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How Humans Became the Real Horrors of ‘Resident Evil 7’

We speak to the game’s producer and director about how a less-is-more approach makes for a more relatable and scarier experience.

by Mike Diver
26 January 2017, 12:02pm

"I think the scariest thing in the world is other people."

In just one line, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard producer Masachika Kawata has explained why his new game leaves behind so many of the monstrous mutations and giant bugs of previous entries in Capcom's survival horror series. Underneath the fantasy trappings that have been a franchise staple since that first zombie slowly turned and stared right through you, there's always been a human element to the antagonism—Umbrella wasn't founded by a foul fiend of the undead variety, after all. But here, more than ever, the real horror awaiting the player is decidedly, yet differently, human.

You'll have seen them in the trailers, on the posters, in so much of the promotional imagery: This game is all about the Bakers. The family that owns that house—or rather, the estate—that the player-controlled Ethan Winters finds himself searching from creepy, creaking attic to stinking, flooded basement, ostensibly in pursuit of his missing (presumed dead) wife, is the infected lifeblood of this first-person experience.

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