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First Impressions: Resident Evil VII Demo

First Impressions: Resident Evil VII Demo - Preview

by Evan Norris , posted on 15 June 2016 / 8,191 Views

Resident Evil is back! Unveiled at Sony's E3 event on June 14, the newest numbered installment of the long-standing survivor-horror series is hitting store shelves next January. The game is called Resident Evil VII: Biohazard, but it could just as easily be called Resident Evil: REboot. Based on the footage at E3 and the demo offered exclusively to PS+ members, Resident Evil VII looks to be a brand new take on the venerated franchise, without any noticeable connection to the characters, locations, and mythology of Resident Evil.

Nicknamed "Beginning Hour," the RE VII demo lasts for about 15 minutes and is played entirely in first person. The stamp of virtual reality on the game is readily apparent. In fact, the newest Resident Evil seems to have found inspiration in a VR tech demo from E3 2015 called Kitchen, which apparently terrified anyone brave enough to try it. Chris Jager at Kotaku Australia called the Kitchen demo "the most disturbing gaming experience" he's played.

RE7 door

So, the two questions on everyone's mind: how is it, and does it play like Resident Evil? Short answer: it's scary as hell and plays nothing like Resident Evil, past or present. With its first person perspective and heavy sense of dread, RE VII plays similarly to horror games like Amnesia, Outlast, and the Silent Hills teaser demo P.T. There's no combat at all in the demo. There is some light puzzle-solving, but it's rather straightforward and easy.

No matter its divergence from the Resident Evil formula, this new RE game is undeniably spooky. There are a couple of jumps scares here and there, but mostly it relies on dread and fear of the unknown. Using visual and auditory cues, Capcom proves it understands a fundamental truth of terror: our imaginations are scarier than any onscreen monster.

RE7 found footage

But what does all this mean for the franchise moving forward? While it's true that Capcom drifted too far into high-octane action with Resident Evil 5 and 6, the game presented in "Beginning Hour" might represent an overcorrection. There's a fertile middle ground between third-person shooter and first-person horror that still needs to be explored. Time will tell if Resident Evil VII is a one-off experiment or the beginning of a movement that will redefine the series once again.

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Anfebious (on 15 June 2016)

I won't deny it, the demo is spooky. I could even say I was scared at some moments! But the whole idea of changing the game to copy those walking simulator horror games (Amnesia, Outlast, PT) is something I hate. Resident Evil didn't need this...

I have hope though... Maybe we will get weapons on the final game! Sort of like a Resident Evil Gun Survivor, only this time it's a geniunely scary game. I could live with that.

  • +7
Nautilus (on 15 June 2016)

There is "combat" in the demo.You can find an axe and swing it.I mean, there is no enemy as far as we know in the demo, but it goes to show that it WILL have combat

  • +3
johnsobas Nautilus (on 16 June 2016)

if combat was any kind major feature worth talking about it would have been in the demo. Not saying there will be 0 combat but don't get your hopes up when there is 0 combat in the demo.

  • 0
Nautilus Nautilus (on 16 June 2016)

Oh yeah, the combat is next to zero.But the game will have combat.That was already confirmed by the director, and he even said that the demo is just to set the mood.

  • 0
Nautilus Nautilus (on 16 June 2016)

is next to zero in the demo I mean.

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Kowan (on 14 June 2016)

Players have also discovered several different endings depending on the items you discover. It seems they open up new scenes or pathways.

  • +3
umegames Kowan (on 15 June 2016)

Really? it was too scary for me to go back and find something new....that mannequin up stairs....(shivers)

  • 0
Kowan Kowan (on 15 June 2016)

Yes. Actually players have yet to know the purpose of some of the items they found. You can find a fuse to open up the attic and answer a phone. The message on the phone is different depending on how fast you answer it or the things you do, I think. You can also get an axe for an unknown purpose(you can use it to break some mannequins and boxes though). The dummy finger 's purpose has yet to be discovered as well. Also you can catch a glimpse of a ghost girl in specific areas of the house.

  • 0
shikamaru317 Kowan (on 15 June 2016)

There are 5 different endings according to my favorite Youtuber, he heard the devs talking about it,

  • +1
Darwinianevolution (on 15 June 2016)

It's amazing the influence P.T. has had on the horror genre despite the fact it was just a teaser and dissapeared in such a short amount of time. Trully a shame it never revealed its full potential.

  • +2

I think Amnesia had the most influence the last years. It sold quite well, many talked about it and after it we got many more of these games. Maybe even P.T. was only a thing because of it.

  • 0
NightDragon83 (on 15 June 2016)

I would prefer a game done in the style of the first two in the series with a 1st person perspective and more of an emphasis on survival / figuring out how to avoid enemies and solve puzzles. REmake on the GC is still the definitive RE game IMHO.

  • +1
ReimTime (on 15 June 2016)

From a RE n00b: Played it and liked it - a bit surprised at how short it was but I had no idea there were multiple endings. I got the back door ending. It does play a lot like other FP survival horror games (Outlast/PT) but the ability to find and pick up usable items is a notable distinction that I am sure they will expand upon. I suppose this will be the closest thing we get to Silent Hills? Death Stranding won't be here for yeeeaaaarrss and I didn't get the horror vibe from that sooooo........ Anyhow it's on my watchlist

  • 0
TruckOSaurus (on 15 June 2016)

I'm not against this type of game existing but that's not what I want from Resident Evil.

  • 0
Netyaroze (on 15 June 2016)

Great, after 6 I had no hopes but now I might buy it.

  • 0
asqarkabab (on 15 June 2016)

Looks good

  • 0 (on 16 June 2016)

This would be actually something I would consider buying. After 5,l with it's racist black zombie killing spree and it's complete lack of anything but hack and slash, I promised I'd never buy another RE game. It was trash and nothing close to a horror title. More like a mediocre to bad run and gun/hack and slash game.

  • -2

It was set in Africa, it wasn't racist.

  • 0

AH yes, but there was not one white zombie to slaughter!! It was a junk game regardless. There are enough games in that genre

  • 0

But yeah, that aisde, the game was bad.

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