Editor-in-Chief’s Note: This is a guest post by Thom Frost. Thom has been playing video games ever since the Atari Commodore 64 9,000 came out. He’s basically old as dirt, so he’s been playing video games for as long as they’ve been around. We’re talking 1970s to now. That’s a lot of gaming years. He’s like, a non-professional, pro gamer. (OK, he’s probably only played them since the 1980s, but it’s more fun to say that he’s older than that.) Mr. Frost give any sort of game a shot. So, when I saw that the RE7 Demo was out on PS4, I gave him a ring, and he agreed to suffer through, I mean, play it and review it for us. At least…I’m pretty sure he played it. He was joking about letting his cat and his 14 cockatiels do it for him, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t seeing as how they don’t have opposable thumbs.
The Resident Evil 7 Demo has one simple objective: get out of the house alive. Unfortunately…there’s no way to do that. Yep. That’s right. The demo is a total jerk.
As exciting as it is to get your hands on the demo (now on PC, XBOX ONE and PS4), it really doesn’t give the full game play experience. Meaning– there are no weapons, no monsters/bad guys to fight, and no way out of the house–which is the only objective the demo gives the player.
Apparently, in the full version of the game, you get a gun, axe, and chainsaw to use as you try to find a way out. But in the demo, you can’t use any of them. At all.
It’s basically a walking simulator.
The puzzles are minimal, and just open new areas to walk around in. It almost seems like the demo was released a long time before the game was finished. It really makes me wonder if what happens in the demo is even related to the plot of the game.
The demo/teaser/trailer/walking simulator as it is, provides little game play experience. It sucks. The PS4 demo sucks. There I said it. You’re welcome.
Now, before you go on and say, “But Thom, did you even PLAY THE GAME DEMO/TEASER/WALKING SIMULATOR?”
Yes. I played the demo four times, and I watched the Let’s Play YouTube videos to see if I missed anything. I found all the hidden stuff they say is in the game; bullets, lockpicking kit, axe and so on.
I watched a few videos showing appearing ghost in the house, but when I played and tried several times to get it to show up, the ghost did not appear for me. So either the ghost was something they took out with a patch, or it was a bug.
There is no way to get out of the house! AT ALL!
The demo/game is very restrictive. It is one of those train track things where you have do to things in a specific order or you get absolutely nowhere, which doesn’t bode well for the game.
One of the fun things about Survival Horror is the exploration.
Survival horror is all about exploration. Without it, the suspense and build up of ambiance doesn’t happen. It’s not a scary game without it.
If you can’t explore rooms and do things when you want, and are restricted to the Room A- Room B- Room C logic flow, it removes the part of the game genre that people love to play. You can’t unlock a door that you need to go through if you don’t do things in a specific order.
For instance, you can’t get to the chain in the fireplace until after you watch the video. The fireplace chain has to be pulled to open up a secret door in a wall that leads to another room. Without that progression, the demo will not end.
But, oddly enough, you don’t have to watch it a second time to get the chain, so if you die and start over you can get to the chain once you wake up.
It does not give you a chance to defend yourself, and it seems like it has a scripted path that it walks you down, and you can only go that way. The demo ends the same way, with some random crazy cannibal hobo man attacking you and knocking you out. That’s it. You can’t escape. He always gets you, in the same place in the hallway by the back door every time.
However, he can’t attack you if your back is against the wall. He only seems to be able to attack you from behind, and not from the sides or front. So he waits someplace for you to turn your back to him.
There has to be secret passages in the house. You would think they would have like a sound of them opening a door or something. But there’s nothing. The guy just pops out of nowhere and attacks you and the demo ends. How lame is that?
- I did figure out between trial and error (and videos) how to open that door in the cabinet in the kitchen; there is a lock picking kit between the microwave and the refrigerator.
- I found bullets for a gun, but no gun.
- I used the axe to try and chop through the blocked doors–it didn’t work.
- I also figured out where the mannequin finger goes–in the room on the third floor hidden by the tv’s there is the mannequin hand and you can attach the finger to it. It looks like you can use it to poke or something but no use in the demo as far as I can tell. You can attach it but it does nothing.
I even went back in to play through it again and got the lock picking kit again, and then went to the 3rd floor to see if I could pick the lock on the window but the kit was removed from my inventory. There is no way to open the doors or the windows in the building!
The dialog changes from the first play to the second and so on, but that’s it. For instance, when you pick up the ringing phone what she says on the phone changes, and also what the guys in the video say changes too.
PRO TIP: There are no multiple endings in the PS4 version of the demo. There’s just different ways to get to the end of the demo. But…there are certain things that you have to do in a specific order first, before you can move on to do the different progressions to get to the end so that the murder hobo can kill you.
The main thing that I don’t like about the Resident Evil 7 demo is they make it harder than it needs to be by adding and taking things away, like the table, the fuse and so on. I mean, I can see the key because someone dropped it but the rest? Makes zero sense. There’s just random crap to pick up in the demo that has nothing really do to with anything you do in it.
The demo/teaser/walking simulator of Resident Evil 7 doesn’t really tell a story either. It doesn’t give a good idea as to what the game will be about, or even why people are cannibals and living in a mock up set of the house from “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”
I gave it a little credit for being just a demo and limited functionally, however, demos are supposed to give a feel for game play, and this one doesn’t really do much of anything. There’s no combat, no solving big puzzles, nothing. Just walk here, pick up this random crap, go over there, now die!
The Resident Evil 7 Demo Features:
- Random teleporting mannequins, because reasons!
- A cannibal family that tries to make your character eat bugs, because reasons!
- A news reporter and cameraman?
- A house that you are told to escape from that you can’t!
- A fuse box!
- A fireplace chain!
- A Cathode Ray TV with VCR, and much , much more!
Call now, operators are standing by!
The RE7 demo isn’t even a full level of game play. Just a small section of it. It really seems to me that they weren’t anywhere close to being done with programming the game when they released the demo.
Now, I don’t know if the demo is unfinished seeing as they put out one patch for it already, or if they just restricted the game play to just the house.
Could be both really… But that seems kind of dumb, seeing as how the game itself should be pretty much done (it is going on sale January 2017) and all they should be doing is tweaking and fixing some bugs. Just going by the demo it does not feel like a finished game, or what that is going to be released soon.
The demo feels more like one of those hidden treasure games than a horror game. Honestly, it lacks atmosphere. There is no dread. There is no “Oh crap what is going to come up and attack me next?” There isn’t even traps that you know are set up for you to fail but you gotta try to get the item anyways.
It really seems like they made it for just VR (i.e the Proprietary Oculus Rift Game Engine type stuff) in mind and then were like “Oh yeah, not many people have VR headsets, so let’s change it up a bit.”
It’s like watching a 3d movie on a 2d tv and people are always shoving something in your face or what not, and it looks stupid in 2d. It feels like it was made specifically for VR devices, and then ported it to the regular gaming consoles. Seems to me the graphics should be better as well, they don’t seem improved from PS3 stuff to be honest. And that is rather sad.
Editor’s Note: It does appear that there is far more gameplay and story in the VR versions than in the regular console versions of the demo. So people without an Oculus or similar device are missing out on a lot of stuff.
After playing through the demo six times, I can say that personally I don’t like the game. I thought maybe I wasn’t giving it a real chance so I tried it a few more times and was like no, it just sucks. Really, it just looks bad to me.
Not sure what the final outcome will be, but if this is an accurate representation of the game, I wouldn’t like it, nor would I buy it.
But still, I will give it a 2.5 out of 5. I gave it an extra point just because it’s a demo, and I’m not sure if they restricted the game play for the demo or not.