Feature Article

The Rise, Fall, and Future of Resident Evil: A 2-Part Video Series

Go in-depth with our examination of Capcom's survival horror series ahead of the launch of Resident Evil 7.

On January 24 Capcom will launch Resident Evil 7. The newest entry in the long-running survival horror series looks to be a dramatic reinvention and, in the lead up to its release, GameSpot took an in-depth look at the circumstances that led to the franchise being reworked.

In episode one of a two-part video series called "Reviving Resident Evil," Tamoor Hussain delved into the past, talking to Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs creative director Dan Pinchbeck, Alien: Isolation director Alistair Hope, and Dead Space 2 level designer Matthias Worch about the impact Resident Evil had on the video game industry. From there he charted the series' decline and the rise of indie and western developers, many of which were inspired by Resident Evil or carried on its legacy in some way.

The second episode in the series looked to the future, and featured interviews with the developers behind Resident Evil 7. It focused on the lessons Capcom has learned from the recent titles, the decision to reimagine Resident Evil, and the influences of modern indie horror titles.

In the creation of these videos we conducted a number of lengthy interviews. While parts of these are featured in the series, there was a great deal of unused material which will no doubt be of interest to fans of the series, so we've made them available below. Along with these, we've also collected a supplemental Resident Evil video on the history of Resident Evil. Check it all out:

Interview

Reviving Resident Evil

Part 1: RE-volution - We look at how Resident Evil changed video games, speak to developers it influenced, and chart its decline.

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Part 2: RE-invention - We talk to the developers behind Resident Evil 7 about reimagining the series, learning from indies, and building a new future.

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The History of Resident Evil

Joey Yee looks back on the long history of the franchise, and attempts to figure out what it really means to be a Resident Evil game.

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Avatar image for deactivated-589dfdc7a4ac0

Endless sequels and remakes -- Out of ideas.

Avatar image for deactivated-589dfdc7a4ac0

Finally somebody that can replace Danny, comedy lacking though.

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Freboy

Many forget that the real star of the first RE game was the mansion itself. From the first moment, you feel that there is something wrong with the place, and it goes farther back than the monsters.

At one point, you enter a small kitchen with a bookshelf blocking a door. Clearly, at one point people were living and working here but they were not aware of the door, or not allowed to enter. Moving it is simple enough but it leaves you with this feeling that you're supposed go in there. The zombies are not just enemies - if anything they seem just as trapped in the mansion as you are. Trapped by (oh yes) the resident evil.

In the following games, this aspect seems to have been largely overlooked - now it was simply about making your way through a zombie outbreak. But... RE4 managed to capture that lightning in a bottle again with its unsettling religious undertones. It's a pity it got so silly by the end. The African setting in RE5 could have worked great if they had committed to a crumbling society, finally having been dealt its death blow by the bioweapons.

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fluffy_kins

I'd love to watch these videos but gamespot's video player is a stuttering mess. Would it kill you guys to add in quality settings or something?

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Freboy

@Chernnunos: They did. It's in the behind-the-scenes footage.

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Pyrosa

I enjoyed the demo, and it's definitely more creeping around looking for ~puzzle objects than combat, but frankly I'll wait until it's on sale for $24 around Halloween.

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mari3k

wow this gamespot guy from the title picture looks exaclty like the creep from sin city....

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videogameninja

Great videos.

Very insightful and give the fans a snapshot of what was going through the heads of some of Capcom's staff. I think it was nice how many different game developers acknowledged Resident Evil's status and significance in the the genesis of the survival -horror genre, even though technically it wasn't the first.

-WANT MORE VIDS NINJA APPROVED-

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Kain0067

Some 5-second countdown plays at the beginning of the video and then nothing after that. Would it really be such a crime to just put them on YouTube?

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DaRq_MiNoS

@Kain0067: Yeah their video player is actually worse than IGN's now. I can't watch any of their videos. The ad plays, then it just sits in limbo.

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Kain0067

@Kain0067: NVM, found them on YouTube! :)

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Kain0067

@Kain0067: Now that I've watched it, great job, Tamoor! You're keeping the spirit of Danny alive!

