Resident Evil is one of the most enduring and relevant horror-crossover franchises in history. The pioneer in zombie video game horror has managed to not only survive, but thrive in film, animation and games alike.
The Resident Evil 7 Teaser: Beginning Hour gameplay demo has been available to PlayStation Plus subscribers on the PS4 for a week now – and it has broken records as the most downloaded single-player demo in history. The zombie-horror demo has gotten over two million downloads thus far in North America alone.
The Resident Evil 7 Teaser: Beginning Hour demo is a small sampling of what gamers will get from the upcoming Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, releasing to stores in January 2017 (incidentally, Biohazard is the name of the game series is known by in Japan). The demo is actually a carefully crafted representation of what the gameplay will be like in way of direction, but is not a piece of the final game itself. The game will include first-person shooter aspects, as well as a renewed emphasis on puzzle solving and the management of resources, as in the earlier Resident Evil games. The series had really taken on more of an all-out shooter tone since Resident Evil 4, abandoning the puzzle element altogether.
The pioneer of the survival horror video game genre, Capcom’s hit Resident Evil was released on the original PlayStation system back in 1996. This was during a time when zombies weren’t exactly considered the biggest horror threat going. In fact, they were considered somewhat retro and less than menacing; that is until players experienced the first player horror that came behind every creaking door in the gameplay of the original Resident Evil game. The revitalization that the game provided to zombies is no doubt one element that would pave the way for fans to accept the walker threat in The Walking Dead as a viable danger.
Resident Evil was one of the first modern video games to spawn into an action figure line and soon after into a series of feature films. The sixth and final film, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, is set to release next year. The films, which were based on original stories inspired by, but not found in, the video games, have grossed over $900 million worldwide. Resident Evil also enjoys the distinction of being the video game franchise with the most tie-in films to date, and having each subsequent film make more than the last at the box office.
There’s nothing like walking through your dark house to get a drink after a long night of playing Resident Evil to make you notice how much your doors creak, and how slowly they open. No doubt this new game is only going to build on our collective ‘there’s a zombie around every corner’ paranoia that the Resident Evil franchise has built its empire upon.
Resident Evil 7 Teaser: Beginning Hour can be downloaded for free on the PS4 by PlayStation Plus subscribers. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard will be available on Xbox, PS4 and Microsoft Windows on January 24, 2017.