Resident Evil 7 was officially announced during Sony’s E3 press conference, but so much of the sequel is clouded in mystery. But that’s the strategy. I sat down with the game’s producer Masachika Kawata and director Koushi Nakanishi to learn as much as I possibly could about the next instalment in the seminal horror series.
Title aside, it’s possible to play Resident Evil 7 and not realise it’s the latest entry in the long-running horror series. But Resident Evil 7 isn’t a reboot, either. Confused?
Here’s how Masachika Kawata, the game’s producer, explained it to me:
“It’s the next title in the numbered series, so obviously it’s part of the Resident Evil universe, and overall canon, so to speak. It’s not a separate thing, but we have intentionally made it so that maybe when you first play it you’ll almost think: how could this possibly be related to the rest of Resident Evil? But it is. It is an extension of the series so far. It’s not a reboot. It’s the next main game.”
And when I asked would we see any familiar faces – Chris, Jill, Leon – or the nefarious Umbrella Corp?
“Basically no. It’s a whole new set of characters and situations,” said Kawata, who has worked on the franchise since 2005’s Resident Evil 4. But he did say, “There could be some interesting surprises in store as well.” So expect there to be some easter eggs in there at least.
Resident Evil 7 will maintain some continuity with the series through returning mechanics, like the life-restoring green herbs which have been a fixture since the 1996 original.