Resident Evil 7: Beginning Hour Review

The Resident Evil series is in an odd state. Whilst RE5 and RE6 attempted to head-shot it with their ridiculous focus on action the Revelations side series has acted like a green herb, bringing it back from the brink and giving me hope for the future.

I wasn’t expecting this though.

The first person perspective that the RE7 teaser uses immediately sparks comparisons to not only the aborted Silent Hills project P.T. but also 2013’s Outlast; two games I couldn’t finish. Not due to any skill deficiency on my part mind you, but due to the utterly horrific experience they provided. With no situational awareness, no HUD and no weapons my senses went into overdrive. I couldn’t deal with it and they didn’t last long.

Beginning Hour only lasted about 20 minutes or so first time. For that short time I was on the edge of my seat, nervously peaking around corners and feeling relief once doors had closed behind me. There was a great feeling of vulnerability so I can’t fault it for eliciting high emotion. It’s been a long time since I’ve been even remotely scared in a Res game. Subsequent plays (four so far) took far less time.

A scary Resident Evil game! This is what we’ve been crying out for for a long time! Time to dance in the streets and celebrate Capcom coming to their senses.

Actually…no. Put away your dancing shoes.

This doesn’t feel like a Resident Evil game. As much as 5 and 6 annoyed me there were at least aspects that made me feel as though I was in a world of Weskers and Tyrants. There’s none of that here. I’m not expecting ‘old Res’; we’ve got the remake of 2 covering that. This just doesn’t feel right.

More than that though is the feeling that Capcom are just jumping on a bandwagon. Despite this being a perfectly acceptable and playable demo with good graphics, decent dialogue (a massive surprise) and a well managed tension it’s all been done before.

Perhaps this really is a teaser and the game itself will tie in to the established world better. As a game, it’s decent if derivative. As a Resident Evil game however it’s not what I’m after at all.

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