ResidentEvilGamingHistory

For Halloween, I’ve been going back through my collection of PS2 horror games, which in a way became the golden age of survival horror. Looking back while trying to play modern horror titles, I’ve come to realize why the modern horror market doesn’t work for me, and how it betrays horror design.

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Resident Evil 2 Destructoid

Following the critical praise of Resident Evil 7 for revitalizing the on again/off again franchise, many people were left wondering what will become of the new virus, the new Umbrella, and of course the new Resident Evil. When it was announced that we were not going to get answers to those questions any time soon, but were returning to the past, a lot of people were left confused.

With Resident Evil 2 back again in the public eye, we once again have a horror franchise being dragged into the modern era…with some baggage along for the ride.

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Resident Evil 1 Yell Magazine

Recently I had a chance to go back to Resident Evil 1 Remastered edition. This was Capcom rebuilding the original game for the Gamecube back in the day. This version turned out to be one of the best games in the Resident Evil franchise; thanks to a new layout and design.

Going back over it, there is one detail that I don’t think was given enough credit, and that was the development of “Crimson Head” zombies, and how it solved a problem that modern horror designers are struggling with.

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This week’s Dissecting Design returns to one of my all-time favorite games — Resident Evil 4. RE 4 was a major innovator for the game industry at the time, and introduced a number of standards for action and horror gameplay; for good and for ill.

  • 0:00 — Intro
  • 1:16 — Design Basics
  • 6:19 — How Resident Evil 4 Changed Things
  • 10:24 — Resident Evil’s transition into action and changing design
  • 18:48 — Resident Evil 4’s Troubled Development
  • 20:54 — Resident Evil 4’s Polarized Action Horror Design
  • 40:11 — Final Thoughts
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