It's fitting that Capcom would reveal the seventh instalment of its once great franchise alongside the much anticipated reveal of Hideo Kojima's latest project, because Resident Evil 7 seems to be a full realisation of what Kojima set out to do with Silent Hills. After years of inferior sequels, HD remasters, and some serious identity issues (a multiplayer shooter?!), the series that popularised survival horror and spawned a generation of imitators is on the brink of fading into irrelevance.
2014's promising 'Playable Teaser' was the perfect antidote to an increasingly bloated and action driven genre, that is of course until it was prematurely cancelled and disowned by Konami. The whole PT debacle still stings for a lot of people, and the recent cancellation of spiritual successor Allison Road served as yet another nail in the coffin of a brave new direction for the survival horror genre. Well, not on Capcom's watch, because Resident Evil 7: Beginning Hour is PT in all but name, even choosing a title that plays around with double meanings (Beginning Hour = Biohazard), and a setting that's both claustrophobic and archetypal of old fashioned horror.
The first thing that's evident when starting the demo is the striking similarity to Silent Hills' teaser. It's clear that Capcom is attempting to capitalise on the popularity of Kojima's experiment, transposing the slow burn chills of the Silent Hill games into the Resident Evil series and giving the muddled franchise a much needed shot in the arm in the process.
From the shift in perspective to the slower pace, this couldn't be further removed from the last decade of Resi games. There is some of the old DNA still present, with item-based puzzles featuring heavily and the setting itself reminiscent of the dank corridors of the Spencer Mansion.
Far from a simple show piece, the demo features different ways to progress that lead to multiple endings. Messing around with player perspective, the narrative shifts in interesting ways, particularly when navigating within found footage, where we encounter the demos only other characters – presenters of a Ghosthunters-style TV show. If the original Resident Evil was an homage to the B-movies of yesteryear, Beginning Hour is a riff on the technically accomplished jump scare factories of modern horror. Here your biggest enemy is the camera, which constantly threatens to reveal a hidden horror around every corner. Thanks to this bold new direction, it hasn't been this nerve shredding to play an RE game since Resident Evil 4 more than a decade ago.
Running on a shiny new engine, simply named the 'Resident Evil Engine', the game looks fantastic, with impressive lighting effects, an atmospheric environment, and the best sound design in a horror game since, well, PT. Beginning Hour is horror gaming as technical spectacle, and it will leave anyone that plays it salivating for the as yet unannounced release date.
True, the demo raises a lot of questions about the future of the franchise, and it remains to be seen whether this is an elaborate experiment that will ultimately not reflect what the full game will be, but it's undeniably brave for Capcom to shake things up this much. Coming out of nowhere, bearing none of the hallmarks of the series, and choosing such an intimate and cryptic location as its setting, it's unclear as to what Resident Evil 7: Beginning Hour actually represents. Based on this evidence alone, though, the final game has the potential to revolutionise the genre all over again.
Have you played the Resident Evil 7 demo yet? Were you impressed with it? Are you hoping that the final game follows this bold new direction? Scream where no one can hear you in the comments section below.
Doesn't Capcom know that having a number within the title is the kiss of death for franchises? See Driv3r and Fant4stic.
This is looking good. A bit too good.
This and the new Zelda game have become my most wanted games now. I love that the Japanese title (Biohazard) has become the universal subtitle now (hopefully).
It doesnt count if they jus color in the number into preexisting letters. It would have to be changed into Residen7 Evil or Resident Evi7 in order to create its own demise.
I cannot wait for this!!! Looks so good! What an unexpected turn Capcom have made!!
I would've picked today to go on holiday! I'll have to play it when I return I guess!
Very smart on Capcom's part knowing how much Konami dropped the ball with Silent Hills.
Canceled next week. But I don't want to be like Silent Hill, I love RE but I really can't stand SH so I hope that's different.
I'm all for it. This is gonna be GREAT!
@Frank90 I think it will be more like the early Resident Evil games than like Silent Hill.
Ah! I'll buy it at a high price!
holy shitaki mushrooms!!!!!!!! this whole PT thing is obviously becoming "a thing" and im perfectly happy with as many "clones" as i can get my hands on. this looks fantastic! and VR!!! omg
Played through 3 times now and found different things and parts of the house each time. This is great
@Gmork___ P.T. followed in the footsteps of Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Outlast, both games of which I like, but...honestly, the fact that you're unarmed and can't really fight back the whole time in these kinds of games gets old. I mean...realistically, I'd get myself a weapon at some point. Hopefully RE7 doesn't blindly follow suit.
@Mrskinner I found a axe fuse finger but no clue how to get any further anyone has the solution yet?
Just done the demo, it's pretty horrific. I'm okay with horror generally but I'm not sure I could hack this with VR. I mean, I will, somehow, but it's gunna be a mission.
