Besides announcing at Sony’s E3 2016 Press Conference that Resident Evil 7 is coming in January, and that it will be fully playable using Playstation VR, Capcom dropped a teaser demo exclusively on the Playstation 4. Titled Resident Evil 7 Teaser: Beginning Hour, the demo is not indicative of the final game, and is not even a piece of it (as confirmed by Capcom via IGN). Instead, the demo sets the mood for Capcom’s return to horror with the franchise, and does a damn good job. In fact, it all seems very familiar.
During Gamescom 2014, an engimatic teaser called P.T. was announced and released onto the Playstation Store. Terrifying and puzzling, this turned out to be an announcement for Silent Hills, the next installment in the popular horror franchise, and the first to be directed by Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima. We all know how that game turned out, and we all know where he is now. However, the reception and legacy of P.T. itself lives on as one of the most frightening and brilliant “games” released within the horror genre.
Beginning Hour is practically an emulation of that.
It begins similarly to P.T.; after the initial cutscene of a man attempting to cut you lose, you awaken on the floor within a room and are given one simple objective: “Get out of the house.” From there, you explore. You interact with objects in the environment, walk through the decrepit hallways and rooms of the house, and discover secrets that may lead to your escape. While much more free and far less cryptic than P.T. (at least on a surface level), the end goal of the demo itself is relatively the same. It works to create a horrific atmosphere, and it nails it.
This all shows how influenced the team behind Resident Evil 7 must have been by P.T. Both are a means to show the reinvention of a faltering franchise. Both are from a first-person perspective and focused on setting an atmosphere over how the final game would actually be. But only one is leading somewhere now, and it couldn’t have had a better example to follow.
Resident Evil 7 is scheduled to officially release January 24, 2017.