Resident Evil: From Survival Horror To Action Shooter

If you're a Resident Evil fan or a purist, then you know there is a division between fans of the series. On one side we have the fans who love the old school gameplay of the original Resident Evil. On the other side you have fans who love the new direction of a more action orientated Resident Evil. With new games such as Resident Evil Mercenaries, Resident Evil Revelations and Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City coming. Fans of the original series are fully up in arms in disgust of the direction of the series. We're going to examine both viewpoints of the original and the new direction. I will also add my two cents into this as well. Let's start off the original/purist argument.

Original/Purist Fan Point Of View: If you ask any Resident Evil fan what they love about the original, you'll usually get four of the same answers. The zombies, the story, the game was scary and made you think with the puzzles and the music was awesome. I must say that I agree with the fans of the original on this one. The old Resident Evil games had something that new one 4 and 5 seem to lack. It was missing that horror element, that puzzle element and the music wasn't really capturing the spirit of Resident Evil. The story of Resident Evil 1 and 2 are downright classic, 3 was so, so but it kept the spirit of needing to think to conserve your bullets and find a way to survive. Fans rooted for characters like Jill, Chris, Leon, Claire and Rebecca. They were invested in the story of an evil corporation behind a tragic incident. The story kept you surrounded in mystery, until it's final climax. Nothing could go wrong with this series until they got rid of the most key ingredient.

Old School Resident Evil

To the original fans they feel that the creators forgot who the characters were (Key Ingredient.) Go to message boards, videos of Resident Evil you'll hear many people cry out, "I miss the old Jill," "I like Leon when he was a vulnerable, more believable character." "I loved Ada win she wasn't a total badass." If you really examine the characters on how they began, and how they're now you will see a major difference. Ada was a spy in Resident Evil 2, but she wasn't such a badass. She made mistakes, she was surrounded in mystery, you didn't know whether she really care for Leon or was she just doing her job. Today's Ada Wong is like James Bond now and it really takes out any form of belief to the character. The gadgets, the ability to move fast in high heels, really turns off a lot of the purist. Ada is not the only one who has change, the direction of the story did as well. Resident Evil went from a conspiracy of an organization Umbrella, to "I'm going to form a new race of mankind (Play Resident Evil 5). To the original fan that storyline is a little to much of a Superhero plot. Fans want to go back to basics, they want the cover ups, the puzzles, the believable characters and more importantly the zombies and monsters. Fans feel that the new direction has strayed away from it's survival horror roots, in attempts to please a more bigger audience in the third person shooting crowd. Did Resident Evil sellout? Or is it just called progression. Progression is the key argue for fans who love the new direction.

Fans Of The New Direction Point Of View: Sometimes in life you have to adapt in order to survive. For fans of the new Resident Evil that is exactly what the series did. The gameplay was getting stale, the story was getting boring and new life was needed. Entered Resident Evil 4, which got rid of the zombies and introduce a smarter foe, which can set traps, think and use weapons. For the new fans this added more intense experience, than having to run from some slow zombies. The new direction for the main characters is an adaptation of the times. How many times can you have a game in a mansion, lab or secret base? How many times is Jill going to be in a situation that Chris has to bail her out from? The theme of today's villains is terrorism. That's exactly what the story did, it brought you a madman (Wesker) bent on world domination. Fans love the new strong, dynamic feel of these characters. For the new fans Leon was a wuss (Resident Evil 2) and he's more confident, tougher and believable in today's installments.

New School Resident Evil

As far as gameplay is concern, the hottest thing on the market is shooters, whether it's third person or first person. Shooters is what's in right now. The new fans love the new direction, why spend time solving puzzles, when I can have the intensity of killing a crazy chainsaw guy. If the Resident Evil series was going to go with the same formula over and over, it would've became stale and suffer from the same formula that many old school games suffer from. In history those that can't adapt usually get left behind. Resident Evil has changed, but it's adapted itself to a new audience and style of gaming. For the new fans it's all about progression and survival of the times. Did Resident Evil stray from Survival Horror? To the new fan who cares if it did, the new direction is awesome, as long as they can play Resident Evil they don't care.

Justin's Two Cents: It's no secret that I'm really not a fan of the new direction. I do however agree with both sides. From the story, character direction I agree with the original/purist fans. I feel that the theme of terrorism is stuff down our throats too much these days. On the other I do agree with the new fans point of view with progression. I feel that if the new games can balance both sides, everyone will be satisfied. What I think really needs to be back in Resident Evil is the horror. I felt 4 and 5 weren't scary and went for more an intense feel than actually scares. Only time will tell if this series will get back to basics or learn how to balance it.