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InYourMouf

That was really great. More of this stuff, please!

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nyran125tk

The remake is ok, but i still think the original is better , despite the graphics improvement and RE2. I ended up uninstalling the remake after finishing it and playing the original again and I did enjoy it way more. But then it could be because it was the first one I played, so it was familiar. Not sure. Resident Evil 3 was ok. Remember Dino Crisis?

RE 7 is the first Resident Evil I'm buying since RE4, it's captured my imagination again, like it did originally.

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ndarker

Lol @ the 'history of resident evil' video, the closing comment was worse than even the cheesiest Resident evil cut scene line.

"It's everything it has been, and everything it will become"

Uhhh.. yeah.. Thanks for that mate.

Also, is that a 5 year old child voicing the advert for the Sportsline website at the start of these videos?

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gotrekfabian

Sorry Joey but the round up statement at the end of the history of video was the biggest cop out. Of course RE is what it was, is and will be in the future but the essence of what makes RE great is what fans debate not some all encompassing but saying nothing statement!

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the_gear12

Really enjoyed the "Reviving Resident Evil" videos. It's nice to see Capcom take stock of some of the criticisms with the series' latest entries and it's even greater to see them take a real risk with the 7th game. Looking forward to Jan 24th!

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xolivierx

I think Gamespot has some kind of Resident Evil fetish.

Everyday there is some article/video about the Resident Evil serie...that's not really the kind of content that attract people.

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gotrekfabian

@xolivierx: It's due to the imminent release of Resident Evil VII on Tuesday. The series is a major overhaul from previous games and fans and new gamers alike are questioning whether it will be a new dawn for the series or whether it will herald the end of the franchise as we know it and GameSpot is merely voicing that via these videos. Where have you been hiding?

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Jimbowesker

@gotrekfabian: Yeah I agree with your statements. RE7 is a huge deal to many, many people including myself. I have played every one since RE1 and although I was skeptical about the first person narrative and the direction at first, I am more excited and optimistic than ever that RE7 will revive the franchise. I just know from the demo, that it certainly feels right and I appreciate Capcom listening to feedback and choosing to make this game a true horror game with survival elements. Its the younger generation that have never played a game like the originals, Re1 Re2 that are wanting an action packed shooter that have no idea what true Resident Evil is. So, heres to hoping this one succeeds. Tamoor, I would also like to say fantastic job on the interesting and informative documentary, I agree with all your statements but the other , the host of The History Of resident Evil, I feel like he also has no concept of what true RE is. So, awesome job guys on the coverage of this beloved franchise. Looking forward to the review!!

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gotrekfabian

@Jimbowesker: I'm an original series gamer as well and will never forget my first scare in the game in 'that corridor' to the right of the entrance hall. I miss the anxiety that went with the first 3 games which cranked up the fear levels when something occured such as the tyrant crashing in through the walls in RE2 or lickers dropping in from above you in unseen spots.

Chances are that RE will never return to that type of game but, like yourself, after playing the demo I felt that this was the right step for the franchise to take and thoroughly enjoyed the new format. I just hope that the game isn't a short experience on your first play and that we aren't being sold a stunted version of the full game due to there being a season pass for it.

Here's to enjoying exploring the latest haunted house albeit with a little trepidation thrown in!

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Jimbowesker

@gotrekfabian: Yeah the first 3 are what sold me as well. To be exact, RE2 is what officially hooked me on the series. I enjoyed the 1st one, but Re2 had the amazing graphics (at that time) and this lingering sense of absolute dread and fear about it that really moved me. I remember getting goose bumps when the terrifying roar of William Birkin is heard while talking to the guy in the cell. Awesome games though all 3 and RE Code Veronica.

On a good note, the demo seemed to have all the key elements right such as thorough exploration elements and that creepy feeling that something or someone is behind you. I was on edge the whole time, and I'm really hoping that remains the whole game. I love being scared and horror in general and for the sake of the future of RE and survival horror as a genre, I hope RE7 succeeds. I have a good feeling about it though so we shall see!!