I disappeared for a while. Real life got a bit too real. I’m hoping to be back now for at least a while.
Considering last week was E3, I feel in the post-convention depression I should talk about at least one of the games we got something out of. This won’t be so much a review as it will be just a discussion of my thoughts on it.
Anyway! The basics of the complete game are:
Title: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Genre: Survival horror
Release Date: 24th January 2017 (supposedly)
The gameplay demo for RE7 was released just after or during Sony’s press conference at E3 and PlayStation Plus players could play it immediately. I’m going to stop here to have a disclaimer: I have not played the demo but have watched a fair few YouTubers play it, for different endings and different play styles.
Let’s get the elephant out of the room here and acknowledge that this demo was clearly inspired by PT. Heavily inspired. Capcom saw how well it did and sat around a table and said, “Why don’t we do this but…with weapons?!” and they all clapped and cheered over how great the idea was.
I’m not saying that that’s bad. A lot of horror creators have taken inspiration from PT because if we’re all honest with ourselves: it was scary. You didn’t want to go through the next door because even though you knew it was going to be the same, you didn’t want to risk it being different. The voices and writings appearing at random intervals, Lisa slamming the bathroom door, an aborted fetus in the sink. All of these things were little details that made that demo scary.
But I’m sorry to say that Resident Evil 7‘s demo is not scary. There is no fear factor wandering around that house.
The people I watched playing it, yes, had certain moments of breathlessness but not outright fear. There was nobody sat in the chair saying “I do not want to go through that door” or “I don’t want to go up that staircase“. They all continued moving through the house and most wanted to continue exploring.
I mean there had to be a reason for that dummy finger… Right?
One video I watched, the player ignored the moaning/grumbling from behind the TV room door and just talked over it. Moments that should have been chilling just weren’t.
Maybe this is psychological and it’s because as a series Resident Evil went downhill very quickly, and after the abomination of a game that was Resident Evil 6, fans aren’t frightened of this series anymore. It’s like a small child dressing up as a zombie and telling “BOO!”, you might jump or have a small step backwards but underneath the make up you know that they’re just another third person shooter trying to play horror.
I’m glad that Capcom have finally decided to go back to the horror basics but they can’t be too disappointed that fans are sceptical especially when their demo idea has already been done…in the past year.
Moving on as I don’t want to dwell on the not scary thing.
Gameplay looks solid. The inventory system looks similar to that of older RE games, especially the briefcase from RE4. I liked the addition of assigning items to buttons as nothing was worse (to me) than in older RE games when you were fighting an enemy and you might as well have said to them “hang on I just have to rearrange my pockets because I’m out of ammo!“.
The first person perspective is obviously very new to main-game Resident Evil and maybe it will be a nice change. Though there is a nagging sense in the back of my mind that Capcom have only decided on first person so that they can take advantage of VR.
That then begs the question of: is the HUD going to look similar to that of Umbrella and Darkside Chronicles or will they have an entirely different appearance ready for us?
Overall, I liked the demo.
There are a lot of questions that I want to ask but in time they will be answered: Are the enemies zombies? Is Umbrella coming back and not a knock-off company? Why is none of the demo content or characters going to be in the main game? Are they relevant? Will we see any old faces? How is the VR going to work? And what is the deal with that creepy girl who pops up at every corner of the demo?
As a long-term fan of Resident Evil I’m excited and nervous to see where this new road takes us but Capcom seem confident that this won’t be a repeat of 6. And hey! No quick-time events either!
I say, roll on January 24th. Let’s make Resident Evil great again.
Just please don’t make us jump out of the way of any trains again…