Resident Evil has fallen on hard times with its sixth entry, but maybe there’s hope for the series’ creative future on a new platform. Nintendo’s Wii U is as much a strange mutation as Resident Evil’s many oozing bad guys. Maybe it’s just the device Capcom needs.
Resident Evil: Revelations director Koshi Nakanishi agrees. Speaking with the UK’s Official Nintendo Magazine, Nakanishi said that the Wii U could make for a new and exciting style of Resident Evil.
“The Game Pad’s separate screen enables so many possibilities, and playing on a television screen would enable sharing the experience in a way that wasn’t possible on Nintendo 3DS,” said Nakanishi, “I feel it would let us create a very unique and fun Resident Evil game.”
“The Wii U certainly looks like it will enable creators to come up with all kinds of never-before-seen gameplay ideas. There are lots of things I’d like to try out on it. If I was to work on a game for the Wii U, I would definitely want to make something that couldn’t be done on any other hardware.”
The Resident Evil series was born on PlayStation and today it’s spread, like a virus, across every device that can play video games there is, but it’s Nintendo consoles that have best served Resident Evil. Nintendo’s Gamecube birthed the series’ pinnacle, Resident Evil 4. With the 2002 remake of Resident Evil, it gave the horror series’ the lush visual grandeur to match its ominous tone. Even today Nintendo’s machines are doing right by the series. While Resident Evil 6 is a bloated monster on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Nakanishi’s own Resident Evil: Revelations for Nintendo 3DS was an excellent game of nautical horror, expansive but more focused and rewarding than Resident Evil 6.
There is, of course, a risk that comes with developing games like Resident Evil for Nintendo’s consoles. Nintendo’s audience, skewing more toward families, tends to limit the number of players an experimental horror game can have. While Resident Evil 4’s director wanted his game to only be on Gamecube, Capcom insisted it be ported to PlayStation 2 (and many other consoles later on) to maximize profitability.
The Wii U may be a turning point though. Ubisoft certainly thinks the Wii U will foster a big enough audience to warrant developing original titles in the vein of Resident Evil, as ZombiU is a launch title for the system. If Capcom’s smart it will give Nakanishi the chance to make his game.