Early coverage of Resident Evil 7 shows that the latest entry to the series will be returning to its gameplay roots with classic exploration-based puzzles.
Resident Evil 7 is still on-schedule for its launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, but there's still much shrouded in mystery regarding Capcom's survival horror game. What's been shown so far includes a VR demo with no gameplay and a spooky "Lantern" demo where the player is trying to hide from an old, creepy woman. There's no evidence of the action ever-present in Resident Evil 5 and 6, and comparisons to P.T. are plentiful. Resident Evil 7 truly appears to be a new brand of horror for the franchise.
Early impressions from various outlets show that Resident Evil 7 may be more classically designed than previously thought. The impressions, which are based off around four hours of gameplay, made clear that the experience was very much a throwback to gameplay from the original Resident Evil titles. That is to say that the player was required to explore an area, solve several clever puzzles, backtrack, and piece together the story of the game and setting.
The similarities to classic Resident Evil gameplay don't end there, either. Through just the first four hours, the player discovers a knife, handgun, shotgun, flamethrower and even a grenade launcher - all of which are mainstays in the Resident Evil franchise. Players shouldn't expect to plow through enemies with said weapons, though. Instead, they're more often used to escape terrible situations, to create distance for the player to run and hide.
These latest details begin to strip away the idea that Resident Evil 7 is more P.T. than Resident Evil, as P.T.'s tense horror was almost all atmosphere and no action. The revelations coming out now paint Resident Evil as trying to recapture the survival horror of the original games, but with the twist of the first-person perspective. Modern survival horror titles that try to recapture that old school style haven't been very successful, including The Evil Within from original Resident Evil Director Shinji Mikami.
Modern horror, as a result of franchises like Resident Evil and Silent Hill having difficulties or going in different directions, has rediscovered itself in smaller games. Amnesia, Outlast, and even Five Nights at Freddy's have each been well received by horror fans. All of them focused on atmosphere and fear of the unknown. While Resident Evil's gameplay isn't necessarily of that nature, the shift to first-person adds a similar anxiety - especially in virtual reality.
Resident Evil 7 is set to release on January 24, 2017 for the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.