The Resident Evil franchise has seen better days in the eyes of many fans. Despite continued solid sales, the series has received increasingly negative attention ever since hitting what many consider to be its highpoint in Part 4. The fifth main series title was heavily criticized for racially insensitive characters and plot details, while the sixth was roundly panned for a control system overly-reliant on timed events. The seventh installment has promised to break with much of the previous series and offer a new experience.
The latest trailer for Resident Evil 7, now subtitled “Biohazard” for the U.S., continues that promise, featuring a scenario well outside the series’ traditional aesthetic.
Supposedly inspired by the previous most-recent game being criticized for having expanded its scope too far beyond the original intent of the franchise, Biohazard (which is technically the title of the entire series in its native Japan) aims to take the series back to core elements while taking the narrative and aesthetic design in a very different direction. The game will include the first storyline in the series developed by a western writer and a shift to first-person perspective.
Exactly what that new story is meant to entail is yet unknown, as is the question of how (if at all) it’s meant to tie in to the broader mythology of the series. Set in the present day following the events of Resident Evil 6, the game will follow a new “average man” character named Ethan and involves part of a family of gruesome killers known as The Bakers. An earlier playable demo had players exploring the Bakers’ supposedly deserted home, only to be attacked by a mysterious woman.
The new trailer offers a better look at The Bakers as antagonists, with a player character (presumably Ethan) being attacked and ultimately overwhelmed by a shovel-wielding maniac seemingly impervious to fire and other forms of pain. Eventually the trailer segues into a sequence where the player is being force-fed a meal of what appears to be human organs by a gathering of The Bakers – the scene clearly referencing rural-set American horror films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes.
The title will utilize the potential of the PS4’s new 4k capabilities and be optimized for VR – though the change to first-person was supposedly made before VR was part of the plan. Thus far, no overt reference to prior staples of the Resident Evil franchise such as The Umbrella Corporation, the T-Virus, S.T.A.R.S. or even (specifically-identified) zombies have appeared in any of the demos or trailers. However, statements from developer Capcom have called the “Biohazard” subtitle a clue to the cause of the main plot.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard will be released January 27th, 2017.
Source: Resident Evil