We’ll get all the fluff out the way first. We all know Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is first person, we all know it’s out for a full VR version, we all know it’s about the Baker family and their decrepit dwelling. In case you didn’t know that, you do now (and also where have you been the last few months, we missed you).
Now to get to the good stuff. We’ve been keeping an eye on those questions lingering on every player’s lips when the demo credits roll, and have scoured sources to pluck answers from the depths of interviews, press releases, and playthroughs. Without further ado, we present to you 11 things you’re going to want to know about Resident Evil 7 before release day (that’s 25th January for those who have truly been trapped in the basement all these months).
1. No Time For Quick Time
Resident Evil 7 will do away with the quick time events that plunged Resident Evil 6 into the doldrums of drudgery and grind. I couldn’t be happier. Things got a bit out of control towards the end of the series so far, and removing this stutter in gameplay will ensure the experience is as smooth and fluid as this polished environment deserves.
2. Louisiana Chainsaw Massacre
Resident Evil 7 has been heavily influenced not only by Resident Evil 4 (much love), but also by horror classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre. That derelict farmhouse and the deranged family that dwell within are looking a little more familiar now.
Hopefully this doesn’t mean the enemy I affectionately named ‘fuck-it’s-the-chainsaw-guy’ will be returning from Resi 4. I don’t think my potty training would hold up under that.
3. Oooh, Shiny
Resident Evil 7 is the first in the series to be built with Capcom’s new RE Engine. The in-house software has apparently saved developers so much time that they’ve been able to focus on producing amazingly detailed environments and assets. Stories like this are the reason so many AAA devs are squirrelling away on their own development engines, and it looks like Resident Evil 7 will be all the more atmospheric for it.
4. The Collector’s Edition Is Seriously Enviable
In the days of digital downloads, physical collector’s editions are becoming a lucrative industry relying on consumers’ lust for good old dust collecting stuff. This Resident Evil 7 Collector’s Edition has taken the grandiose nature of the limited edition bundle to a whole new level.
In the UK, the package includes a highly detailed 7″ Baker house replica, 20th Anniversary Resident Evil art book, dummy finger 16GB USB drive, 5 Resident Evil 7 art lithographs, an alternative inlay for your copy, and a Survival Pack DLC. Throw in a couple spare pairs of underwear and the odd inhaler and you have everything you’d need for launch night.
5. It’s Completely New But Still Dependably The Same
Ok, we’re kind of cheating here. Considering we ran a piece detailing how Resident Evil 7 is bringing it home with full on claustrophobic, intimate survival horror a few months ago, it’s not exactly news that things are looking mighty intricate in Biohazard. Nevertheless, it was producer Masachika Kawata and director Koshi Nakanishi who pushed for this return to the genre’s roots.
Moving away from globetrotting action, the stripped back single player campaign takes place in the same Resident Evil universe as previous instalments but is simply attacking things from a new (but also traditional) angle. Set four years after the fateful events of Resident Evil 6 (we needed four years to recover), a new cast explores a new environment and set of skills. Leave those souped up weapons in their cases, all you’ll need in this house is a handy pocket knife, pistol, and a trusty shotgun.
6. Umbrella Is In There… Somewhere
The Baker family don’t exactly look like biochemical warlords. That’s probably because they’re not, or they might not be… what if they are?! Anyway, marketing mysteries aside, we know that Resident Evil 7 is a departure from much of the substance of the latest Resi titles. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Umbrella Corporation is suddenly out of the picture. It is, quite literally, still in the picture.
Several users have found an old photograph of a helicopter sporting the Umbrella logo in the depths of the demo, suggesting that things might be closer to our conception of chemical warfare than we initially understood.
7. With Enemies Like These Who Needs Family
Contrary to many concerns, the Baker family are likely to be the least of your worries once you progress through the game. Initial demo players were worried that with the new approach to survival horror, classic Resi combat had been thrown to the cutting room floor. With no zombies in sight, things looked decidedly quieter. While this is certainly the case, there are still enemies to spar with. The Molded are the latest iteration of horrific mutants to grace our consoles. While they may not exactly swarm our screens, they pose their own threats. Jun Takeuchi, speaking with gamesradar, told us to listen to the name to garner further information about the game’s mysterious secrets:
“There’s a human intention to mould something or to create something”
These are not your typical infected brain munchers.
There’s something more to these enemies than meets the eye and players will probably have to slash through a few to understand what that is.
8. Don’t Call Ghostbusters
The legendary demo ghost became a viral sensation after a handful of players posted their sightings. It seems that Resident Evil 7 has hints to the occult throughout its gameplay, not least rooted in the odd ghostly encounter.
However, developers have reassured fans that they have no need to get in touch with their local medium. Apparently these apparitions will be explained by the end of the experience, and the Biohazard universe still pertains to the laws of the rest of the Resident Evil series. This ghost story may end up more Scooby Doo than Poltergeist.
9. Action Lovers – You Have Been Heard!
While the series is departing from the fiery action spectacular it seemed to morph into, those who loved the guns blazing approach are still well catered for. Capcom developers have announced that they have no intention of leaving the action genre alone. While they feel it important to return to this pure form of survival horror for their main series, there will still be titles like Umbrella Corps for those waiting to get reacquainted with the rocket launcher.
10. Oculus / Vive Users Don’t Despair… well despair for a year
While Resident Evil 7 is a PSVR exclusive, that’s only for 12 months. It’s difficult to say right now, and it depends on where the VR industry is in 2018 (and how well the VR version does), but it can be expected that after this contract is up other headsets will be able to present the same terrors.
11. Don’t Just Play It – Live It!
Because we’d all want to do that, right? My surname’s Baker – i’ve been living Resident Evil 7 for the last 21 years. If you want a taster of that life before you jump straight in, the Resident Evil 7 Experience is running for one more day. If you’re reading this as it comes out, you still have time to skive off work and head to Dray Walk Gallery in London on Monday January 23rd.
Inspired by the Resident Evil 7 storyline, you will be admitted to a live action experience, with actors and everything! Playing the role of a journalist investigating the disappearance of your crew, your aim is to solve puzzles and escape your fate unharmed. It’s a first come first served affair, so make sure you’re ready to start queuing. Lines officially open at 11.30 am with tours running from 1pm to 9.50pm.
What says you? Think we’ve missed something you spotted with your eagle eyes in the demos? Read an interesting interview which completely undercuts everything we’ve ever believed? Let us know in the comments or over on Twitter!