Resident Evil 9: The Importance of Avoiding a Protagonist with Powers Like Rosemary Winters
Resident Evil Village’s DLC, Shadows of Rose, introduces superpowers to the gameplay, taking the franchise in a new direction. The protagonist of the DLC, Rose, possesses unique abilities that are implemented in a way that maintains the survival-horror mechanics and resource management of the series. While the idea of superpowered protagonists in future Resident Evil games is intriguing, it could potentially divide the fanbase and compromise the series’ emphasis on horror and firearms.
Resident Evil has always been willing to explore different genres and challenge the expectations of its fanbase. While the series has primarily focused on horror, the return to this genre in recent entries has been well-received. However, if the Shadows of Rose DLC is a preview of what’s to come, the franchise may never be the same.
Shadows of Rose was intended to serve as a conclusion to the Winters family’s story, allowing Rosemary to meet her father, Ethan, and giving closure to fans. It is uncertain if the time jump seen in the DLC will be maintained in Resident Evil 9, but it would seem wasteful if Rose’s abilities were designed without a future superpowered protagonist in mind. However, relying on superpowered protagonists is not something the franchise should heavily lean on.
While introducing superpowers to the series wouldn’t be absurd, it would mark a significant shift in direction. Rose’s abilities were implemented in a way that remained faithful to the series’ resource management mechanics and survival-horror gameplay. However, allowing future protagonists in Resident Evil 9 to have their own abilities could be an intriguing opportunity for Capcom. It is likely that these abilities would stem from the Mold, a source of bioweapons seen in previous games.
However, diving headlong into superpowered encounters could alienate a significant portion of the fanbase, particularly if it means sacrificing survival-horror mechanics for more action-focused set pieces. While some fans may welcome this change, it is important to consider the structure and context of the installment. Capcom has built a strong fanbase with their recent Resident Evil remakes and focus on horror, and transitioning to superpowers instead of firearms could be jarring for them.
Shadows of Rose successfully implemented Rose’s abilities within the context of the DLC, but future stories would need to match that level of quality if superpowers were to become a common element in the survival-horror franchise. It is crucial to avoid making the superpowers overpowered and to maintain a balance with other gameplay mechanics. The introduction of eerie and supernatural creatures as a byproduct of the superpowers adds an interesting element to the series, but it could also complicate the explanation of enemy origins.
While Resident Evil 9 is rumored to be in development, it remains to be seen how Capcom will navigate the potential inclusion of superpowers. As the franchise moves forward, it is important for Capcom to consider the expectations of the fanbase and to find a balance between innovation and staying true to the series’ roots in horror and firearms.