Lack of music.
How can you have a horror game with no sounds? I know some people may find it distracting, but at least make it optional in that case. Most of the music is low level anyway, but it really adds to the mood. The same with the camera viewpoints. But if you don't enjoy first person, how about third person? Make it where players have a choice.
Keeps everyone feeling happy. Right? Gets you more sales. Right?
When you play the RE2 remake, you can hear a pin drop. It's too quiet. I want to hear eerie piano music, or a string orchestra. Not just the sound of my character breathing heavily.
You see, I hated that weird looking vendor in RE4 because the idea of older survival horror games from the golden age of the genre at least, was that you basically found things mainly by being all alone, while perhaps occasionally getting the odd bit of generous grenade launcher ammo, herbs, or something from a companion, who just so happens to be close at hand. Then you split up again for a while, going off to investigate something. As was the case with Barry Burton, when you randomly met up with him in the mansion.
This was only occasionally. But in later RE games, you had somebody helping you most of the time, such as Piers, Jake, or Sheva. Even what would often occur, is that NPC personnel like civilians or soldiers could aid you in battling enemies. It ruined the atmosphere.
The atmosphere was hereby retained by being by yourself, and you found all sorts of fascinating surprises along the way. It was a great feeling. Unlike nowadays, where you just shoot everything and loot wooden boxes, and Bob's your uncle. It's too effortless in that regard.
Starting with RE4, you can quickly buy tons of heavy artillery for a price. Grenades. Submachine guns. Even rocket launchers. It's nuts. Not to mention doing wrestling moves and being like Jackie Chan with high impact karate kicks, which was neat, but too silly looking.
You can then effortlessly kill everything in your path, making it not remotely creepy in the slightest. It's too action heavy, and while there's no denying it's a great feeling when you blast half a dozen cultists at once with an oil lamp hanging overhead, it deliberately betrayed the iconic tension of those prior games in many cases.
It seems the producers of Silent Hill
just forgot the point of Pyramid Head to begin with, and just used him in the movies and had similar looking bosses appearing in other games, because he was considered to be the main scary villain, of sorts. But they failed to understand his genuine purpose was to punish James Sunderland, all because of how he treated his late wife, Mary. He ended up becoming a cheesy, popcorn bad guy. They just put him in the films to put asses in seats, I reckon.
Characters getting redesigned, or too confident.
Using iconic characters keeps fans happy. I agree. But in horror games, it's way more appealing to control a mysterious newbie who is just a normal bloke looking for a loved one, or who is just wanting to get out of dodge, and also being a person who isn't a combat veteran armed to the teeth with weapons, so you can relate more to someone inexperienced with encountering monsters, ghosts, bioweapons, or whatever it is, because he is just like you in a sense.
Chris and Jill probably look like pensioners by now. But they've been making a career out of slaying creatures. They're familiar with it all.
The thing with RE games, is that Capcom uses the main heroes too often, and their experience just makes these games feel like a walk in the park. Leon Kennedy is in all of the animated movies too, serving as a glorified stuntman. They aren't scary. They are entertaining, however. And sure, that is okay.
Or if they want to use the original characters, look at how they looked like before throughout their prior adventures, so you don't ruin them when you hire the wrong looking actors to portray them using the RE Engine, for the current installments. After all, Chris in RE7 looks bloody terrible.
Of all the guys they could hire to portray Chris, they picked whoever that dude was. He looked like he had just graduated from a university out in Sacramento. Too young. Didn't suit the role at all.
Let there be light.
OK. Why make everything so damn dark, that you can barely see a thing ahead of your flashlight? You had light and darkness in good measure in the old RE games, so you could see everything around you most of the time. Items would also sparkle for you sometimes. Other times, you had to search a bit longer. But that's where I'm coming back and saying the old RE games liked to surprise you with randomly placed goodies.
Now these games are blanketed in darkness half of the time, with minimal lighting, and quite possibly the worst zombies ever, where even a well placed headshot with auto aiming on is still ridiculously ineffective. WTF?
Also, don't keep adding in antagonists that don't feel characteristic of RE games, or repeating boss fights between separate scenarios. Because the last time I checked, RE wasn't about living puppets, robots, 9 feet high vampires, werewolves, and the Buster Bloodvessel, Bad Manners frontman, look alike.
God, it's not hard. Just stick to the basic formula of what made the RE franchise great to start off with. Viruses. Creepy environments. Zombies. Umbrella. But please don't use bizarre venues that look like they're from a 1930's era, Universal film set.
My God. It's way too zany.