The people behind the new Resident Evil game insist switching to a first person perspective was "the right thing to do". Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is the only title in the series to put the player directly in the action. Initial fan reaction to the move has been mixed. But producer Masachika Kawata and director Koshi Nakanishi tell Newsbeat it's the best way to create a "modern, immersive survival horror". Before the game was even released, some fans took issue with the switch of camera style from earlier games. "The main concept of Resident Evil is horror," explains Koshi Nakanishi, "that's the series' core identity - its DNA.
"The first person perspective just seemed to be the right way to go in order to have a fresh feeling, modern, immersive take on survival horror." Masachika Kawata says VR technology is another big factor. "Our aim with this game was to achieve absolute immersion and by incorporating VR I think we've achieved that." Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is a return to the classic haunted house concept where the franchise began. The pair even admit that the game which inspired them most this time around was the original Resident Evil.
More recent instalments have included big battles in international settings. There's none of that here, just a creepy mansion and a sinister family. "We'd gone so far with the massive blockbuster scale on the last title that there was nowhere left to go if we were going to try and make it bigger," says Masachika Kawata. "We decided we'd be better off taking a step backwards and focusing on a smaller scale, more intimate, but detailed experience. So that intentional reduction in scale allows us to really focus on every single detail of the game and make it very deep and atmospheric. I wanted to bring to this game the feeling of opening the door and not knowing what's going to be on the other side," adds Koshi Nakanishi, "That's scary!
"Or when you have limited resources available and you're not sure if you're going to be able to get over a terrifying situation. Ultimately you don't really need a massive scale or a very complicated multi-thread storyline in order to present that kind of horror experience. The smaller scale this time around fits our needs perfectly for what we're trying to achieve." Away from games, both men say they are inspired by the horror genre as a whole - particularly the Evil Dead franchise and supernatural thrillers like The Conjuring. "Resident Evil has always been a series where the creators have tried to take their inspirations from existing horror movies and let those influences show in the games. That's something I'd like to continue with the series in future," says Masachika Kawata.