One of the big announcements that a lot of people were hoping for from this year's E3 was a new entry in the Resident Evil series. While fan reactions to recent RE games have been mixed, it's still one of the best survival-horror franchises on the market. Fortunately, the wait for a new Resident Evil game is almost over.
Many fans didn't realize that the trailer was for a Resident Evil game at first, since it focused more on setting a sinister mood than depicting the action that the more recent games have focused on. Once the Resident Evil 7 name appeared on the screen, it became obvious that this was going to be a different sort of Resident Evil game. Harkening back to the earlier entries in the series, it looks like it will focus much more on the horror aspects that the series used to be known for.
According to Capcom, the game takes place at an abandoned plantation mansion in "rural America." Judging from a newspaper clipping in the video, that rural setting may be in or near the Louisiana bayou. Given the popular association of that area with voodoo, it seems like a natural setting to bring the series back to its horror roots. There are a number of questions left unanswered by the trailer, possibly the biggest of which is who the "she" is that the phone call at the beginning of the trailer mentions. Whoever she is, she's back... and that could either reference a hero in the game, or the person responsible for the zombie outbreak.
According to the trailer, Resident Evil 7 will hit stores on January 24, 2017. Sony seems pretty confident in the game, however, as it's releasing a demo tonight in hopes that it will help fuel hype for months to come. It very well might, especially if the game really is going back to the style of the older games in the series. It will also give fans a chance to get used to the game's first-person perspective, which is a departure from the traditional third-person view of previous entries.
Perhaps the most exciting thing about Resident Evil 7 is that it will be compatible with PlayStation VR. Survival horror games are best when they give the player a good level of immersion in the game world, and being able to play Resident Evil in virtual reality is just about as immersive as it gets. The new engine that the game runs on (RE Engine) was designed with VR in mind, as the Kitchen tech demo that Capcom released for PlayStation VR last year was actually built on the RE Engine platform. Capcom confirms that Resident Evil 7 will be playable in VR from beginning to end.
Some fans may be hesitant because of the shift in perspective, but there are a lot of hints that the game is really trying to capture some of the horror of its early installments and move away from the action genre a bit. Even the first-person perspective calls back to the view players were given when going through doors or up stairs in the original Resident Evil. Capcom is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Resident Evil, and they are clearly trying to make a good impression with the latest game in the series.
Resident Evil 7 is slated for release on January 24, 2017 on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. A demo, Resident Evil 7 Teaser: Beginning Hour, is available on the PlayStation Store.