Resident Evil 7 remains to be a controversial game in 2017. This is not because of its scary nature, but its impact in the franchise. Its “image” as a reinvention of the brand remains etched in the minds of players who finished the game.
It can be remembered that it was teased way back that Resident Evil 7 will be a drastic departure in the series. Capcom also said the game will go back to “its roots.” And the company delivered, with others saying the game actually took some elements of the cancelled Silent Hills Playable Teaser.
However, players of the game will understand that the game – especially its story – remains a confusing element in the overall Resident Evil narrative. Just how does Resident Evil 7 fit in the franchise and its universe? While Capcom has not released any official threads, these are theories that make the most sense.
Resident Evil 7: Who Is Redfield?
Fans who have not yet finished the game should be advised that this section going forward will have spoilers. This is especially for the ending of the game that ties all the loose ends. Players will remember that the game’s primary nemesis is a child called Evelyn, who is in fact a Bioweapon.
Ethan’s wife, Mia, was thought to be deceased but was in fact the Bioweapon’s “guardian.” Evelyn can force people to “like” her using her abilities, which transformed the Baker family into monstrosities. While this concept is similar to Parasite Eve, the ending – which has Evelyn take on a massive form – is reminiscent of classic Resident Evil games.
However, connections go deeper than that. In the ending, an injured Ethan is rescued by a special team aboard a helicopter. The surprising twist is that the man who rescued him was someone named “Redfield.” It is unknown at this point if Redfield is in fact Chris Redfield, one of the main protagonists of the series.
According to Tech Times, the subtle references can be found all over the game. For instance, this new Redfield character is aboard a helicopter brandishing a new Umbrella Corporation logo. Umbrella is the pharmaceutical organization responsible for developing the zombie plague in the previous games.
Interestingly, the weapon that defeats the final boss is something called the Albert-01R handgun. This pays homage to Albert Wesker, the primary antagonist of the series. He was destroyed in Resident Evil 5 – or was he?
Other teasers also included a book called The Unveiled Abyss by Clive R. O’Brian, the director of the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSSA). The BSSA is in fact the organization Chris Redfield and other protagonists are working for in other games. Another special mention is the article that can be found next to the shotgun. It was written by Alyssa Ashcroft, a writer for Raccoon Press who also appeared in Resident Evil Outbreak.
Games Radar said the game was such a success because of how it paid homage to both classic and new trends in horror found in media. The scares themselves and the feeling of “helplessness” reinforced the need to survive the game. The game’s commitment to being a Resident Evil game also cemented its popularity with fans, despite its “differences” with the main games.
As it stands, the evidence in the game only confirms homages to the previous entries in the franchise. However, Capcom has not confirmed anything as of the moment, especially with regard to the items’ relations to the previous games. On the off-chance that these are all in fact canon, then RE 7 can be a soft reboot.
Piecing It All Together
This means unlike a totally “new” franchise like DmC: Devil May Cry, RE 7 rebrands the franchise without changing its beginnings. This means the outbreak in Raccoon City in Resident Evil 2 and 3 happened, and Leon S. Kennedy explored a growing virus in a village in Spain, among others. However, the “reboot” happens when RE 7 changed the mechanics of some aspects of the plot — in this case, the monsters.
Unlike other Resident Evil games, the potential “soft” reboot had more tenacious monsters that are harder to beat. There were also less action sequences, and they introduced a “naive” protagonist, which is a good gateway for both new and veteran players to get a taste of the rebranded franchise.
This can also mean that a lot of plot points can be established from RE 7. For instance, Umbrella Corporation may be rebranded as a “good” organization after its not-so-good reputation. New “benevolent” leadership may have other people who still want to use the corporation for evil means, which can be an interesting subplot.
If Redfield is in fact Chris Redfield, then it is interesting to see just how he joined Umbrella. Another subplot is to see just what becomes of Ethan after the game. Regardless, only the upcoming updates will tell what will happen in the game’s future.