Resident Evil 8 Is On The Horizon () 12:39 AM CEST - Aug,28 2019
Capcom is a games company that gets bad press occasionally (deservedly so, in the case of Street Fighter 5), but if you’re a fan who prefers to play their most famous zombie game franchise than their most famous fighting game franchise, there’s rarely a reason to complain about them. Resident Evil 7 scared us all witless when it was released in 2017, and we were barely over that when they released the skin-crawlingly horrifying remake of Resident Evil 2 in January this year. Some of us still haven’t plucked up the courage to finish that game, but it seems that Resident Evil 8 is just around the corner. We dread to think what horrors we’re going to be subjected to next!
The making of new Resident Evil games is always an invevitability - so long as people keep buying them, Capcom will continue to make them, and there’s been no sign of a loss of interest in the classic zombie-smashing franchise. There’s even talk that a new Resident Evil movie is also in the pipeline. Video games, movies, and anime series are all part of the Resident Evil universe, as is a mobile slots game based on the original PlayStation one game. Very few video games have been re-imagined as mobile slots - Call of Duty and Street Fighter have made the crossover in the past, too. When a video game is so popular that its name alone will attract slots casino players to take a bet on playing something that uses the theme, it’s a sure sign that a game is a big deal. Capcom will be hoping for a mobile slots-style jackpot from Resident Evil 8.
Although Capcom is yet to formally announce the game is on its way, there are plenty of tell-tale signs that allow us to read between the lines and start anticipating that an announcement will be made in the near future. Articles began to appear in the press a month ago confirming that Resident Evil Ambassadors (yes, that's a real thing) in Japan had been invited to top-secret playtesting of a new game, and those invitations have started to be extended to players in the United States of America. The invites, which have been copied and pasted onto fan forums like ResetEra, specify that anyone accepting the invite must have experience of playing at last one previous Resident Evil game, which would be a strange requirement to place on anyone unless the game they're going to be testing is related to Resident Evil.
The American playtests for this unnamed new game are scheduled for Los Angeles and New York in late September. The fact that the game has progressed to the point where it's possible to play it suggests that it's a long way through the development process, and may even be at the beta-testing stage. If that's the case, it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect a release date for late 2019 or early 2020. There had been some speculation that Capcom might hold off on making another Resident Evil game until the next generation of consoles became available, but it now seems that such speculation was unfounded. The Japanese tests are a little earlier in the month - September 8th according to some sources - which would mean that a formal announcement of the new game at the September 12th Tokyo Game Show isn't out of the question. It would, however, be a little unusual to announce the game at that stage and then have top-secret American testing happen two weeks later
While being welcome, the news isn't a huge surprise. Resident Evil 7 was barely out of the box when Jun Takeuchi - the executive producer of the seventh installment - confirmed in a 'making of' documentary that work on the eighth game had already begun. As we're now two and a half years down the line, assuming that Takeuchi's team have constantly been working on the eighth game, now would be around the right time for it to be approaching completion.
There is another possibility. Although Capcom had high hopes for the popularity of the Resident Evil 2 remake, they were pleasantly surprised by how popular the game proved to be, with nostalgia-seeking players buying it en-masse to experience old thrills with a new twist. The success of that game has raised the possibility of the third Resident Evil game also getting a remake, although it seems too soon for that to be happening. Eight months since the launch of the Resident Evil 2 remake is long enough for initial planning for a remake of the third game to be complete, but almost certainly not long enough for a playable version of that remake to be available for testing.
So what should we expect? If the form of past Resident Evil games is anything to go by probably not 'more of the same.' The franchise has survived this long because Capcom (and the various publishers and development teams who have also had their hands on it over the years) have constantly found new ways to provide players with a fresh take on the theme. It began as a survival-horror game (practically inventing the format in the process). By the fourth game, it had taken on something closer to the format of a shoot-em-up arcade game. Resident Evil 7 took it much closer to its roots, and Takeuchi has suggested in the past that he prefers that aspect of the game to the mindless shooting. He's also said that he saw Resident Evil 7 as a 'reboot' and a fresh start of the game series, and the future sequels would expand on that reboot. It's probably not unreasonable to expect Resident Evil 8 to be closely connected to Resident Evil 7 in terms of story and location, although a slightly wider sandbox to play in wouldn't go amiss.
Whatever it is we’re about to find out from Capcom, we’re confident of two things. Firstly, we expect to see a great game. With very few exceptions, the Resident Evil games have been fantastic, and Capcom rarely let us down on that front. Secondly, we expect we’ll be buying it on the day of release without seeing any reviews, and millions of people will do the same. Resident Evil is a legendary title in the world of video games, and deservedly so. We look forward to playing the next one, and the sequels which are bound to follow in the years to come.