When you kind of go against expectations it can potentially make them wonder about the direction of the brand, but I can also see that point of view.
MK: Yeah. You can't please everyone, obviously, and there's been a lot of feedback from core fans, people who've played Resident Evil all their lives, since the PlayStation days, saying they want us to go even more towards the core, very deliberate pacing of those games.
On the other hand, there's been a lot of feedback saying, "We want to see an even more shooter and action-focused experience." And there's really no way to answer all of those requests in one game.
And so by creating these different experiences, we think that certainly some people's expectations will be violated, but that's, in our minds, a good thing, and it will hopefully get people to play something that they weren't expecting.
It's part of the strategy to split more of the shooting into a title like this, and then for the main line to keep it more into a survival horror title?
MK: Well, I cannot personally talk to Resident Evil's future, in terms of any main line title we might be making or not, because I would be in trouble if I did.
But in terms of what I'm working on, absolutely. Revelations, which is a 3DS title, is very much going to be core-fan focused and survival horror-focused. It's going to be a more deliberately paced-game, a little bit more classic Resident Evil, solving puzzles, things like that. So definitely there is the plan to go that direction as well.
Actually this is the 15th anniversary of the original Resident Evil, so there is a lot of stuff coming out, and we're really, really pushing a lot of different things, and hoping that people will rediscover their love for the franchise in new ways.
The whole shooting versus horror duality is very interesting to me, because it seems like the more confidence you can have in your weapons and firepower, the less scary it is. In older Resident Evils, shooting actually was a scary time, because you didn't have that many bullets and you know you weren't that powerful.
Kenji Matsuura: Well just in terms of Raccoon City, there still is that element of fear, where you've got tons and tons of bullets. There are more zombies than you've ever seen in a Resident Evil title coming at you, at the same time, so it's interesting.
When you're behind cover, you're taking out enemies and you think you're doing well -- suddenly, you start to bleed out or something, and zombies just start coming in from everywhere. You get that same kind of panicky feeling -- like, "Oh crap! I've got to do something to get out of this situation!" And it's really interesting that it's done in the different gameplay system, and with different ways of gameplay, but the feeling feels kind of the same.
Also there's the infection system, where basically you can be infected by the zombies, and then you turn into a zombie, and start attacking your own team. That's also something where it's a new, instant kind of fear -- you kind of know that you're screwed, in some cases, and that's a really, really interesting feeling, when you're playing the game.
Did you guys play Left 4 Dead before working on this? Left 4 Dead defined zombie shooting for this generation, so did you guys look at it at all, and what did you think? There seems to be some influence.
KM: Yeah, we definitely played Left 4 Dead, and we think it's a great zombie shooter. However, this game is not really about just killing zombies. Basically you're the Umbrella Security Service team, and you're trying to take out the U.S. Special Ops, and that's the main goal of the game. And the zombies are more part of the environment, in a lot of ways. They're something that you can use to your advantage or, if you're not too careful, they can turn on you and end up really making your job a lot harder, and that part of the game makes it something that's different.
MK: Well actually, in our minds, it's completely different from Left 4 Dead, because it's not just focused on killing lots of zombies. And so while Left 4 Dead is a really, really cool game, we feel that Operation Raccoon City is a bit more advanced in terms of just what is going on during this crazy situation.
What in your minds makes this a Resident Evil game versus just another shooter?
MK: The situation. Basically the situation -- the outbreak in Raccoon City -- and the characters.