Resident Evil Revelations: Producer On Horror, Resident Evil 6, Review Scores
Masachika Kawata talks about Revelations coming to Xbox 360 and PS3, along with the series itself…
Published on Feb 1, 2013
Is Revelations a direct port of the 3DS version?
It’s definitely not just a direct port. Not only have we improved the graphics up to HD standard for home consoles and designed it for 5.1 Surround Sound as well but we’ve fine tuned and retuned the gameplay, made a lot of nips and tucks here and there, so it’s certainly an improved experience.
When was the decision made to bring it to consoles?
The decision we made in the wake of the 3DS title and it was in response to the overwhelmingly positive feedback we got from fans and critics alike about the game. We realised that it would be a great idea to bring it to home consoles and expand the reach of the experience.
On the development side, what do you think did particularly well for Revelations?
I think we were really able to bring a classic Resident Evil feel to the gameplay. It’s got that kind of same easy to pick up gameplay style. It isn’t a super complicated game system, so I think that’s something that was a very big success with the title. I was also pleased with how we could bring enemies that weren’t zombies but we could bring them to life so effectively on the screen and make them scary. That’s something else I’m particularly proud of.
Resident Evil 6 had new enemies too, so is the series moving away from zombies?
I think it’s something like, you know, we don’t necessarily say we don’t want zombies in this game but we’ll take a look at the theme of the game and decide what’s suitable. So for example, Revelations is set on a ship and it has an ocean maritime theme, so we really wanted to design a main enemy that keeps in line with that atmosphere and theme. So that was the principal reason we went with the ooze rather than zombies. I think it’s more about what suits each title.
Zombies are a great enemy. They’re very iconic and they’re essentially a byword for the franchise at this point. But in recent years we had a zombie boom, in the last five to 10 years. You’ll see them everywhere, in other games, movies and TV. We see it important, going forward, that we have something a bit unique or something that isn’t just going along with trends.
Newer Resident Evil fans will likely have been introduced to the series with Resident Evil 5 and 6. How will they find Revelations in comparison?
I think players who started off with those titles, depending on what they wanted from 5 and 6 in the first place, they’ll have a different experience with Revelations. If they’re players who wanted to massacre enemies by the dozen, then that’s not something they’re going to be able to experience in Revelations so they may feel a bit disappointed with it.
I think what Revelations has in common with recent Resident Evil games is they’re all about characters who are in extreme survival situations trying to do what they can to stay alive and get out of the other side in one piece. As that’s happening, the storyline is evolving and the storylines are all interconnected, so I hope for most players they’ll find that a very enjoyable experience.
On Metacritic, Revelations scored 82 while Resident Evil 6 was low 70s. Why do you think Revelations reviewed better than Resi 6?
It’s so hard to account for people’s opinions, which is what Metacritic is, a collection of opinions. Resident Evil 6 took upon itself the challenge to go out there and be a game that was going to be played by a lot more people than Revelations did. The more people play your game, the more opinions are going to get divided. So I think that was part of the reason there’s that difference, they took on different challenges and got different reactions.
I also think the two games might have been, in some sense, marked on how they look and feel like a Resident Evil title. If that’s someone’s main point with liking one game and not the other, that’s going to show up in review scores, naturally. Because you know, Revelations is clearly… it looks and feels more like an older Resident Evil title than 6 did and that’s quite a different question than the quality of the games and whether people are enjoying them.
Will Revelations appeals more to those who grew up with the older Resi games?
I think it will definitely appeal to those kind of gamers. The ones who grew up in the late 90s era of gaming and saw those games come out in real time but our goal wasn’t to take those people, and that’s our target, we appeal to them and we’re done. We certainly had a goal in mind of appealing to people who know the newer Resident Evil 5 and 6 style of games first. We don’t want to ignore those people. So hopefully with the campaign mode and Raid mode elements, we’re going to appeal to both sides of that.
The Resident Evil series popularised the term survival horror. Is it fair to describe Revelations as survival horror or do you see it as something else now?
I think Revelations still lives up to the genre survival horror. Although I think we heard from a lot of users that they loved Raid mode and they played it for dozens of hours on end but I think at the same time, that’s not where the package begins and ends with Resident Evil Revelations. It is survival horror in the sense that that’s what the story’s campaign is like in atmosphere but we’re offering so much more than that at the same time.
What is it about Resident Evil games that causes horror or inspires fear?
I think the series always had a fundamental feeling of walking into an unknown darkness. I don’t think it’s just a literal sense like the graphics are dark or you can’t see ahead of you into the next room but in terms of what’s happening to the character and whether there’s any hope from them at the end of the storyline, it’s a feeling of the unknown lying ahead of you and that’s always a scary thing to experience. That’s something we’ve always had be an important part of Resident Evil’s design. Certainly in Revelations it’s important as well. That’s something I think is a key factor
Is that why Revelations is set on a cruise ship? Was that an attempt to recapture the mystery of the original’s mansion?
That’s certainly one of our aims. We don’t want to just borrow or steal an element from an old Resident Evil game and say that it’s still Resident Evil. We’re referencing the original game with the fact that certain parts of the ship will look like certain parts of the mansion. That’s kind of a fan service. You’ll walk into a room, see a staircase and you’ll be reminded of the original games but we can’t just do that and say that’s all we need to do.
The game does have its own atmosphere. I think it’s still true to the series. The game’s been out for a while so I think it’s safe to say without ruining it for people that it’s not all set on a ship. There are other settings. So while I say, we have referenced and kept important the feeling of those older games, the game is Resident Evil to the core.
What do you see as the future of survival horror?
Survival horror is a really popular genre but at any given time, there really aren’t that many games or many games on the shelves you can say are survival horror, certainly compared to other genres anyway. So I don’t think it’s in any danger of being overcrowded any time soon and also, as long as we keep working hard at it, we’re not going run out of ideas. So certainly, speaking for myself, I really want to keep working in the genre and seeing what great content we can create working within the scope of survival horror in the future.