Wednesday, 15 June 2016
Resident Evil 7 Demo Review
Yesterday saw the announcement of a new Resident Evil game, one that fans have been anticipating for a while now. But what not many were expecting was the new approach the latest instalment would take.
The series began as survival horror, and helped birth the genre, but over subsequent games shifted more towards an action bent, especially Resident Evil 6, which felt more like a Call of Duty entry with monsters armed with machine guns.
Resident Evil 6 received a lot of criticism for the style the game took, and rightly so in my opinion, and it would seem that the makers have taken this criticism on board and chosen to embrace the horror element of the series in what could be the biggest departure the series has taken yet.
The latest game in the series takes a first person approach, something that has not been done yet, and feels like it has taken it's inspiration from games such as Outlast and Amnesia over the rest of the Resident Evil series.
Having played the demo myself now I can confirm that whilst this approach is very, very good and delivers an extremely unnerving game play experience it feels very separated from the rest of the series from what I've seen so far.
Whilst the main game may eventually move into territory that is closer to the rest of the series, possibly connecting to the events and characters of the other games in some way, the demo seems to feature no apparent 'monsters'.
The demo does feature an enemy that you encounter a few times as you sneak your way through an abandoned farm house it's not fully clear whether they're human or something more. You only see this antagonist briefly, and in not a great deal of light, so it's hard to tell at this point.
Though the demo is brief, I finished it in around 30 minutes, there are moments that ramp up tension, and even a few that made me scream out loud. The environment is built to be creepy and off-putting, and the twist of adding a second play through the environment as you take control of a film crew investigating the property on an old video cassette that you find.
It's certainly a brave new approach for the series to take, and possibly something of a gamble for a game that has always involved action of some degree of another. Again, it's still too early to say definitively whether or not the new game will be like the demo throughout or whether at some point you will have a gun and be fighting monsters, but it would appear doubtful at this point.
Thanks to the popularity of games series like Outlast, Slender and Amnesia first person horror games where you cannot defend yourself this could be the start of a major change for the franchise. Though some may not like this new approach it is sure to please many fans. Add into this the fact that the series will still continue to produce side games like the Revelations series to continue the franchise's action element there will be enough Resident Evil to keep everyone happy.