Why the Resident Evil 7 Demo Works
As I slowly make my way down the ladder, with my soon-to-be-dead companion cheering me on with each step at the top, I wonder if we will find the other member of our party that so conveniently wandered off in a house that is looking more reminiscent of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with every passing moment. It seems that I have been climbing down for at least 15 seconds now, but by the looks of this obviously make-shift hidden entrance to the basement, there is really no telling when my feet will finally hit the ground and I can resume investigating my surroundings. As I finally find the floor, I struggle to grasp what I am actually looking at as I slowly reposition myself, completely expecting a jump scare. Why not? After all, it would be the easy thing to do. Instead I am greeted with rusted pipes in some type of a underground passage, but faintly in the near distance I can just make out the figure of our missing person, Andre. As I courageously decide to move closer when I realize that he is facing the opposite direction of me and standing still. Way too still... I place my hand on his shoulder to tell him we need to get out of here, but it's to my horror that I realize that someone or some thing had shoved him mouth open on to a pipe sticking out of the wall. I fall backwards on to the mud underneath me, just in time to see a pair of old workman boots making their way up to me, cast in the light of my camera. My world goes dark once more...
This is only a short 30 second piece of the full Resident Evil 7: Biohazard demo that is being offered for free on you platform marketplace, and a brief glimpse into the full game set to launch on Jan 24th, 2017. I was able to complete the demo from beginning to "end" during my first run through, but with the deployability and the fact that I continue to find new things and entirely different endings, I have sunk more than 5 hours into this demo. For context, I could play almost the entirety of The Order: 1886 in this length of time, so to answer many of your questions thus far, yes- I like this demo. A lot.
While producer Kawada Masachika and director Nakanish Koushi, have already confirmed that this demo is not necessarily a piece of the final product, taken to allow players to sample, but merely a look into the tone and "feeling" of the full version. Let me safely say, that if this game is even half as good as what the demo implies, this will be easily be the best Resident Evil entry since number 4 (not difficult, I know). In every controller gripping/high tension filled moment of this glimpse, it is apparent that they have finally walked away from the attempt at making the franchise a Shooter, and instead doubled down on the concepts that made this IP so beloved in the first place.
A sense of unease and dread around every corner and of course the puzzle-like way you have to make your way through the game, the demo is a call back to everything that made the original entry so great. At this point, my only hope is that they take their time to give the final product the love and attention that they did with this sample. Last we heard, that game was about 65% of the way complete through development (fact credit: famitsu)a few weeks ago at E32016, and with a release date of January 25th, I worry they will try to rush. While it is obvious that Capcom has every intension of hitting this timeline, with the recent re-releases of the series and ending with Resident Evil 4 this fall, a deployment strategy leading up to the launch of the latest installment. Capcom, do NOT rush this game.
If you haven't already checked out the demo for Resident Evil 7, you owe it to yourself to give it a go. If you're the type that gets nervous at the thought of playing horror games, get a buddy and play through it together. I promise, it is that good. With the reveal of full PS VR integration, this game will do huge numbers, already looking to be a clear flagship for the sony platform. However, regardless of where or how you play it, just do. This is the Resident Evil that we have been clamoring over for years.
Now what the hell am I supposed to do with this dam mannequin finger....