Res­i­dent Evil VII: Bio­haz­ard

De­vel­oper/pub­lisher Cap­com For­mat PC, PS4, Xbox One Re­lease Jan­uary 24


Writ­ing in a Cap­com Unity blog post, Res­i­dent Evil VII di­rec­tor Koushi Nakan­ishi as­sured fans that the game’s re­cently re­leased demo isn’t rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the team’s vi­sion for the fin­ished ar­ti­cle. Which is rather a pity given the clutch of smart ideas it in­tro­duces to the hor­ror genre. On com­ing around af­ter events that are clar­i­fied later – but which we won’t spoil here – you strug­gle to your feet in a musty old liv­ing room as a chill­ingly sim­ple ob­jec­tive pops up on the screen: “Get out of the house”.

A TV screen il­lu­mi­nates the room a lit­tle with hiss­ing static and an omi­nous col­lec­tion of used sy­ringes con­trasts starkly with the tea set it shares the ta­ble with. Some ner­vous ex­plo­ration yields a few items, the oc­ca­sional en­counter with a half­seen fig­ure in a cor­ri­dor or at a win­dow, and even­tu­ally a set of bolt cut­ters. These grant ac­cess to a locked cup­board which con­tains a VHS cas­sette, and it’s upon head­ing back to feed it into the video recorder sat on top of the TV in the first room that the full po­ten­tial of game’s shift to a first­per­son per­spec­tive is hinted at.

Now we get to be the cam­era­man in a lowrent haunted-house show and watch the pre­sen­ter and pro­ducer break into the same house that we’re try­ing to es­cape from, and be­gin ex­plor­ing the rooms and cor­ri­dors with which we’ve al­ready be­come fa­mil­iar. It’s a sur­pris­ingly ef­fec­tive trick that, com­bined with the fact that you can hang back while your as­so­ciates creep around each dark corner, re­sults in a sense of em­pow­er­ment that sur­vival hor­ror games might nor­mally go out of their way to avoid. There are no tank con­trols here, and we haven’t yet found a gun, so the scarcity of ammo isn’t im­me­di­ately con­cern­ing, but there is a bluntly im­ple­mented in­vis­i­ble wall used as a crutch to serve one other­wise ef­fec­tive nar­ra­tive beat that sees one of your party wan­der off on their own.

We’re cu­ri­ous to see what the ad­di­tion of more tra­di­tional Res­i­dent

Evil el­e­ments will bring to this al­ready heady mix. Herbs and zom­bies are both con­firmed, but Nakan­ishi has stressed that he wants to cre­ate hor­ror on a more in­ti­mate scale, pop­u­lat­ing the game with fewer en­e­mies but mak­ing each a sig­nif­i­cant threat – and that reach for in­ti­macy is fur­ther un­der­scored by the fact that, just like the demo at E3, the whole game will be playable us­ing PlaySta­tion VR, which makes for a par­tic­u­larly in­tense ex­pe­ri­ence. While the first Res­i­dent Evil has been a sig­nif­i­cant in­spi­ra­tion for the project, don’t ex­pect to see any fa­mil­iar faces or lo­ca­tions – VII will re­volve around a new group of sit­u­a­tions and char­ac­ters, though it still takes place on the same time­line as the other games in the main se­ries.

Nakan­ishi wants to cre­ate hor­ror on a more in­ti­mate scale, pop­u­lat­ing the game with fewer en­e­mies

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