Resident Evil 7 director on VR nausea, cut ideas and those comparisons with PT
"The Merchant is busy over in Spain."
The hype around Resident Evil 7 may have settled down a little, especially now we know we have to wait to find out the true use of that finger, but the feeling around the game still seems positive.
We are yet to hear when Resident Evil 7's demo will arrive on Xbox One, but PlayStation 4 owners have already had a chance to try the game's first-person mechanics and creepy atmospheric surroundings.
Xbox owners who never played the PS4-exclusive PT horror demo from Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima may not draw parallels between the two, but they are definitely there.
However, speaking to Eurogamer back at E3, Resident Evil 7's producer Masachika Kawata and director Koushi Nakanishi said any comparisons were simply coincidental.
"When PT surfaced we were already into development and we were surprised to see it," Kawata said.
"I'm worried about how my jokes come across but I hear Brits like black humour. So, out of everyone, we were the most relieved when PT didn't come out," he laughed.
Kawata and his team saw PT announced at the same time as everyone else - at Gamescom 2014. Seeing its first-person perspective, the team wondered if Kojima and co. were also going down the VR route offered by Resident Evil 7.
"We were already using a first-person perspective before anyone saw PT, so it wasn't as if we saw that and decided to do the same," Nakanishi said.
"It was already happening, so were surprised and - seeing PT and the reaction, it was a signpost for us that it was a good direction to be going in.
"As for the fact there are corridors and such, well, we had that in Resident Evil 1 in 1996. For us it's about going back to our roots. All of these things were going to be in the game."
Asked if Resident Evil 7 was designed as a console game first and VR second, or the other way around, Kawata explained that it was a bit of both.
"It's a game you can experience on your choice of console and also an immersive experience in VR," he said.
"Looking at what others are doing with VR, if you want to deal with the comfort issue - because some people do get sick - the most extreme solution is to just not have people moving, to be fixed in place. We saw that with our Kitchen demo last year, when you are strapped down and other things go on around you.
"That satisfies the needs of people who need to feel comfortable with VR, but it also limits the game for those who want a full experience. They want to get out into the game going on around them, so we challenged ourselves to make a game that lets them do that."
Earlier on in development, Capcom considered a more supernatural story - similar to how it toyed with an earlier version of Resident Evil 4 which looked like it would offer ghostly enemies than the final game's very real ganados.
"One thing which came up but we didn't follow through on - there are some people getting the impression there's more of an occult side to the story, which isn't the case," Nakanishi said.
"We haven't turned Resident Evil into a ghost story. At the beginning we did consider everything, though - and wondered what we could bring in for more of a supernatural dimension. But we didn't end up going down that route."
Resident Evil 7 feels like it will recapture some of the Resident Evil 4 spirit - set out in rural surroundings, the demo's dilapidated house even feels like it could be found in Resi 4's southern Spain. Resi 7 is set in and around a remote community in the southern US, however - which rules out the return of one Resi 4 favourite.
"The Merchant is busy over in Spain, so he is unrelated to the American setting. But we do have other strange things..." Kawata concluded.