An eagle-eyed Resident Evil fan may have uncovered evidence of a scrapped Resident Evil 7 concept that would’ve had us playing as the duo of Leon Kennedy and Sherry Birkin.
According to Twitter user AestheticGamer1, the original concept for Resident Evil 7 would have centered around a post-Resident Evil 6 Leon Kennedy and Sherry Birkin. Instead of having to repeatedly reattach Ethan Winter’s moldy hand while undergoing the horrors in “Resident Evil: Bayouhazard,” players would have taken control of Leon and Sherry as the two battled hordes of zombies in a town similar to Venice, Italy. According to AestheticGamer1, the scrapped RE7 game featured a Telltale Games-inspired choice mechanic that, during crucial moments, would’ve stopped time and led to branching pathways in the game’s level design.
Evidence for Ryan’s RE7 concept art theory, which they’d previously dubbed Resident Evil 6.5, is based on the portfolio page of a Ukrainian artist named Sergey Ka. AestheticGamer1 notes that Ka has made concept art for every Resident Evil game dating back to Resident Evil 4 (the original, not the upcoming remake of the same name), including Resident Evil 7 as we know it and another scrapped project that Ka designated “Resident Evil 3.5.”
Kotaku reached out to Capcom and Ka for comment but didn’t receive a response by the time of publication.
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Resident Evil 6 was fun, you guys are just mean
While what we ended up getting with Resident Evil 7 is by far the best possible outcome considering Capcom returned to its survival horror roots—and with the added bonus of a terrifying first-person perspective—I can’t help but long for this allegedly scrapped RE7 concept because of how much fun I had with RE6.
In case you’ve never experienced that black sheep of Capcom’s survival horror franchise, allow me to regale you with how this terrible misstep became the definitive “so bad it’s good” video game in my household.
RE6 had players follow four interwoven story campaigns between Leon and Helena (arguably the best), Chris and Piers (definitely the worst), Sherry and Jake Wesker (lowkey pretty decent), and Ada Wong (forgettable, but more in line with the classic RE gameplay experience).
Admittedly, communicating to a hardcore survival horror fan that RE6 is actually good is like describing an avant-garde piece of art to a dog. Not to call all of you guys dogs, but you haven’t been cursed with the amount of brain rot RE6 has given me to appreciate the vibrant colors of this dumpster fire of a game. Hence, the dog comparison, because they can’t see colors, you see. Moving on.
Read More: Resident Evil 6 Isn’t That Bad
If you’ve had the misfortune of witnessing the over-the-top Resident Evil CG animated films, specifically Resident Evil: Vendetta, RE6 is jam-packed with just as much ridiculous turn-your-brain-off action sequences and laughable story twists. The key difference is that you get to take control of these wannabe Marvel movie extras through a flurry of absurd quick-time events and battles with kaiju-sized zombies. Ultimately, any fun one can have while playing either of the RE6 campaigns grows exponentially upon adding a buddy; Resident Evil 6 couch co-op is hands-down the most entertaining gaming experience I’ve had in my life. Hell, even late-night show host Conan O’Brien had a laugh with RE6.
Read More: Resident Evil 7 Producer Explains How They Made The Game So Scary
While the idea of playing as Leon and Sherry Birkin (self-healing bio-freak edition) is rather tempting, I think we can all agree that Capcom’s decision to leave RE6 behind, at least in terms of the polarizing game’s gameplay mechanics and out-there storyline, was the best choice in the long run. Like, by the end of the game the entire planet had been glassed by the C-virus and the RE6 cast’s weird version of heroism, so Capcom would’ve had a hard time writing around all that nonsense with a direct sequel.
As you can tell, the newly discovered RE7 concept art has me waxing nostalgic and pondering what could’ve been. But as for what actually will be, Resident Evil 4 (le remake) is slated to release on March 24 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, and Xbox Series X/S. Oh there’s also gonna be a new Resident Evil CG animated movie called Resident Evil: Death Island starring Leon, Chris Redfield, and Jill Valentine that’ll release sometime this summer. I’m sure at least one of those will be good.