You awake confused and dazed in an abandoned house, seemingly for years, and are tasked with finding your way out. In typical Resident Evil style, some things are easy said than done. The front door is locked, the back door needs and key, and everything else in between needs to be looked out and tampered with in order to find the answers you need. Unlike all previous entries in the series, Resident Evil 7 plays from a first-person perspective, mainly due to the fact that the PS4 version of the game will make use of the new PSVR.
Resident Evil 7 – Could Things Get Good?
The opening features grainy film from my own perspective. Here an unknown male is knocked out cold on the floor in front of me. Eventually, he awakes and goes in search of something to free me from my bindings within the dingy and unlit room.
I then awake on the floor of a living room and a simple task appears on the screen, “Get out of the house.” To leave I must locate several clues as to why I am here in the first place, this path eventually aiding me in my escape efforts. As a player of previous Resident Evil entries, this demo felt alien to me. Where are the zombies stumbling towards you? Why are you weaponless? The experience felt similar to that of P.T and that is one of the most eerie previews of a game I’ve experienced! The focus here it is on exploration and fact-finding – not fighting – and I delve deeper into the abandoned house than my head tells me to go.
As I explore the abandoned house I come across VHS tapes scattered in random locations around the house. These allow me to view recorded footage from a point in the past – these “flashbacks” allow me to freely roam around and try to figure out what is happening. I’m a cameraman for a television show of which the topic is the unknown, how fitting. As I follow my two other companions I’m in search of cupboards or drawers I can unlock – there must be something I can find that will help.
I unlock a drawer but nothing is within. I follow my team further and suddenly one is lost. In such a small house it shouldn’t be hard to locate him but we are unsuccessful as we make our way to the hallway near the stairs. Eventually, we, me and the guy who I now realise is the one who originally freed me at the start, find a secret door. Long story short – that’s a path to death.
Back in the current time, I head back to the locations I just visited. A drawer is now mysteriously unlocked and I find an item – it’s not much use though. I make my way to the secret door but I hesitate a little at first. As I go towards the point of no return I find a key – aha!
Making my way (downtown) towards the exit I smile with pure joy – the sun is shining outside and I’m about to leave this hell hole with a lot of unanswered questions but that’s OK for now. As I proceeded to unlock and open the door I’m suddenly grabbed from behind and punched – “welcome to the family, son!”
The inventory, as with all Resident Evil games before, is hit and miss due to it being relatively new. Items take up one a set amount of slots and you can configure items for quick access on the d-pad. I can see this being something of an issue when in a rush to complete an objective as changing between items in the inventory menu is clunky right now – I’d also assume it will be similar for combining items should this be a part of the game.
Graphically Beginning Hour looks stunning – an amazing feat considering that the game is still in production. Characters models and environments are detailed, lighting has been heavily taken into consideration and the overall tense atmosphere is disturbing.
Capcom has confirmed that the characters and focus on exploration will not be featured in the completed game. There will be creatures trying to halt your every move but they have yet to say whether these “creatures” will be new to the franchise or traditional enemies from games past.
I’m excited to see where virtual reality will lead this game, especially from the first-person perspective. Will this Resident Evil game be the flip of the switch which returns the series back to its roots? Only time will tell and I’m hoping time will play nicely with 7.