One of the biggest (if not biggest) horror franchises in gaming is now in its 16th year of apocalyptic action. Here, Resident Evil 6 producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi sounds off on his new game’s main menace, the always lovable zombie.
GEEK: The undead are more popular than ever. Does your approach to making a game around a zombie attack get influenced much by this latest flood of pop-culture zombies?
Kobayashi: The short answer is no, there’s no direct influence. In Resident Evil 4 and 5, we had no zombies, so it’s something the team had been looking to put into the game especially since the it morphed into a third-person shooter format. The team felt they were prepared to incorporate zombies into this type of Resident Evil game. We’re really happy zombies are enjoying a resurgence in popularity and hope that people that like zombies enjoy playing this game, but it wasn’t because of that resurgence that we put zombies into the game.
What makes zombies such a frightening, classic part of the horror genre?
The lasting appeal of zombies and what makes them scary is the fact that they used to be human. Zombies attack us in our daily life and interfere with our normal routines. So when they upset what we feel to be normal, it’s frightening. The thing about zombies is that they are an infection, and unlike normal monsters, you can imagine how the spread of zombies would impact society and a zombie outbreak would upset the norm. Because you can understand what that would mean for you, they’re scarier than other monsters.
How has the general idea of the zombie changed or evolved from Resident Evil to Resident Evil 6?
We started working on Resident Evil in 1996 and now Resident Evil 6 is coming out in 2012. During that time, zombies have appeared in a lot of media. But I don’t think that the motif of zombies has changed much in that time. What has changed however is the presentation of the zombies themselves. For example, 28 Days Later, introduced us to really aggressive zombies. I believe zombies are flexible. You can change their presentation but still keep the essence of what they are. I believe the zombies in Resident Evil 6 maintain what is best about zombies, but we’re adding something new to them as well.
If you’re endeavoring to survive a zombie attack, what’s the first thing you do?
First off, I’d be scared as hell. When I watch zombie movies, I often imagine what I’d do if I was in that predicament and the thing I always come back to is that I would lock myself in a room and try to hide there the entire time. Unfortunately, the people that do that in zombie movies never survive. So, I would probably end up dying.