Resident Evil 7: Biohazard looks to change a lot with the series making it nearly unrecognisable, though Resident Evil 4 had just as many differences and turned out to be spectacular. These developments could be a welcome addition to a beloved franchise. After the backlash from Resident Evil 5 and 6 it’s understandable Capcom are looking to mix things up, but which character will lead them into this new style?
From the trailers so far it seems like a guy named Ethan is going to be the main protagonist. His aim is most likely to search for the woman speaking on the recording during the trailer. So, who is this guy? Well, with the game feeling completely different from previous titles and Capcom’s love of using their already developed characters, it’d make sense to be someone we all know and love. The best way to ease the changes is a familiar face. Although, I’m sure most will agree it’d be good to see someone other than Chris, Leon, or Jill. At the moment they seem to be getting all the limelight. That doesn’t leave a lot of people. However, there is someone who could fill this void and has not been seen since Resident Evil Zero: Billy Coen.
At the end of Resident Evil Zero Billy goes into hiding after Rebeca claims he died during the events at Arklay Mountains. Since then, we’ve not had so much as a ‘how’d you do?’ from him. Obviously, he can’t be running around in some town still using the name Billy, as using your real name goes against rule one of going into hiding. Well, I assume it’s the first rule, as I’ve never had to do it. Anyway, this clears up the name issue.
It is a little odd that Capcom have stayed away from him seeing his vast popularity. I suppose the biological warfare attacks are now heavily reported on and getting involved would reveal his location, oh, and the fact he’s not dead. Still, this story looks like it is on a smaller scale. The picture of an Umbrella helicopter and the phone call (people are assuming it’s Ada on the phone) would imply the dastardly pharmaceutical company will be involved. It still looks like a small, unknown village that won’t be in the press’ glare.
So, if this is going on in a small town, it’s unlikely one of the regulars would be sent to investigate. Yet, Billy could have a reason to. Maybe he took up residence nearby and there have been several disappearances. His partner tries to find out what is happening and is captured, forcing Billy to get involved. This would give the game a chance to scale back the action and give him a good reason to get involved. It also would help explain why the government wouldn’t be getting involved, as they are unaware this is happening.
Then again, both of the protagonists could be new, and the familiar face could be Rebecca Chambers. She could be sent to just look into the reports of so many missing people. She might not be used as a playable character but someone you cross paths with occasionally. Rebecca is long overdue for a return, and there have already been some hints. She was playable in Resident Evil 5′s Mercenaries and then in the 3DS Mercenaries game. It is plausible she is only intended for this, but what a waste it’d be. A fair amount of effort would have gone into making her new models, so why would they continue to leave her as a character for a mini-game?
The remaster of Resident Evil Zero was recently released, and this brought the Billy and Rebecca duo back into our minds and hearts. It could have been a way to boost their popularity again before Resident Evil 7, though that’s a very hopeful link. We could very well see neither of these characters. Leon’s voice actor, Matt Mercer, has said that he is not going to be in the game. In the interview with GameSpot he also said that Capcom was scaling back on the use of regular characters. This could still include Billy or Rebecca as they are hardly regular. Though, this does suggest the game could have an entirely new cast.