20 years ago in 1996, a horror franchise was born; that’s right, folks. As incredible as it may seem, the Resident Evil game series celebrated its two-decade anniversary on March 22nd of this year.
Since then, there’s been plenty of big news regarding the series’ future; On June 14th, during the E3 2016 convention in Los Angeles, Sony announced the January 2017 release of the franchise’s latest installment, Resident Evil VII: Biohazard.
A teaser released concurrently with the announcement revealed a survival horror-type setup, with all new characters. A pretty significant move for Capcom, especially keeping in mind how the previous entries in the series were all biological horror/first person shooters. This time, it appears as though we are dealing with supernatural or possibly demonic forces.
The teaser in question, simply titled, “Beginning Hour”, allows you to play as an unnamed male character whose task is simple; escape the dilapidated home of a missing family and along the way, maybe even uncover facts about the home’s recent history (ie You’ll need to find a video tape somewhere in the environment to know what I’m talking about).
Also, your experience will likely end with you being surprised from behind by a disheveled Charles Manson-y dude who greets you with “Welcome to the family, Son.” and punches you out. You subsequently awake tied to a chair in a workshop, where the host seen on the videotape will attempt to free you, but is murdered by a mutant behind him. The mutant will then on you, and you will then be redirected to the menu.
Of course, the experiences of playing this teaser will differ, as there is plenty for the player to discover apart from the main events.
As someone who was never really wooed by Resident Evil, I was happy to see the saga take a more suspenseful and frightening approach. It screamed reminders of prior action-adventure horror games I’ve played in the past, namely 2014’s The Evil Within.
While it isn’t necessarily terrifying (at least of what I’m seeing now, keeping in mind that it is just a teaser), there was enough going on in the game to keep me interested. It invites the player to uncover one piece of information at a time slowly building tension and suspense. And really, that’s the best a horror game can do.
Personally, I am pretty excited to buy this game, and my decision was reinforced this week upon viewing the newest trailer released by the Tokyo Game Show in September. I was able to get a better glimpse the missing family mentioned in the teaser and could see a lot of inspiration from Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (I love the classics). January 24th can’t come soon enough. This is gonna be GOOD.