Resident Evil 7 Biohazard: Beginning Hour Teaser Review


Oh, Resident Evil.  How you’ve broken my heart in the past. From the amazing beginnings to the revival with RE4 to the near collapse of the entire franchise in recent days.  Do I dare hope for greatness again?

The teaser demo for the seventh entry in the series, Beginning Hour, tells me yes… maybe.

This short demo introduces us to the crew of a paranormal investigation show, and you’re the cameraman.  This excuses the first-person POV that you take for the duration of the demo, as the light on your camera is the only way to see in the dark house you explore.

The house is said to be haunted, as well as the surrounding swamp.  As you wander the house trying to find a way out, you must investigate, solve puzzles, and dodge the weird, spooky stuff going on around you.  Depending on what you do and the order you do it in, different endings are available.

Yes, I’m discussing a Resident Evil game.

That’s what has me in kind of a weird place about this one.  Did I enjoy the demo? Immensely.  It’s obviously taking a lot from the amazing PT when it comes to style and feel, and I adored that playable teaser.  But… is this Resident Evil?  There’s zero feeling of survival horror.  There’s zero combat (although producers say there will be in the final game) and absolutely no sign of the undead.  This is a first-person adventure game, much like Outlast, down to the “I need the camera to see” motif.

I found myself wishing this was a brand new title based on new IP.  The engine is gorgeous, running at 60fps and super hi-def in order to support the upcoming PlayStation VR.  The setting is engaging, and it’s clear there’s a mythos being built.  It just seems to be one based on ghosts and possibly the good old fashioned hillbilly murder clan.  That’s just not Resident Evil.  At all.

We have to balance that with statements from the creators that none of Beginning Hour will be in the final game, not even the characters.  That’s fine, but why produce this as a teaser, then?  With PT, the point was to show off the kind of game they wanted to make.  This has no combat, while the final game will, and none of the characters.  What is it they’re showing us, then?  Do we even know what kind of game RE7 will become?  I don’t think we do.  That makes this demo an overall disappointment because all we can be sure of is that it shows off the engine very well.

That said, we can’t ignore what we have: a very tight, gorgeous, atmospheric first-person title that made me jump more than once.  In VR it should be extremely intense.  While there’s doubt that it will represent anything to do with the Resident Evil series, if they can take what they show us here and expand it into a full-length game of the same style, it’ll be a winner.


  • Resident Evil 7 Biohazard: Beginning Hour Demo
User Rating 3.14 (7 votes)


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