Resident Evil has traditionally been a science-fiction action-thriller, a trend that still persists to some extent. However, the recent installment, Resident Evil Village, has taken a notable step towards fantasy, albeit achieved through science-fiction mechanisms. The creatures Ethan encounters, initially assumed to be werewolves and vampires, are explained by the presence of the Cadou parasite and the Mold. This fusion of fantasy tropes with a foundation in science fiction is a commendable move, especially given the frequent intertwining of these genres.
Similar to how Resident Evil effectively merged horror and action, it now seamlessly blends science fiction with fantasy. While the conclusion of the Winters saga raises questions about the franchise's direction, the experience of battling mythological creatures in a rustic village was captivating. However, it is noteworthy that protagonists like Ethan and Chris confront these formidable adversaries with the familiar array of powerful firearms, a staple in the franchise. Considering the fantasy aesthetic, there's an opportunity for Resident Evil 9 to enhance the player's equipment to better suit this new setting.
The mismatch between Resident Evil's weaponry and its fantasy theme is evident in Village. The absence of crossbows, swords, and medieval tools is highlighted as a potential oversight. Introducing these weapons could have added a unique flavor to the gameplay without compromising the series' identity. Imagining how survival-horror dynamics would evolve with crossbows having limited ammo and slow manual reloading or a sword replacing the standard knife in specific scenarios adds an intriguing dimension to the experience. Although incorporating these weapons might be considered a gimmick, the lack of weapon diversity in Village appears as a missed opportunity, one that Resident Evil 9 might also overlook.
Resident Evil 9's reluctance to diversify its weapon arsenal is likened to the consistent weapon choices in Monster Hunter. Despite the drastic change in scenery, the series seems hesitant to explore new options. While rumors suggest that Resident Evil 9 will continue the fantasy-inspired theme introduced in Village, it remains uncertain whether the weapons will undergo any significant changes. Even if players are equipped with the same firearms, introducing them gradually could maintain a sense of satisfaction.
While there are other important considerations for Capcom, such as the potential inclusion of another Merchant character, the absence of swords or crossbows in Resident Evil 9 may not necessarily impact the overall experience. The fantasy elements introduced in Village may or may not be retained, and the choice of weaponry could be influenced by the direction the developers decide to take in the next installment.