“Spreading Darkness”

Without a doubt, one of the biggest surprises during Sony’s stellar briefing Monday evening was the reveal of Resident Evil 7 biohazard. The unexpected announcement was proliferated by two tidbits of additional information, the first being that the game will be completely playable on PlayStation VR upon its January 24, 2017 release date. Secondly, during its reveal it was announced that a playable teaser will go live at the end of the night for all PlayStation Plus Members. Titled Resident Evil 7 Teaser Demo: Beginning Hour, the short, yet intriguing demo was a great way to spend a slice of an evening. Filled with mystery and the unknown to be explored, there’s a lot to like about where Resident Evil 7 may be headed.E3 2016 - Resident Evil 7 biohazard | Preview (Braxton Haugen)Upon booting up the teaser, the screen creatively cut back and forth between distorted video files and corrupted memory, coming together to form a series of intriguing clips that kicked off the demo with a sense of foreboding. As the images transitioned into a grainy, yet visible cutscene from the first-person perspective of a man restrained in a chair, a tone of dread began to reveal itself. In the room with the man tied to the chair, hands restricted by rope, lie another man, slowly regaining his consciousness after presumably being assaulted. Approaching the person whose perspective we’re seeing this ordeal play out from, the man from the ground starts to cut loose their restraints with a knife he found on the floor. Nearly through all the ropes, the freeing process is interrupted by a clattering in the hall. Just as I got the feeling something very bad was about to happen, the scene cut to black. Resuming, moments later, the control was handed to me for the first time, but I was in a different location. Placed in the shoes of an initially unidentified man pushing himself up from where he lay on the creaking floorboards, I took in my surroundings. Wherever I was, it was very clear I didn’t belong there. Tasked with simply escaping the house–provoked by an on screen prompt–I began working my way through the seemingly abandoned residence in search of an exit.


The teaser’s striking similarities with that of P.T.–a now treasured relic of video game history–extend to both its style of announcement and presentation. The further you get into the demo, it becomes clear you’re in a farmhouse, with moments of strong resemblance to P.T., hinting to many of the same disturbing notes. Moving through the atmospheric home, there were select objects to interact with as I went. Picking up ominous pieces of paper, keys, and most exciting, a pair of handy bolt cutters, there were plenty of items of interest to tinker with throughout the environment. In regards to how frightening Resident Evil’s teaser presented itself, there were certainly some creepy, even shocking moments, but none were able to achieve true terror. That said, reaching such levels of horror wasn’t the point. Resident Evil 7 Teaser’s main objective was to introduce a cursory look at what the future holds for the iconic franchise.  Fortunately, it seems to be quite the departure from where we last left the series, this time opting for a more focused approach on delivering scares, rather than killing waves of zombies. It’s certainly a step in the right direction, and one I’m eager to see fully come to fruition.E3 2016 - Resident Evil 7 biohazard | Preview (BraxtonHaugen)What stuck with me most from my time within biohazard’s Beginning Hour demo, was its immense potential for VR use. Experiencing the thrills and terror of what was alluded to in this teaser, while wearing a headset, is a truly exciting prospect. Feeding off one another, my excitement level for both Resident Evil 7 and PlayStation VR have been considerably increased following my time with the teaser. Though brief, the demo suggests big things are in store for the historically important series. Based on my experience with Resident Evil 7 in its current stage, consider me on-board for what’s to come.

To keep up with my thoughts on all things E3 2016 as they go down live, connect with me on Twitter @BraxHaugen.