Resident Evil 8 Wish List | What we want to see

The Resident Evil 2 remake just passed its first anniversary and the Resident Evil 3 remake is just ahead of us, but that doesn’t mean that we’re done with Resident Evil. Far from it. Resident Evil 8 is undoubtedly in production, given the success of RE7 and the recent rumors swirling about its alleged upcoming sequel. The series’ 24-year history has shown that there are many ways to make a good Resident Evil game and here are just some ways RE8 can do the franchise proud.

Resident Evil 8 Wish List | Turn the lights off

Resident Evil 8 Wish List | What we want to see

Given the existence of Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6, we should never take it for granted that the next numbered entry will be a proper horror game. Nevertheless, RE8 would be better if it continued to be scary like the RE2 remake and RE7. Managing resources, strong enemies, low lighting, and a thick dollop of atmosphere would be the most direct ways to make RE8 a scary game as they all work together to create the uneasy tone that good Resident Evil titles thrive in.

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Fear also derives from what we don’t know and the most recent batch of rumors seem to give away some of the game’s new tricks. Ghost-like enemies and werewolves are a good start because they aren’t typically what we’ve seen in the series so far. And if we don’t know them, then it’s easier to get scared by them. This is also just a way to not get any more of the featureless Molded enemies from RE7 that didn’t evolve as much as they should have and thus, grew a bit stale.

Resident Evil 8 Wish List | A first-person viewpoint

Resident Evil 8 Wish List | What we want to see

Resident Evil is the master of camera angles. The first three mainline games had a fixed camera, the next three had a third-person camera, and RE7 bravely went first-person, which is also what RE8 should do. Seeing through the protagonist’s eyes was a claustrophobic way to view the world and made everything more scary. You couldn’t hide behind the camera angle and use it to cheat like you could in some of the other titles.

That limited view also showed how the franchise was keeping up with other more modern horror titles like Amnesia and Alien: Isolation. And the game was scary enough to earn that new viewpoint without feeling like it was only doing it to hold up some cheap facade of modernity. It’s still fresh and RE8 could easily benefit from returning to that perspective. Thankfully, the rumors point to RE8 doing just that.

Resident Evil 8 Wish List | VR, VR, and more VR

Resident Evil 8 Wish List | What we want to see

Resident Evil 8 is going to have to have a first-person camera if it’s going to continue one key part of Resident Evil 7‘s legacy: virtual reality. RE7 was not a tech demo or some horror experience that manipulates you with cheap scares; it’s a full game, which is something VR could always use more of. It was a full horror title, too, and that only strengthens a good VR game as virtual reality is naturally immersive. Everything was more scary in the headset and the game was already pretty frightening to begin with.

Given how it was such an incredible match, it would be such a missed opportunity if RE8 did not have VR in any capacity. The more powerful technology could easily make the game even more immersive, as it would likely be on the next generation of hardware since some rumors point to it being far from release. Capcom also undoubtedly learned a ton translating RE7 into VR and would be unfortunate if those lessons were not applied to RE8. Developers are learning more about VR development as time ticks on, meaning the qualities of RE7 in VR could seem quaint in retrospect once we get a peek at what is possible in RE8.

Resident Evil 8 Wish List | Keep the story small

Resident Evil 8 Wish List | What we want to see

Resident Evil 7 was also wise in downsizing the story, stripping away the decades of lore in favor of just a simple tale that surrounded a man trying to survive in some hellish interpretation of the American South. It paid some lip service to the numerous viruses in the series but it was at the periphery and didn’t detract from the more focused narrative.

Resident Evil 8 has to continue that trend as Resident Evil never quite had good storytelling to begin with. Each game made the lore more complicated but never better and it took all the way until RE7 for Capcom to realize this. Rumors are pointing to Ethan’s return, which would work well especially if Capcom goes with the tried-and-tested “tortured horror sequel protagonist” method that has served such franchises as Alien and Dead Space well. Obviously, it shouldn’t throw everything away as cheeky nods and a larger scope isn’t always bad, but it has to be careful to not devolve in whatever garbage RE5 and RE6 was peddling.

Resident Evil 8 Wish List | Another clever hard mode

Resident Evil 8 Wish List | What we want to see

Capcom has mastered difficulty over the last few years in ways that welcomes new players while also satisfying the hardcore fans the publisher attracted in the ‘90s. RE7 took this a step further in its Madhouse mode. Limited saves and tighter resources appropriately ratcheted up the tension but its approach to items and enemy spawns was a little more outside of the box and worthy of being iterated on.

Many items — including a story-based key — were locked away and could only be earned via hidden antique coins strewn around the decrepit property. This forced players to scour around and look inside every crevice for some coins like a kid in an arcade. But instead of trying to find quarters to play Street Fighter, you were trying to find rusty coins to afford the Scorpion Key. It was a brilliant way to make players pay attention and not rush even when under pressure, which is much scarier than beelining to the next objective.

Enemies also spawned in different places, too, meaning that those nasty crawler Molded would show up in unexpected places as would the unkillable Jack. These clever changes kept you on your toes and ensured that you never felt safe even on a second run. RE8 should take these as an inspiration to not just repeat these (although that would be great) but to expand upon them and further mix things up. Perhaps RE8 could take cues from the roguelite DLC RE7 got after launch? Scares die when repetition gets involved so constantly changing them up in any way possible would give this game a ton of replay value.