GameSpot's The Lobby: Does Resident Evil 7's new demo make us optimistic?The GameSpot crew talk Rob Handlery's recent trip to Capcom for a chance to play Resident Evil 7: Biohazard's Lantern demo in VR.
[MUSIC] Resident Evil 7, Biohazard. Yeah. So there have been a few updates. Twilight is the new, it's not the new demo but it updated at the beginning of our demo with there's a little more to see in the mansion that we saw from the first original incarnation, the demo. And then at Gamescom I played the Lantern demo and Rob you recently what, just yesterday went to Capcom to see. Last week we went to see the lantern demo with the [UNKNOWN]. I don't know what do you think now of red label. As someone who is not super into that series. Sure and that demo was very much different your. Playing along the lines of a cat and mouse and you're being chased by one of those crazy Louisiana cannibal nut jobs. Yes. [LAUGH] That's the stereotype that we all know and love. You're not taking any breathers in this demo. So think it's happening in any of those open world- or not open world, but exploration elements of the other demos. Yeah, you're being chased the whole time. And very much a horroresque vibe. I felt a lot of similarities to Alien: Isolation or even Outlast. Sure. It was pretty gripping. I was into it. Don't play PT though. I will not. Nothing like it, sore spot. Yeah, so the premise is the lantern, I guess you could say is this woman of that family. I forget the name of them. They're the Bakers? Bakers, that's right. She is just chasing you through this mansion and you're Going under floorboards. You go in between walls. She's got a lantern that, what you need in order to pick her out from the dim lit mansion. And yeah, it was pretty insane. I was into it, and probably more so with the VR. I did play it again. Without it. But the VR element really did have me going. I mean, I'm one to fall for jump scares and. [LAUGH] Here we go. And chases. We have lots of plays right now of->> And chases. I guess we could just run another video. Of Rob jumpscare coming up. I think we have some audio later on, but. Yeah, there's one on the right. Freaked out. [LAUGH] I mean, yeah, just to be in a immersed, horror element where you're just being chased and you have to go behind boxes and peek around. That's where the VR element shined. Sure. And more so than anything else, I feel was being able to Yeah you're kind of circling a kind of box and I'm looking between the cracks of the box and it helped. Its even like a plus to have that because I could see her easier as I moved, opposed to as looking. I could still look, you know, you have that freedom to peer around smaller areas of sight. Yeah of course there's nothing like looking back and seeing this woman. I'm gonna find you [LAUGH], running at you. That's the thing. So obviously this is another flashback within the game. So this is not the main protagonist you'll be playing. This is like a VHS tape you come across. And the thing I found with this one, I played it a couple months ago, is that there weren't many jump scares. There's obviously the one you're talking about and it does happen when you turn around and she's right there when you don't know it. Obviously, the [UNKNOWN] are in kind of a gives her away which sets the point, makes her a little more ominous. But it was just a slow build of tension and dread that really drove this forward, cuz at a certain point you can solve old school Resident Evil puzzles but she's still this constant threat, kind of like the Nemesis if you played Resident Evil 3- Actually, in this demo, I'm not gonna vouch for the game or anything like that, but in the game actually, the one puzzle that they showed, it felt like actually that was a breather, now that I think about. You kinda pause. You find the puzzle Puzzle as she's chasing you. But then, you go back to where the puzzle is applied. And then, the game kind of breaks and it's like a. I thought she was still free-roaming while you're solving it. No, there was definitely [LAUGH] The first time I did it, I took forever, actually. And she definitely wasn't around. But [CROSSTALK] Did she catch you? Yeah. A couple times. [LAUGH] When I'm like trying to open a lock door. Yeah. It was very much a patch. It was on rails. Where else was we going. But it was a little bit of trial and error. [LAUGH] Just one door. She came out over there. Imagine I'm going in to. Didn't open. And she turned around, there you are! Yeah, she's got the key cuz that's one of the doors you can let her walk through so you can get behind her kind of, from what I remember. But as someone who has not, I know you played the series for awhile, and you're really familiar with the series. As someone who's not particularly familiar with it, are you optimistic about this game? Because obviously we haven't played much more than that. We did see the trailer when they were actually showing Like gun play now. And actually a little more. There's this policeman zombie in a garage, from what I can remember. It was more of a suburban setting that we saw there. So maybe that's part of the main game? I don't know if that's a flashback. But as someone who's not familiar with the series, does this strike you as something that you'll wanna jump into? Or is this something that's kind of? I mean, without nostalgia in play, what do you think of it? I thought it was, yeah, it was really fun. I mean, it makes me wanna play all these other demos because what I'm hoping this game is is it's bits and pieces of what they've been showing in different levels. It'd be cool to. Change a corner and then have this ride for a period of time. I like that idea. Mm-hm, which is what it sounds like cuz you're playing those tapes, right, that sort of put everything in that context. Mm-hm. Mm-hm, yeah, structurally