The next installment in Capcom’s legendary horror series Resident Evil was announced last night at E3, and, if the trailer is any indication of what the final product will be like, it’s looking to be quite a terrifying gaming experience.
While Resident Evil 4 is most certainly considered one of the finest horror games of all time, it began the series into what many consider a downward spiral; subsequent entries in the series seemed to focus more and more on the action side of things while dialing down the terror. The games seemed to be losing the essence of what made the series what it was back in its early days: a non-stop, foreboding feeling of terror.
A shift in perspective
Announced via a three-minute trailer, the game looks to be shaking things up in the Resident Evil world. Taking cues from P.T., the playable teaser for the now-defunct Silent Hill reboot, the horror game will be played from the viewpoint of your character. While this first-person perspective isn’t a first for the series, it is the first time a mainline, numbered Resident Evil has tried moving to this view. This is certainly a bold decision, as the series looks to be trying to rebuild from the disastrous Resident Evil 6.
Even better – depending on your point of view, perhaps – is that the game will be playable in completely immersive virtual reality the entire way through. One can only imagine how absolutely terrifying the game will be while playing from a VR-first-person perspective.
Resident Evil 7 Biohazard – the video game’s full, official name – immediately arouses comparisons to “found-footage” horror movies such as the classic The Blair Witch Project rather than the campier, George Romero-style zombie movies that helped inspire the series in the first place.
Resident Evil taking cues
Much like horror video game contemporaries like Outlast and Amnesia, players will be able to experience the horrors of the game through a first-person perspective. A flashlight serves as your primary source of light, at least in the “Beginning Hour” teaser that Capcom released today. Unholy horrors exist outside of this beam of light, and players will most certainly feel on edge based on how little they will be able to see of their surroundings.
If games like Outlast and P.T. are anything to go by, first-person perspective helps in creating an incredibly terrifying gameplay atmosphere. The slightest noises can put you on edge. A barely-lit room in a dilapidated mansion creates a strong sense of claustrophobia. Add these elements into a carefully constructed horror setting in virtual reality, and you’ve got Resident Evil 7 – definitely the scariest-looking game to come out at E3 so far.
If playing Resident Evil 7 Biohazard in virtual reality seems too traumatizing for you, and the though absolutely makes sense, then, luckily, VR isn’t the only option in playing the game. It will be playable without a VR headset, though it will still maintain the first-person perspective.
A playable demo has been released to Playstation Plus subscribers as of the publication of this article, which provides gamers a first look into the all-new RE experience. The demo only playable in non-VR, but, from the looks of it, it will definitely be needed to unlock the full potential of the game.
While the game is releasing for Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC, the game will unfortunately only support the upcoming Playstation VR system. While this is disappointing news, it could perhaps change in the months leading up to the game’s release. Resident Evil 7 Biohazard is scheduled to release on January 24, 2017.