Capcom’s Masachika Kawata is juggling multiple Resident Evil related projects, he’s spearheading production on Resident Evil: Mercenaries, Resident Evil: Revelations and the recently announced Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. Kawata recently sat down with Japan’s Famitsu to discuss Operation Raccoon City and some dramatic changes to Resident Evil gameplay.
“The control system for this game has been changed to something you see a lot in third-person shooters,” Kawata told Famitsu via 1up. “I think fans of that genre will be able to enjoy this game a great deal. You play as a member of Umbrella as you fight off not only the US special forces, but Leon S. Kennedy and the T-Virus-infected zombies as well. It’s a chaotic three-sided confrontation that we’re depicting with this TPS gameplay, and I think that’s the main draw for this title. The game is set somewhere around RE2 or RE3, but it’s a completely new story that we’re writing — a parallel world, if you will. There’ll be a lot of aspects that’ll make series veterans smile, though.”
An alternate reality? ZOMG! This is Capcom’s way of testing the waters to see how core fans react to changes in the series from not only a story standpoint but a gameplay one. It’s actually a real clever way of maintaining series integrity while branching out at the same time. Kudos to Capcom’s ability to do Resident Evil fans justice.
“The idea for this game got its start when we thought about taking the world of Resident Evil 2 and using it to try something we’ve never done before with the series,” he said. “It’s a third-person shooter in order to take advantage of Slant Six‘s previous achievements with SOCOM. We’ve covered a lot of Raccoon City’s story up to now, but I think putting the player on the side of the villains will give them a brand new experience. The main keyword during development is ‘Kill Leon.’”
We’re actually surprised that the main development keyword wasn’t “Kill Chris.” As seen in Resident Evil 5, Chris is the guy with a legit beef with a boulder. The RE series bullet-absorbing mainstay of zombies with series favorites like Nemesis and Tyrant will also make a return.
The partnership with Slant Six continues Capcom’s initiatives to employ non-Japanese development studios for their core IPs. Last year, Capcom announced DmC, a reboot of Devil May Cry, was in development by Enslaved: Odyssey to the West developer Ninja Theory. Last year’s Dead Rising 2 was developed by Canadian developer Blue Castle Games. In working with external development studios, Capcom is in a better position to release video games at an increased rate. Resident Evil 5, an in-house developed game, took roughly four years to develop.
“Teaming up with a group like Slant Six that has such a good reputation in the TPS field will let us make a really solid package. The design and other aspects of the game are really coming together well in a unique fashion,” Kawata said. “It’s still a little rough right now, but I wanted people to see it as quickly as we could. I think we’ll have a much more complete package to show off around E3, so stay on the lookout for it.”
Resident Evil: Racoon City looks to be shaping up quite nicely, a recent teaser for the game reveals that some familiar Resident Evil environments will be used. We spotted the gas station from RE3, what can you make out?
[Screenshot from Resident Evil: Degeneration]