Capcom has recently announced Resident Evil 7: Biohazard with a release date slated for January 24th, 2017. The title has also been announced for PlayStation VR. Along with the announcement, they also said they would be releasing a free demo on the PlayStation Network for all PS Plus users.
The demo, called Beginning Hours, is very influenced by Silent Hills’ P.T., the entire demo takes place in a semi-abandoned house that was previously owned by rednecks who recently disappeared. You fill the role of a camera man who explores supposedly haunted places with his coworkers. The demo jumps back and forth between a playable video recorded by you, and then you once you awaken in the house.
The house is full of rotten food and other gross sights such as a dead raven in a microwave. The house also features creepy appearances by deranged rednecks, ghosts, and moving mannequins. With surprises around every corner, the demo is filled with tense moments that get your heart racing and your hands sweaty.
An effective aspect of this game is the puzzles; with P.T. as the demo’s comparison, the puzzles in P.T. were solved within a couple hours. Beginning Hours still hasn’t had all of it’s puzzles solved, creating a whole new level of interest to all of the small details in the game. With hidden items shoved into the nooks and crannies of the cramped house.
While exploring the house you feel immersed in it through its first-person gameplay style. The house is mostly covered in shadows, so you are equipped with a flashlight to cut your way through the darkness. While there's no combat in this demo, there is a weapon you can equip to destroy various objects so you can get a feel for how the fighting will feel in the actual game. Chopping up boxes and scary mannequins is satisfying, but it leaves you wanting more. Each corner you turn fills you with more and more dread. Playing through the VHS tape gives a unique twist to the demo, as you can influence certain objects in the past so that you can access them in the future. This is a unique and fun element to the demo that we can only hope will make its way into the final game.
Even though the demo won’t be featured in the actual game, it’s still exciting to play what feels like a return to Resident Evil’s survival-horror roots. With hidden items throughout, currently unsolved puzzles over a week later, and multiple ending, Resident Evil: Beginning Hours is a fun, scary play through that is definitely your worth your time!