@nyarth agree with you there really - walking round in Outlast with only a camera in your hands gets pretty rediculous after a while. Still, their maybe weapons in RE7. Alien Isolation did a good job in this regard to be honest.
@kyleforrester87 Oh yeah, I completely forgot about Alien: Isolation somehow! That's the best example of what I'd like to see from Resident Evil 7 then, since they're going this route.
Playing this just now. Eerie so far. ... Nowhere near are realistic as P.T though. Maybe budget constraints in place after the loathsome Resi 6 coz it's not much of a looker.
Na ... This isnt Resi. It's a 1st person version of Wrong Turn or The Hills Have Eyes ... which could be great ... But still .. Not Resi!!!
I liked the demo,and to be honest..I gave up cuz I was scared (i was in the house all alone with the lights off though )lol no way would I be able to do this on VR!
@fluggy You think? Graphics look great to me aside from a few low res textures. Nice smooth engine too!
"welcome to the family son" TBH this is more fitting for a game called "resident evil" because you're actually in a "residence" that harbours "evil". Not on streets shooting hordes of zombies. And mutated dogs.
Eurogamer have confirmed that the demo is NOT part of the full game and will star a different protagonist (a new character) but the demo show the proof of concept. Game has also been in development since 2014.
I enjoyed the demo even if it seemed more like silent hill and less like biohazard. No problem though, silent hill is one of my favourite game series.
I'm looking forward to trying this tonight.
It's amazing how influential a little demo that has maybe 40 minutes or so of original content has been. P.T. has shaken up expectations about what horror games can accomplish in a way that entire franchises of horror games have failed to.
At this point I'm convinced resident evil 7 was created to make people think 6 is not so bad in comparison.
The demo is more like Silent Hill than Resident Evil. And that is a problem.
It's good they steer back to horror but it's still an identity crisis...
The original is Survival Horror, the demo feel like Horror Thriller...
It's fascinating to me that the trailer attached to this article, for all its atmosphere and flicker cuts, doesn't actually have a single jump scare. I have to imagine that's intentional- a challenge to themselves, perhaps, to stand without such a crutch.
Granted, I haven't tried or seen anything of this demo yet, but now I'm interested.
Downloaded last night but haven't played yet. However, as a Resi Evil fan of old (ok, up to 4 anyway), I like that they are trying something new. It might not end up working but it looks like they are trying and you gotta admire that. Plus, VR.
The demo is pretty good. Certainly way better than anything Resident Evil-related for years.
I think that the final game will be balanced and have weapons.
I really enjoyed Alien Isolation so I'm interested to see how this compares.
@JoeBlogs It's not too bad. PT is a bit scarier I'm sure in VR it's unplayable for a lot of people though. Slight spoiler but I found it weird that it took so long to bump into the err...resident since the house is quite small. Was he hiding under the table the whole time while you mooched around the property?
Resident Evil 7's demo isn't part of the full game...
Hey can you see the RE7 preorder in the eu psn? I don't think it is in there...
First I will start by saying that I liked this demo and it will be really fun with VR . I also know that this is only a demo and the new game may be totally different when it comes out but I have to agree with others on here about this being a Silent Hill game or PT knock off . It is definitely NOT the Resident Evil that we know . I will get this game for what it is . Horror game with jump scares but if this is all that there is to the finished game than it probably shouldn't be a numbered Resident Evil game in the series . It should just be a straight reboot or a side story . Again , I know it is only a demo but there really aren't any puzzles yet that people were hoping for just a lot of backtracking for keys and items . Looks like the inspiration came from PT and the SAW movies. Doesn't really need to have the Resident Evil name attached to it except to boost sales . I hope I am wrong and this is a very short demo so I know we haven't seen the full story or potential yet . Time will tell . In any case I will get this game .
This is a strange one and I agree with everything ih this thread, a straight up conversion to the psychological horror of Silent Hill is perhaps too far from the Resident Evil that we know and love. However, there are elements of this demo that gave me the Resi warm and fuzzies, as soon as I picked up that finger I felt that old feeling, can't explain it. If you took the opening stretch of REmake, switched perspective to first person and added some camera-reveal jump scares, it wouldn't be a million miles away from Beginning Hour. RE4 dropped the zombies, switched the camera position, changed the setting and upped the action...but kept everything in canon, RE7 could do something similar in terms of mechanical overhaul.
The thing is that this demo and new look for RE7 was done way before PT ever happen.But the RE demo isn't how the true RE game is. They already doing TV ads,take a look at them.
PT was good its a shame that it would never be seen but they took one thing away and that is my guns. RE game will have guns and etc..it good they return to the old RE.They try to turn RE into just another COD game which was wrong.
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