style of horror. And then you want to bring all four of these horror experiences together under the umbrella of RE6.
Why do you think horror games and action games are mutually exclusive?
It's usually a sense of being empowered, for one thing; it's hard to feel real fear if you have the power to fight back.
YH: That's the very same issue that we, on the dev side, were wrestling with when making this game. And so our answer to that is, okay, you don't make the player feel completely powerful. And one of the ways you do that is you can give them a powerful weapon, but what if you limit the amount of ammo they have? So now it becomes a choice of when you use this ammo.
For us, the campaign in Resident Evil 6 is a very important part of the game -- the most important part of the game -- and so someone might start to play the game, and they would play a number of stages all in a row. But then they have to consider, "Should I conserve my ammo? Should I use it now? Should I save it for later?" That kind of tension that you give to the player -- by not letting them know when they can use these weapons -- I think maintains the horror elements in the game. So while there's still action, I don't think we're losing the horror, just because we keep action in the game.
One of the ways that I think the horror genre works well is when you have a personal connection to the protagonist. In this game, you have multiple protagonists. Does that affect the way that the player relates to them? Does it affect the story, in the way you portray it?
ES: I think we've been very careful in designing it in a way that won't impact the game negatively. For example, we're using an ensemble cast, as I've said, but we're not just throwing random characters together just for the sake of it; they all have a reason for being there.
So when you play Leon's campaign, it's not just about Leon. Sure, you play his campaign and, start to finish, you find out what's going on with Leon's story, but there's more to it than just that. By playing the other campaigns, you'll learn more about Leon's story as well; it'll give you another perspective.
So when you're playing with Leon, you get the full story, but you may be at a loss to understand certain motivations for, say, why Leon did something, or what was happening with Helena, and why she was doing this. And we're hoping to create that interest in that people want to play the other campaigns, and by playing the other campaigns they get the fuller story. And hopefully that brings more of a resonance with what happens to Leon, and you feel more attached to the character as a result of that.