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THE_DEADMAKER Blog

RESIDENT EVIL 7: ENTER THE VCR HORROR...

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So that Gamescom trailer for Resident Evil 7 is making the rounds. It sells us some more of the horror atmosphere, a little story, and some more hide-and-seek gameplay as a character in peril seeks to avoid some rickety bitch with a lantern. But it also raises a lot of questions about this new version of Resident Evil, even begging to question whether, claims of a 'return to its roots' aside, this is simply a Resident Evil by name only.

These VHS tapes, man. What is the thinking behind their design? They look to feature as part of the game's story in a prominent way.

http://blog.us.playstation.com/2016/08/17/resident-evil-7-biohazard-trailer-reveals-new-story-details/

Quote:

While Beginning Hour acts as a setup for the main game, this time you’ll see a found footage videotape segment that will appear in the final game. (Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you, the videotape graphical effects are distinct to these segments and aren’t representative of the rest of the game.)

Have the VHS segments actually been 'filmed', or is it just an artifice they've ended up using to justify switching characters? Let's be pedantic. Yay, pedantry! 8D

VHS camcorders, even the handheld compact VHS-C ones, aren't easy to maneuver. The use of a camera, any camera, isn't being relayed in that trailer footage (since the character is shown to use both hands to open that gate at the start). Less importantly, we're obviously not looking through a viewfinder (as the character is able to do in Outlast) since there's no indication of it on the HUD, no camera shake etc (although that would be bound to make the VR thing even more vomitorious).

So the first person thing coupled with the 'camcorder practicalities' thing makes their implementation of the VHS tape segments in the game all the more confusing. Perhaps it follows the same type of logic as the VHS tape from The Ring, although they chalked up the contents of that particular tape to "projected thoughtography" to explain how a ghost was able to make a tape.

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Yes, it makes a lot sense... But let's face it. Resident Evil titles are not the go-to brand when it comes to story. This one has been written by the F.E.A.R writer, but what does that mean to anyone? I will say that for the first time, perhaps since the original, this looks to be a Resident Evil that is actively trying to live up to the 'Resident' and the 'Evil' elements of its title. At least, that's the impression this trailer is trying to cultivate.

Personally, I think the granny with the lantern would have been scarier if they had ripped off the granny from The Shining. If that was following you around, you'd shit a brick. But they've gone with the granny from Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead.

Anyway, I have to wonder (in order of least importance to chief importance):

A) This is [apparently] a survival horror story. When the stakes are as high as they can be - stay and die/ run and live - what idiot would try to make a VHS tape (however unfeasible) while being stalked by Ed Gein and his landlady?

B) If these VHS segments are all weapon free, 'hide-and-get-jump-scared' type levels, scripted to conclude with "Welcome-to-butt-f***ing-evil/ Gotcha!" type endings, doesn't that instantly kill any sense of achieveability for the player going into them?

C) Will the blasted VHS tapes be an updated version of the typewriter ribbons? Are they maybe the new 'puzzles'? Will players be expected to revisit them multiple times? Has Capcom heard of 'the practice effect'?

D) When will we see combat, puzzle exploration, and/or zombies? There are zombies in this right? It bears the Biohazard subtitle [main title in Japan] for that reason, right? Right? ಠ_ಠ

E) How much longer will I have to wait until RE2make is shown, since that is probably the title I am looking forward to more - after reading back what I've written.