Capcom unveils the healing items players will use in Resident Evil 7 — but in-keeping with the game's mysterious demo, the information raises more questions than it answers.
From its initial reveal onwards, it's clear that Capcom is trying something different with Resident Evil 7. The franchise has been floundering ever since the enormous critical success of Resident Evil 4, and the disappointing Resident Evil 6 did little to endear itself to fans.
In many ways, the gameplay of Resident Evil 7 looks set to break new ground for the series. However, it's now been confirmed that the upcoming title will preserve one staple element: the use of medicinal green herbs to restore the player character's health.
On Friday, Capcom distributed an image to members of the Resident Evil Ambassador program that offered up a chance for fans to "take a first look at the healing items in the game." The picture features two green herbs, two bottles of green ointment that seem to be made from the herbs, and another, far more mysterious object.
There's also a relatively nondescript coin lingering by the other healing items. The caption attached to the image — which reads, "oh wait, what's that coin doing there?" — draws attention to the item, suggesting that Capcom wants fans to theorize about its usage.
Coins have not been used as healing items in previous games in the series. Moreover, it's difficult to comprehend exactly how such an object is intended to improve someone's physical well-being, especially when their medical complaint is likely to be related to zombie attacks.
The Resident Evil fanbase has hardly had time to recover from the last mystery that was thrust upon players. When the demo for Resident Evil 7 was released earlier this year, players were perplexed by the inclusion of a finger item that seemed to serve no clear purpose.
Capcom is using mysteries like the finger and the coin to promote Resident Evil 7. While the franchise has focussed on action-packed gameplay for around a decade, it seems that the next game in the series might have more of a focus on puzzle-solving.
That's a compelling concept in an era when players can collaborate to solve puzzles by sharing information online. We saw that methodology used while the demo was still being picked apart, and there's already plenty of speculation about the coin across the web.
Not everyone will be eager to see the Resident Evil formula change once again. However, given that the series has lost its way a little in recent years, some fresh ideas might be just what the doctor ordered.
Resident Evil 7 is set to release on January 24, 2017 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.