Resident Evil 7: Does It Have The P.T. Effect?

The comparisons between Capcom’s newly released teaser demo for Resident Evil 7 and P.T. are simply unavoidable. Both developed as standalone gateways into upcoming horrors sequels and both released during a PlayStation E3 media briefing, they even share the same out of character first person viewpoint.

The Beginning Hour, as it’s generously titled, may lack originality yet marks a potential change in direction for the Resident Evil franchise. Since its fourth numbered instalment, each successive spin-off and sequel has either come in way too short or, at the very least, divided opinion amongst fans as it diverges further and further from the series’ roots.

– ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW –

If this interactive teaser is anything to go by, Capcom is clearly making an effort to draw a line under Resident Evil 6 and dial things back to the way they once were. Although it’s hard to tell from fifteen obscure minutes of gameplay, hopefully that means a dramatic shift in not only setting and tone but placing atmosphere above mindless blockbuster action.

The demo kicks off in typical horror fashion as you awake on the filth-ridden floor of a derelict building. Although it’s daylight, a tangle of broken blinds and boarded up windows means that only a few disparate rays of sunlight illuminate your surroundings.

Upon gaining control of Clancy, the demo’s protagonist, you go about searching this run-down country home, collecting items and interacting with various objects. In this respect, it feels much more game-like compared to P.T., allowing players to store and use items from their inventory.

It isn’t long before you find a rogue video cassette and retrace your steps back to a television at your starting location. After popping it in, players are temporarily beamed back in time, Clancy’s now joined by two other guys – a producer and anchor scouting the location of their next haunted house show.

Thankfully Capcom doesn’t waste time in trying to flesh out these shell characters. Once again, you’re free to roam the country house until one of your crew suddenly disappears, and it’s after eventually finding him you snap back to the present and things now start to feel a bit off. Coming across a key to the back door, I was hit with this sudden urge to make a beeline and not look back despite having felt relatively safe before this point.

resi7image1

After a couple of well-placed jump scares I made it, only to be captured by the mysterious figure that had been stalking me all along. Following a brief end movie, The Beginning Hour starts over, inviting players to dive back in for more. Despite coming in at just under fifteen minutes, there are no doubt a handful of clues and easter eggs for eager gamers to uncover.

All in all, I’m just as clueless about Resident Evil 7 as I was before hearing of its existence. The interactive teaser points towards a dark and more traditional tone, but fails to illustrate the kind of experience fans can expect to get their hands on early next year.

That’s by no means a bad thing. Although the teaser’s ambiguity may breed frustration among some fans, Capcom has successfully propelled Resident Evil back into the public consciousness. Now – as with the aftermath of any teaser – we wait, our collective gaze falling upon Gamescom and Tokyo Game Show in the hopes of a bigger, more in-depth reveal.

– PAGE CONTINUES BELOW –
Written by
Senior Editor bursting with lukewarm takes and useless gaming trivia. May as well surgically attach my DualShock at this point.

5 Comments

  1. It was a lot shorter than the subtitle “Beginning Hour” led me to believe. I played through it twice and the second time i didn’t notice anything different until i went upstairs… certain objects not staying where they are when you turn your back.. that was the freakiest moment. But i thought i had just missed that first time around, it didn’t occur to me that that there might be a few different experiences.. i guess i’ll have to play it again and see if there’s more to it. Not as powerful as PT but quite promising all the same.

  2. It’s a fun little demo thing, and no doubt will require a number of pairs of underpants in VR

  3. Am I the only one who thought PT was just OK? It was creepy dont get me wrong but how in the hell would anyone know how to complete the demo without looking the solution up online?

    Who would know that you needed to wait for a phonecall at two minutes to twelve and answer on the third ring, take five steps to the forward, one to the right, juggle three cans of pringles on a unicycle and recite all the lyrics to Michael Jackson’s Thriller in reverse?

    • I thought it was worse than ok. Didn’t get all the fuss with it at all. Walking round the same 4 corridors over and over with slight changes each time soon got boring. Once the creepiness wore off, it just became plain annoying IMO.

      As you say, the puzzles were beyond ridiculous too. I got stuck for so long with the baby crying it was doing my head in. Deleted it off my HDD in the end, and not a decision I regret :D

    • It was really good the first fifteen minutes. Then it got dull, and I ended up walking away thinking it was kinda crap.

Comments are now closed for this post.