The Resident Evil 7 trailer was one of the headline-grabbers at Tokyo Game Show 2016, with a new gameplay on show and people getting to jump into the VR version. I’m not a horror game buff, by any stretch, but I’ve served some terrified hours in various Silent Hill games and I’ve kept my eye on the progression of the Resident Evil series.
Some may be excited, but that gameplay trailer has me worried. I’ve picked out my likes and dislikes to demonstrate why I’m unsure whether this will be a jewel in the Resident Evil crown. But first, if you haven’t seen it yet, watch the trailer below:
- LIKE: First-person Chase – Let’s start with the good. I like the fact that it’s taken on a first-person perspective, a departure for the Resident Evil games. The demo also shows that are some chase sequences, which lends itself to the horror genre. We see the main character having to run away from the scary old woman with the lantern. Expect lots of hiding behind crates, praying that the floor doesn’t creak and that the door ahead isn’t locked. I’m a scaredy cat, so definitely won’t be playing this in VR – for horror fans, it looks like a nightmare come true.
- DISLIKE: White Trash Trope – Resident Evil 7 seems to be riffing off Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Deliverance. The Baker family falls into the the poor white people sure are crazy especially if they’re from the American South, stereotype. The crazy hillbilly thing needs to die already. Maybe, Capcom thinks this is what the West likes in their horror and they’d have been right 10 or 20 years ago, but it’s a bit hackneyed and offensive these days.
- DISLIKE: Entrails Shock – Unlike the lantern chase, the dinner table scene just isn’t scary because it’s trying too hard. We’ve got the steaming pile of offal and the screaming, shrewish hillbilly woman (see point 2), who almost gets a backhanded slap from the patriarch. Then we have the unprovoked knife attack on the ‘dumb one’, which looks like an excuse for blood squirts. The scene is trying to show us that they’re totally cray-cray and unpredictable, but it’s just horror by numbers.
- LIKE: P.T. Styling – The P.T. influence on Resident Evil 7 is clear. Everyone’s doing the hallway of horrors in games, ever since Kojima’s seminal demo hit the scene. There’s no shame in that, especially as P.T. never saw the light of day and because it’s low key and creepy. However, the Biohazard trailer spoilt it by having Pa Baker’s jump scare, when he puts an axe through the wall and then, literally, walks through plasterboard. He makes like a terminator and it’s just a bit silly, but definitely not scary. More studying of P.T. required.
- DISLIKE: The Guns Are Crap – To be fair, there wasn’t much gunplay in the demo and Capcom seems to playing down that aspect for Resident Evil 7. But it is a Resi game, so you kind of have to have a shotgun at some point. Good news – you do. Bad news – it doesn’t look very good. The TGS demo shows a flaming figure lumbering towards the player, who shoots at it. The only trouble is the targeting looks sloppy and the bullets don’t appear to do anything. It’s like physics went out the window. The gun goes bang, though.
- LIKE: Flasbacks – Taking all the teasers and trailers into account, it looks like we may get to play different characters. The first person lantern sequence features a female character, but the phone call at the beginning suggests we play as Ethan, who is looking for his wife. Another trailer also shows a couple of guys looking around the house. The playable demo uses found video footage to instigate a flashback, which is a great touch, offering wider character and narrative options than the average horror game.
Parts of Resident Evil 7 look great, from the glimpses we’ve been thrown so far, but other parts look like horror rehashes or just poorly implemented. The game isn’t out until January, so there’s plenty of time to smooth out the wrinkles. And as they say, the proof of the pudding is in the entrails or something.
Let me know your Resident Evil 7 likes and dislikes. Are you confident it’ll be great or do you have doubts?