it sounds like a cool storytelling mechanic. It's like the book, Haunted, by Chuck Palahniuk, or there are any number of frame stories where the main narrative contains these shorter stories in between. So I think they were saying, some of those VHS tapes you come across will actually be related to the main protagonist. Others will just be the 10 gentle things that kind of flush-out the bakers, for instance, or the house you're in, the cabin you're in, the part of the marsh you're in. But that's what is really, kind of, pushing this game home for me. As of now, it's gonna be on January. But right now, I'm pretty optimistic because I think Resident Evil does need kind of a shot in the veins, especially following 6, the last numbered entry, and then you played Umbrella Corps recently, which they removed the Resident Evil name from, but it was still a Resident Evil game. It's like Metal Gear Survive, but Resident Evil. [LAUGH] Exactly. That was the segue I should've used. But, and that was not a good game. That was a fast-paced 3v3 tactical shooter. **** show. Yeah, so they say they're trying to return to their horror roots with puzzles, the puzzle they showed in this one is very, you'd have to be pretty oblique not to solve it. Yeah! It was pretty easy, but I don't know. Now. Yeah, the demo felt like very much segmented. Again, yeah, it was like okay, puzzle time. Again, like I'm curious to know how these all mesh because I think there was something there. There was something cool about you know, you're underneath the floorboards and you find a note. You know, there are bits of like story that I'm definitely intrigued and I want to know more about. I just wonder how How is that gonna be delivered? Because that was the thing I wanted to explore but you can't [LAUGH] like you're being chased, so as long as there are successful ways of transitioning between this area. Like, I guess you could, you could say okay maybe I'll go back and play this section again But, I don't know, like, like what I'm trying to say is, during these moments of where you've have been chased like, I don't know how the honors they could like, put these moments of like, okay now you are able to like, look around and read and notice something like that. I just found It was hard to explore. Again, I just wonder how they're gonna mesh all this together. Yeah, this was definitely more of a set piece, kind of a very scripted thing. She was traveling along these certain paths and then when she heard something, if you stood up and ran too fast she would kind of chasing you. So it makes you crotch the whole time and then You were saying that you were kind of worried when you were under the floorboard, you were kinda hunching over. That was in the VR, though. Right, that was very cool. Inherently, you just wanted to crouch. Cuz there's a lot of the moments of claustrophobic vibes, where it was like, god, she's definitely above me. What is she gonna, come out and get me? It was cool. It was a fun, little rollercoaster. Yeah. Yeah. And then, that's why I'm saying the big mystery remains, and I think we'll be seeing more of it in the coming months before January, cuz I think I think Capcom is pretty aware that people are worried they haven't seen much gunplay. So I think some people at Capcom are saying that's why they included it in the trailer recently. People are worried about seeing the thing that they've said the series has too much of? Yeah. Okay. Yeah, exactly. They're saying okay, now it's not a Resident Evil game. It's just going off PT. And that's a sore spot because Resident Evil 7 was already in development before PT was ever a thing. And then you have people like [INAUDIBLE] saying no this isn't something we're piggy backing off of. But Outlast 2 does the same kind of horror as well. So it's almost becoming this new trend in horror that's this first person atmosphere. Narrative driven, kind of, as opposed to the actual survival. But the new trailer in Resident Evil seven, that longer one that showed more survival elements. They're talking about there was going to be the green herbs for healing, there's going to be guns that you'll probably have to conserve ammo. I mean it really comes down to inventory management. Right? That is the only aspect of survival that ever existed in Resident Evil. Because you could find enough stuff, you just couldn't carry it all with you. If they can get that down, if they can make the sense of discovery, think back to the original Resident Evil, right? When you finally solve enough puzzles and you unlocked a new part of the mansion or new section outside the mansion, that made all the tedium of going in circles in that one area worth it. Because then you really appreciated this new place. And again, the six cameras gave you a very strong sense of tension and atmosphere. If it can just do those three things, I think this game will be a good Resident Evil game, despite everything else that it does. I think those are the pillars that need to happen. So do you think it'll be structurally set up kinda like a Metroid, where you're backtracking a lot and then to unlock these new areas? I don't even wanna say Metroid. I mean, Obviously the more apt comparison is Resident Evil 1, 2, 3. Yes, I do think that if they are consciously trying to -- you have to do something new, but you have to do it in the framework of a thing that people have told them that they love and they want more of. It would behoove them to go back and really break down what made those games successful and why impart that knowledge into that new formula. That's where It's going to be interesting to see because you look at the patterns, it was like one, two, three. Whereas that very, that third person fixed camera in or management and four, five, six are much more, third