How Resident Evil 9 Can Thrive in an Open World

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From scary hallways to open-world nightmares

Story Highlights
  • Resident Evil 9 is rumored to go open-world, filled with horror around every corner.
  • Classic resource scarcity and heart-pounding tension should be preserved alongside open-world exploration.
  • Leaks suggest an entirely new narrative for this open-world adventure.

With rumors swirling and leaks of an open world for Resident Evil 9, a collective intrigue has captured the fanbase. Will this be a bold, innovative step or a slip for a franchise that’s reached a staggering 154 million total sales? As a longtime fan myself, I’m highly optimistic. 

Resident Evil has constantly reinvented itself. From the pre-rendered backgrounds of the original to the action-heavy elements of Resident Evil 5, the series has adapted different styles. While the recent remake of Resident Evil 4 was phenomenal, achieving 7 million sales, and rumors of a Resident Evil 5 remake are exciting, true innovation lies in pushing boundaries. 

An open world offers a chance to redefine the survival horror experience completely. Here’s why Resident Evil 9 can thrive in an open-world format.

Why it Matters: Resident Evil 9’s open-world setting could redefine the survival horror genre by offering a vast, suspenseful world to explore while staying true to Resident Evil’s core tension and resource management elements.

A Fresh Take on Survival Horror

Resident Evil 9 is rumored to be in a new location with new monsters in the West. A new biohazard outbreak tore through it, transforming it into a ghost town and leaving nothing but wreckage. 

Now, you must explore these abandoned streets with creepy deserted buildings, trying to investigate the cause while surviving with scarce resources. Many people think Chris Redfield will return as the protagonist. However, I want Leon Kennedy to return as we believe he’s the most iconic character in the series.

The primary scares here wouldn’t be those creepy monsters you see coming from a mile away. The absolute terror here is the constant feeling of “What if something is hiding behind that tree?” This means it wouldn’t just be about conquering an open-world map but staying alive in a world that feels too real and dangerous.

Resource Management on a Grand Scale

The stress of finding enough stuff to survive made Resident Evil so remarkable. Now, imagine the open world as one giant puzzle. Ammo, healing items, and crafting supplies are hidden everywhere, forcing you to plan your exploration and fights carefully. 

Just because it’s an open world doesn’t mean you can wander around without a plan. It can be a whole new way to think about managing resources, a core part of what makes Resident Evil fun and exciting.

Resident Evil 9 rumored to be open world
Resident Evil 9 open world would be hella scary! – Image By GamesHorizon

Environmental Storytelling

Open worlds offer a unique opportunity for environmental storytelling. Every crumbling building could hold a piece of the story of how the outbreak started. 

You could find deserted survivor camps that tell the sad stories of people who didn’t make it. There could even be hidden research labs tucked away, filled with stuff that makes you want to puke. 

This wouldn’t be just a place to shoot zombies. This open world will be a new narrative waiting for you to unravel. Pretty cool, right?

The Weight of Choices

Open worlds often present players with branching narratives. Let’s say you’re out exploring and suddenly come across a group of wounded survivors. Helping them might cost you your precious herbs and meds. Or do you play it safe, focus on your own survival, and keep moving? 

These kinds of tough calls are what open-world games are all about, and they could totally change how the story unfolds in Resident Evil 9. Helping survivors could lead you to hidden stashes of supplies or even new allies.

On the other hand, those inhabitants may be a trap, and helping them uses up resources you desperately need later. Your choices really matter, shaping the world and the story you experience. That’s what gets me excited about this the most!

Challenges and Concerns

An open world is excellent but might feel empty without meaningful content. What I love about Resident Evil is that claustrophobic feeling, that slow, tense, and heart-pounding exploration where you never know what might jump you around the corner. That can’t disappear, you know? The open world should enhance this experience, not replace it. That’s how I see it working best.

Another concern is the lore. Leaks are saying Resident Evil 9 concludes the story from Resident Evil 7, the game that saved this horror franchise from dying! Don’t get me wrong, I’m hyped for a new storyline, but with Capcom juggling five other Resident Evil projects, how can they compose something fresh for RE 9 that does justice to RE 7’s legacy and keeps the franchise alive? It’s a tough challenge, but one I hope they’re up for.

A Bold New Chapter

The key is keeping things tense. RE9 needs to keep that constant pressure, that fear of running out of ammo or healing in the middle of nowhere. Exploration needs to be meaningful, too, not just loot and shoot. 

Imagine finding clues scattered around countless points of interest in this massive world, compiling the story as you go. That’s what would make Resident Evil 9 truly special: a frightening, suspenseful tale wrapped up in a vast, open world to explore. 

Resident Evil 9 going open world might be a risky move. However, Capcom has always been good at changing things up. They have ample time with a rumored 2025 release, and I’m hyped to see what they come up with. Let’s hope Capcom pulls it off; it could be the scariest and most engaging Resident Evil yet!

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