I’ll admit that when I first saw the E3 trailer for Resident Evil VII: Biohazard I was taken aback by the new direction of the franchise, mostly because the footage shown seemed to be more of a reaction to the success of Silent Hill: P.T. and incoming VR tech than an original RE game. I’m not saying it doesn’t look cool because it does, and I am intrigued by it, but upon first seeing the trailer and then playing through the Beginning Hour demo I just couldn’t associate what I was experiencing with Resident Evil.
What I really wanted to see, and I believe many RE fans did as well, was a back to roots game with a suspensful story full of zombies, genetic aberrations, and good ol’ Umbrella Corporation scheming in the shadows.
New information, however, has come to light at Gamescom that gives me hope that what we’re seeing in these demos is nothing but the tip of the iceberg of what this game will actually have to offer. Producer Masachika Kawata recently told Gamespot that although the Lantern demo is part of the final game, it doesn’t necessarily represent anything significant to the main storyline, in fact, it’s only a flashback. This is why the gameplay demos that we've gotten up until now seem so far removed from the Resident Evil universe that we’re accustomed to. Apparently, instances like these will abound in the game as a revamped storytelling method since they are the playable equivalent of the notes and audio logs you would find when exploring the environment in previous RE games.
That being said, the Lantern demo is not necessarily indicative of a complete departure from traditional Resident Evil. Instead, it may be a sign of a more in-depth approach to the narrative this game will try to convey as part of an attempt to revitalize the series and make it more immersive. Is it an ingenious or completely misguided idea? Only time will tell, but for now I’m actually very interested in seeing what the real main quest will be like.