Ethan Winters, the Ordinary Protagonist? [Resident Evil 7/RE7]

Ethan Winters stands out in stark contrast to many of his predecessors. Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield were military experts with knowledge in guns and already equipped survival skills. But why would Capcom choose a man like Ethan Winters? Why someone so simple?

Resident Evil’s Trend on Protagonists

Resident Evil (RE) is summarized up in five words: crazy corporation with angry zombies. And when there are angry zombies out to feast on your guts and brains, you have to know how to use a gun. Shooting a gun, whacking them with a pipe – these essential to not die.Especially if you’re someone like Ethan Winters. Over the years, the RE franchise used protagonists that can take hits. These protagonists jump in with guns firing and everything else blazing. There’s Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, Claire Redfield and others. It’s a whole selection of others that at least know how to shoot a gun.

However, there’s been a slight change of plans for Resident Evil 7. Instead of any sort of trained ex-military personnel, Capcom throws their bets into an ordinary man. An ordinary and hapless man named Ethan Winters. And this poor, unfortunate soul just took the highway to hell the moment he received a call from his allegedly dead wife Mia Winters.

Who is Ethan Winters?

Ethan Winters is the new protagonist to RE’s series. As the main of the most-awaited Resident Evil 7, most people expected him to be some rugged and kick-butt protagonist. But that’s not the case; Ethan Winters apparently is an ordinary man who lived a quiet life. Nothing too fancy. He probably had a 9AM-6PM day job like most people. He probably takes the subway to fight through the traffic. For all you know, he drops his forehead onto his desk on a daily basis out of frustration.

But despite being ordinary, he finds himself on a car on the highway to hell. All it takes is a phone call from his allegedly dead wife, Mia Winters.

So why someone so… ordinary?

While this can be seen as part of a marketing strategy, another way to look at it could involve psychologically immersing the player into the game. The player, like any other gamer, has basic survival knowledge similar to the character. Maybe some cooking knowledge, basic chemical knowledge, and at least know how a gun functions. And Ethan, who seemingly has no relation to the corporation of Umbrella, has the same skill set. So, he can relate to the player to a certain extent. An ordinary man like Ethan Winters is unknowingly dragged into a world full of suspense and terror.

Coincidence? Maybe?

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