Like Resident Evil, but don't like Resident Evil 5? You better get used to Chris Redfield having huge biceps because Capcom says RE5 is the first step in a new direction for the series.
Whether you love it, hate it, or don't really care about it, Resident Evil 5's way is here to stay. As Capcom sees it, RE5 marks the beginning of a "new direction" for the franchise, while everything that came before should effectively be regarded as "act one."
"Resident Evil 5 is really setting the franchise up for what's going to happen now going forwards, so establishing new characters and storylines, and pretty much a new direction for the game," Capcom's Chris Kramer said on the last Major Nelson podcast. "It's a really good time for new players to jump in, because what we're doing is kind of waving goodbye to a lot of storyline elements from, essentially, act one of the Resident Evil franchise."
Kramer's talking primarily about story things, and if we're considering RE1-4 as "act one," well that's quite a bit of narrative baggage to be unloaded. Still, what about RE5 as the beginning of a new direction for Resident Evil's gameplay? It essentially followed the third-person shooter mold set by RE4, but added co-op and eschewed all pretenses of being a survival-horror game that RE4 had left behind. Should we expect future REs to continue to play more like Gears of War than the classic RE games?
Kramer's remarks contradict statements made by other Capcom staff only recently. "Resident Evil 5 is practically guaranteed to be the last of its kind, with the game's producer, Jun Takeuchi, assuring us that a reboot is in order for the inevitable Resident Evil 6," 1UP reported in February.
Still, Capcom could reboot the gameplay, but leave the story in Resident Evil 6 as following from RE5's lead, which would work out just fine. Bets on how much bigger Chris Redfield's arms will be in the next game start now. I'm guessing they'll be Scott Steiner size - gotta be pretty easy to pick up some illegal steroids in Africa, right?