Interview with Jun Takeuchi
(Famitsu 2008)

Progress on bio5 (RE5)

Finally we have the whole graphics system up and running. From here, we can at last concentrate on the game system and adjust the balance.

Six months ago, when we last gave an update, we had just got all the basic graphical elements together.

Now we are in the process of checking each individual part of the game and making sure it measures up, as well as fine-tuning all the graphical elements.

This time in “bio 5” we have a huge range of different situations.

The original “bio 1” followed a system which limited you one location, pretty much keeping you in the mansion. This time we’ve really tried to take the player outside as much as possible, so there are ton of variations, with the weather, the passage of time and other variables. We’ve really come a long way and made a lot of new situations compared to half a year ago.

The use of light

When we first started out to make “bio 5”, we a lot of discussions within the team as to where we should set the game. Some felt that we should create something with the traditional dark, foreboding atmosphere we are used to. As a next-gen game, others felt we needed to do something completely new. So we had these two completely opposing opinions.

And on top of that, there was the story to follow. We settled on the fact that we really wanted to show the origins of the virus. So for the setting we thought, how about using the place where humankind was born?. Well, I’m not a scientist, so I don’t know how things might change in the future, but we thought we would use Africa, which is now called the birthplace of humanity, as the model. That’s how we came to use a place in Africa as the setting for “bio 5”.

However, in doing that, we had to set the game somewhere bright. Up to now, “light” was never a factor in any of the “biohazard” games, so we knew it was going to be a bit of a challenge. Of course, being a next-gen game, we also saw it as good chance to create something different. Up until now, computer graphics have been good at doing ”dark”, or places where light is very distinct, but there’s only so much you can do with that. I’ve seen a lot of western developers who’ve used “light” as a motif in their games, and I’m always keeping my eye on many different games, but I still believe that we at Capcom are the best.

From the full-on way in which we’ve approached incorporating light into the game, I think you can see a definite difference in the quality of our work, compared to other companies. However, we also realized that we were treading a fine line, because if you put too much emphasis on light, on if things are properly visible in the light or so on, you lose focus on the game itself. We wanted to maintain the “biohazard”-esque feel of the game and of course, when you create light, you automatically create shadow.

When you think about it, this concept of light and darkness has always been a theme of “biohazard”. In all of the games up until now, light and darkness have been used as abstract concepts. This time we wanted to realistically create that light and shadow, and use it in combination with the abstract concept. You could say that we’re creating a game that is based around light and darkness.

There’s far more to light and darkness than just contrast. When you’re in a bright place, it’s really difficult to see into the shadow. Your pupil contracts when there is a lot of light, but this makes it hard to see when you suddenly enter a dark space. The fact that you can’t see into the shadow is nothing major for a “biohazard” title, but for any other game it would make creating the game itself very difficult. You can’t see your enemies, you can’t see any items, you can’t see your surroundings, but for a biohazard game, that is a quintessential part of the game itself. By focusing on that element, we’re able to escalate the player’s fear of the darkness.

Stepping into the shadows from a place where your eyes have adapted to light, in those few moments until your eyes adapt, you’re playing a game where you can’t see. It’s those few seconds when you can’t see that really fans the fires of panic. We’re working really hard to incorporate this element into how you fight the enemies in the game.

Bio 5 game system

The basic game system is based on the same one Shinji Mikami created for “bio 4”. It’s universally recognized as an excellent system, so we decided to stick with it.

However, just having that by itself would be a bit of a letdown for our fans, so we’re planning to include a system that is unique to “bio 5”. “biohazard” is known for being able to keep up with the times, and we’re doing our best to continue that tradition.

Chris Redfield

For those of us on the staff of “biohazard 1”, Chris was a very memorable character. This time we got a change to explore him in a way we haven’t been able to do in these past ten years, to find out what kind of a person he is, what he has done in the past. That’s what we had in mind when we started writing the scenario

The story says that STARS, the organization Chris was affiliated with, is already defunct. So what happened to STARS, and the details of what happened to Chris in those missing ten years, is something we wanted to explore. And ten years later, what Chris is doing in “bio 5”, and how he will bring things to a conclusion, is one of the big themes in the game. Everything he’d experienced in the past ten years, we wanted to be able to allow the player to experience as well, so we’re preparing a few ways to encourage the player to do just that.

Weapon variations

As you have probably already seen from the trailer, you’ll be fighting a lot of enemies in this game. “biohazard” was originally based somewhat on the idea of fighting enemies with a limited amount of weaponry. But when the number of enemies gets this large, things would be a bit tough with just the handguns and shotguns that we’ve used up until now, so have greatly increased the number of weapon variations.

When “bio 1” was released, it was a big hit with certain types of fans who liked to see real-life weapons and guns in the game.

We changed thing a little in “bio 4” where the emphasis was more on original guns, but a lot fans have been saying that they would like to see more realistic guns, so we are doing our best to create something where you will able to use mostly realistic weaponry.

Fighting elements

There’s no hand-to-hand fighting system in the game per se, but in “bio 4” we had the “action button”. This time we’ve tried to expand on that idea, and increase the number of variations. Using that, you can experience these hand-to-hand combat scenes, and with the addition of this new form of action, it becomes an easier-to-play, more enjoyable game.

Message for the fans

For those whose who have been waiting a long time for “biohazard 5”: with this game we’re at last been able to use the power of the nest-gen consoles, and everyone on the project agrees that it is shaping up to be something incredible. From the graphics, to the gameplay, to the storyline, we think we have reached the pinnacle of “biohazard” games with this title.

The many fans of the “biohazard” series are expecting a lot different things from this game, but I think it’ll be something that will live up to as many of those expectations as possible.

We have plans for a “biohazard degeneration” movie to be released soon, and to tie that, we want to delve even deeper into the story of each separate character from the “biohazard” series. From here on out, I think fans will gradually be able to get a clearer picture what “biohazard 5” is all about.

Over the next year, I hope you’ll continue to read all about the developments in Weekly Famitsu Magazine.

A final word from mr. takeuchi:

Wait for the media summit!!!

:: The Video Interview (2 part videos)::

You can see the complete video interview below (please wait for each video to load up):

Video #1

Video #2

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