"Capcom has heard fans’ masochistic cries for a Resident Evil game far more terrifying than anything that has come before it," said the publisher shortly after revealing Resident Evil 7 Biohazard [official site] during Sony's E3 press conference yesterday. In what is a pretty radical step for the series, it seems this one's fully first-person and "draws from the series’ roots of atmospheric survival horror," so say its creators. Having watched the first 20 minutes of the 'Beginning Hour' demo, courtesy of the folks over at GameSpot, I'm not entirely convinced by that last part. Have a look for yourself and I'll explain.
In fact, before we do that, here's the Resi 7 official E3 trailer:
And now GameSpot's extended look at how it plays:
Not very Resident Evil-y, is it? I mean, don't get me wrong, I think it looks cracking but it appears Capcom have drawn inspiration from the likes of PT and Outlast here and not their own back catalogue. Again, this isn't necessarily a bad thing - the decrepit house with its mysterious rotting carcasses, cobweb-enveloped fixtures and yellow-stained decor looks genuinely terrifying - and I'm now keen to discover the link between the protagonist, the seemingly abandoned estate, and Pete, Andre and Clancy. Keen might not be the right choice of words, actually. I'd like to discover all of that but I'll likely need to do so during the day with the lights on.
The move from third to first person has unsurprisingly ruffled a few traditional survival horror enthusiast's feathers, however it seems the first-person drive is tied to PlayStation VR support. And maybe even those door opening loading screens from the early games?
"In the classic Resident Evil games of yesteryear, players braced for fear in the first-person via the creepy door-opening scenes," said Capcom's Tim Turi in a blog post. "Resident Evil 7 ramps up that tension with an immersive first-person view and a photorealistic graphical style."
No word on whether or not other VR hardware will be supported by Resident Evil 7 further down the line, but it is coming to PC via Steam and the Windows 10 Store on January 24, 2017. The above 'Beginning Hour' demo is also available now to PS Plus subscribers - if you own one of those strange little console telly box thingymajigs, I'd love to know how you get on with it.
Be sure to catch up with all of our other E3 2016 news this week.