Producer Jun Takeuchi believes adding run and gun controls to Resident Evil 5 would diminish the game.
After the Resident Evil 5 demo went live, it wasn’t long before there were grumblings on the internet about the game using the same control scheme as its predecessors. A surprisingly large number of people agreed with the complaints, raising the question of whether or not the Resident Evil franchise should junk its old control scheme.
Resident Evil 5 Producer Jun Takeuchi sees the scheme as an integral part of the game and defends his team’s decision: “When we approached the development of Resident Evil 5, we went in knowing that we weren’t making a typical third- or first-person shooter; we were making a Resident Evil game. It was important for us to go with the design choices that would make the best Resident Evil game that we could. We didn’t want to go in trying to make some other game. So, even though that kind of run-and-shoot gameplay might suit some other games, we definitely think that the current Resident Evil 5 controls are the best design choice for this kind of game.”
Jun continued, arguing that judging the game’s control scheme based solely on an experience with the demo may be shortsighted, “From the demo, because it’s such a short experience, I think it’s difficult for some users to get used to how the controls fit with the overall design. But when they get their hands on the finished product, I think they’ll understand that this is the best choice for the kind of game that Resident Evil 5 is.”
Jun goes on to raise an interesting point about walking the line between scaring players by limiting their control, without giving them the feeling the situation is out of their control. “I’m not saying that you can’t make a horror game and not have run-and-shoot elements in it. However, when it comes to Resident Evil, we feel that by imposing a restriction on the player you actually increase the tension that they feel while playing. Finding the balance between that and the player’s frustration is very important when approaching the design of a game like this. There are already a lot of games where you can do anything you want, and you have complete freedom with your character’s controls; that’s a perfectly good design choice. But I don’t think that’s necessarily suited to Resident Evil. I think that by imposing certain restrictions on the player you actually help to heighten the fear and the tension, and, ultimately, you create a better horror game.”
Forcing the player to stop and shoot has been a mainstay of the franchise since its inception, and giving the player the ability to run around willy-nilly while blasting away seems like it would not only reduce the challenge, but eliminate the feeling of dread and terror that makes the Resident Evil games what they are. Most enemies sport fairly limited mobility as is, and making the player more agile and deadly seems like it’d do little but make the game easier.