During the short demo of Lantern showing off some of the game mechanics of Capcom’s latest entry to its Resident Evil Franchise, Resident Evil 7, we knew right away that it would be a completely different RE game. For one thing, the demo was entirely in first person, and highlighted the use of light, shadow and the environment to escape the clutches of Marguerite Baker, a very disturbed and probably insane member of the family that’s shown off in the marketing material of RE 7.
That switch to first person is extremely jarring, especially for longtime fans of the series. The days of admiring Chris Redfield’s carefully rendered pectoral muscles are over – you’ll have to guide Ethan, the protagonist of RE 7 – away from the clutches of the Family entirely in first person.
It’s a refreshing change from the usual zombie killing fest that the previous games embraced heavily. Masachika Kawata, one of the producers for the upcoming game, told us that the RE 7 would feel more cramped, intimate and visceral. Ethan, the protagonist of the game, isn’t a superhuman soldier – he’s a regular dude that’s been kidnapped by this “family”, and as a result, enemies that he encounter will almost always be stronger than him. Speaking of enemies, you’ll still be mostly surrounded by foes, but it’s not going to be the huge horde that you’ve faced in past games. A smaller foe count also coincides with the use of cramper environments to give a sense of claustrophobia to the proceedings.
This sense of fragility, Kawata hopes, will make for a far scarier experience. Kawata also told us that they’ve also looked to horror films of yore for inspiration as well – that video of the Baker family eating what we’re guessing is human flesh is a legit nod to 80’s slasher films like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
And while Iwata was still tight-lipped about major details of the game, he did share a couple of key points about RE7 when it finally hits consoles on January. It’ll still be an RE game at heart, so you can expect it to have plenty of puzzles as well as heart-pounding moments with each new door you open. Item management will also be key to your survival.
Kawata also notes that they’ve gone to great lengths to improve the graphical fidelity of the game to the point of photo-realism, using their new, built from scratch game engine, called RE Engine. That’s not all – Capcom is also tweaking the game so that it’ll be playable with the VR headset of Sony for the PlayStation, though obviously the game will perform better on the PS4 Pro with updated graphics rather than the OG PS4.
As for gameplay, well, you can download the Lantern demo for yourself to see how a portion of the game will play. The demo is available to download now, and the game will drop January next year.