person action driven. You wonder if like Seven, eight, nine, I don't know how long it's gonna go. But you wonder if they're gonna stick with this for a while until the next thing comes along. Or whether Capcom knows what they're doing at this point or not. There was a weird period of transition I think for gaming, and especially international game development where Japanese developers are trying to make games to suit the west. What they thought Westerners wanted, because our market is bigger and growing, where Japan is shrinking. And that's probably why we got a lot of those action games. I'm just guessing here. But it seems to me that was sort of the right time and place for that sort of thing, or so they What I thought. I feel like those things are done. I feel like now they're almost starting from scratch and looking at the past won't really inform us where we're going. I think this game really is setting the future for the series. Like the tone for it and Who knows what's going to happen? I hope it's great. Everything so far seems really promising. I haven't seen anything apart from a few technical things related to VR. Like crouching, I was told there's not really a transition. You just kind of, hard cut. That's really bad. That sounds really nauseating. Yea that's immediately a problem. [UNKNOWN] cool but this game seems like it'll be good outside of VR anyway. That's just sort of the icing on cake, as long as it doesn't get rancid. And that's a challenge though because producer Kuwata saying at Gamescom that, it's an obvious quote, you're never gonna please 100% of the people. But in this case specifically, you have those people that have been around since Resident Evil 1, 2 Three, I don't, they're the ones that people that usually came on for. People who are ready to walk away from the series. There are people that are more excited for a Resident Evil 2 remake, because that's a sure, it's not even a sure thing, because that's an entirely remake game, whereas remake the Gamecube game was already Made by a team that worked on the original. But then you have the camp that was introduced with four which is an iconic third person action game. How do you kind of merge those two camps with seven? Do you have to and how do you actually bring them into the present? And I know that. That the team is very cognizant of the fact that they're not gonna do that completely. And I hope that they just don't worry about that that much, and definitely convey the Resident Evil vibes that I'm looking for. Like you said, the inventory management, that kind of getting a sense of space and ownership over this mansion, or whatever you're gonna be in, and then I like the structure of it already. I guess the bigger picture things has yet to be seen. Hopefully we'll see more before January. But, I don't know. I'm optimistic about it, but I don't know. You said the VR exacerbated the tension of everything. Yeah, and to hear you guys talk makes me wonder, what does this Cat and mouse type of element, how does it actually transfer into the rest of the game? How can you hit up your inventory when you're constantly being chased? Well that's just it, right? It could be part of the whole cassette structure, where this is just literally a slice. Which I kinda hope, what an excellent opportunity to experiment with all sorts of different types of horror. They could just run the gambit of These great sort of horror paradigms over the last few decades from film within this game, and gaming as well. So yeah, I think that's probably how that's going to exist. Yeah, they're literally cassette tapes, drawing the comparison to VHS, the movies. I think there's three, the found footage. Those short stories contained on the tapes are throw away, not throw away, those are these kind of ancillary segments that Don't relate to the main game. Maybe narratively, but mechanically they could be completely different. Which would be awesome because then you get this little bite size kinda breath of fresh air, from maybe the overarching kind of system you figured out. And that, that's what intrigues me most. And I hope they really go for that structure. What if some of them are like, super light-hearted tapes? Where you're just like participating in like, something before the chaos and the horror? Maybe like ants, like the bakers before they became Yeah. Like the Like that they showed in the trailer. I think it's gonna be very interesting. Maybe there's like one where they just finished eating your legs and you are crawling away out of the [UNKNOWN] That'd be great. That's a 12 second segment of me trying to get out of the house. Screaming. [SOUND] My leg Eggs Still don't know what that finger does in the beginning of our demo. That's why I always tell them you can put it on that hand, the mannequin figure, but it keeps saying there's a purpose to it. Its probably just- [CROSSTALK] That's exactly what I was thinking. Either that or plugging a hole in the wall. There's an axe as well. I think they include the axe just to hint that there's gonna be weapons. But that's the most subtle hint ever. Cuz this is the first demo they ever released for the game. And I think it's still sitting at the highest most downloaded PS4 demo ever. It was at like 3 million last time we checked. It hit 2 million back in June. But, yeah. I don't know. I'm very intrigued and excited about the game as a [UNKNOWN] fan and as just someone who likes horror games in general. And on Outlast 2 being pushed back to what I believe is gonna be after this now. Mm. That's kinda making the way for Outlast 2 a little easier, I'd say. Anyway, cool. Let us know what you think about Resident Evil 7 Biohazard in the comments below. It'll be out January 24th, I believe, for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. [MUSIC]