“Wait a moment, let me duck down and heal from this zombie bite.”
Since Resident Evil 4, Capcom’s landmark survival horror series has gradually become less, well, survival-horror-y. Co-op play in brightly lit desert environments in RE5 wasn’t very scary. The upcoming Resident Evil 6 will add another standard action game trope to the franchise’s growing library thereof: health that regenerates over time.
In all fairness, the series’ trademark healing herbs aren’t going away entirely. The player’s health in RE6 will be divided into health blocks rather than one single gauge. Any damage that the player takes in the current box will gradually regenerate, but if one of the blocks is completely depleted, the player will need to use a healing herb to restore it.
Some will laud this change as a desperately needed modernization that the series has needed for some time, like the ability to shoot while moving. Still, it’s hard to feel like these quality-of-life improvements to make the game more accessible are taking away from both the “survival” and “horror” parts of the experience.
If you can just duck behind a wall to heal from injuries, can monsters really be that scary? And if you don’t need to make the choice to use a precious healing herb to make it through the next section, what are you surviving?
On the other hand, terrible fixed camera angles made the games scarier, too – and I don’t think anyone wants to go back to those.