With a brand new Resident Evil game underway, there’s plenty of frightful scares in store for long-time fans. On the surface it seems that the publisher is ready to deconstruct and re-engineer the series back to its roots in order to reform the terror filled glory of gaming past. Even though the publisher has claimed that the series will return to its classic survival horror roots, however, could Resident Evil 7’s reconstruction reinvent itself into something that’s far from it?
To start off it should be stated that the Beginning Hour demo is not connected to Resident Evil 7’s storyline despite its name and teaser ending that states “The Family is Expecting You Early 2017.” The purpose of the standalone story is to provided fans with a “tonal” glimpse of the game rather than a content preview. Meaning the end product could play nothing like the demo although, it has been stated that Resident Evil 7, will feature a first-person perspective and draw from the original games. Nevertheless, it seems more like the game is taking inspiration from P.T. more than it is from its own past installments.
We now live in a post P.T. era of gaming and with its sudden and greatly disappointing cancellation it seems that the industry as a whole is drawing inspiration from P.T. all around. It’s starting to seem more like every new triple A game that’s been announced or shown off in recent months is either drawing inspiration from Naughty Dog mechanics or P.T.’s mechanics is making every game appear like clones of themselves. Sure these new approaches to gameplay do provide players with stronger experiences overall, but it’s like anything else, the more you replicate it the quicker the fad starts to stale. Just look at superhero films; Marvel started the craze in 2009 with the first Iron Man film and now seven years later, D.C and just about every prime time network or premium streaming service is dishing out their own superhero shows as the industry and the fad slowly climbs to its peak.
To be completely honest, I like the new direction Resident Evil is taking; it feels like the series is in a rebirth as it takes a fresh perspective on the series and doing what the series hasn’t done for quite along time, which is actually scare its players. I haven’t been startled by a Resident Evil game since the original; even then it wasn’t that spooky of a game. The demo uses its environment and sound to psych-out the player and creates a sense of self-suggestion that makes the players create their own horrors before anything frightening actually even happens. The only problem I really have with the new direction the series is heading in is the inevitable question that I can’t seem to stop asking myself.
Is Resident Evil 7 in first-person perspective simple because the game will also be available in VR? The short answer seems yes because it’s extremely rare to see a game set in VR that isn’t a first-person perspective. The game is being developed for both consoles and VR and although it will be quite the horrific experience in VR, I often wonder if something might get lost in translation with the finished product trying to wear two different hats at the same time.