Will ‘Resident Evil 7’ Fill the Void Left by ‘Silent Hills’?

It’s finally happening: The Resident Evil series is going back to its horror roots. After becoming a great series that went bad with the action-heavy Resident Evil 6, it seems that Capcom has decided to scrap the whole mess and start again. Although Resident Evil 7: Biohazard takes place in the same world as the other games, it promises to be a fresh start for the series that kicked off the survival horror genre.

The game won’t be available until early 2017, but Capcom has taken the first step in starting anew by releasing a trailer (above) and a demo called Resident Evil 7 Teaser: Beginning Hour. You can download it now for free on PlayStation 4.

Resident Evil 7 channels P.T.

The demo bears more than a little resemblance to P.T., the “playable trailer” Konami released a couple years ago for the since-canceled game Silent Hills. Surely the resemblance is no accident on Capcom’s part.

Horror fans loved P.T., devoting hours to sussing out its many secrets and mysteries. When Konami scrapped Silent Hills and removed P.T. from the PlayStation Store, it’s safe to assume you could hear fans’ cries all the way down in hell.

Konami clearly has no interest in bringing Silent Hills back to life, leaving a ghastly hole in the gaming lives of horror fans. With Resident Evil 7, Capcom intends to fill that void. The demo has none of the action of recent Resident Evil games, favoring puzzles and a creepy atmosphere instead.

The Beginning Hour teaser

Will 'Resident Evil 7' Fill the Void Left by 'Silent Hills'?

A phone from the Resident Evil 7 Teaser: Beginning Hour | Source: Capcom

Your character explores a disgusting, rundown house that’s said to be haunted. As you go from room to room, you find keys and items you can use to explore further. You’ll hear odd sounds and notice things move when you’re not looking. It’s an effective piece of marketing that only takes about 20 minutes to complete once.

There’s reason to go through it more than once, because you’re not likely to notice everything on a single play-through. Players are already finding all kinds of secrets in the demo, and so far no one has figured out what to do with a dummy’s finger you can find.

Unlike previous Resident Evil games, there’s no paramilitary organization to be found in the demo, nor do any of the series previous go-to characters make an appearance. While Capcom says the main game won’t feature the content found in the demo, it’s safe to assume the demo is indicative of what to expect from the full game.

A fresh start

Will 'Resident Evil 7' Fill the Void Left by 'Silent Hills'?

A screenshot from the PS4 demo of Resident Evil 7. | Source: Capcom

Resident Evil 7 is set to launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC on January 24, 2017. It will also be playable on PlayStation VR, an experience that should significantly ramp up the scare factor for those brave enough to try it.

To keep fans satiated until then, Capcom has been remastering and re-releasing a whole slew of Resident Evil games, including the original game, Resident Evil 0, and installments four through six. The developer is also working on a from-the-ground-up remake of Resident Evil 2, but there’s no word on when that might be done.

In any case, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard seems like just the fresh start the series needs. If the demo is any indication, it brings the series back to its horror roots and leaves the action and clutter of the other recent games behind.

Follow Chris on Twitter @_chrislreed

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