Today Capcom announced that their Resident Evil 7 Teaser demo – officially known as Resident Evil 7 Teaser: Beginning Hour, the official demo for Resident Evil 7 biohazard, none of which is at all a mouthful to say – is officially the most downloaded single-player demo ever on PS4. In North America. In the first seven days.
Still, even with all those caveats, the performance of the Resident Evil 7 Teaser demo – over 2 million downloads worldwide – is damn impressive. It was certainly one of the surprise pieces of interest at this year’s E3, both by its presence, and by the form the game is taking.
Over the years, Resident Evil has been forking down the path of action adventure and away from its survival horror roots, powered chiefly by the change of control scheme from the 90s tank-like controls (turn/or move/or shoot… but not all at once). Latterly, with over-the-shoulder viewpoints and scuttling between waist-high cover, the series has had more in common with Gears of War than the original mansion crawl, latterly capped off by the spectacularly stupid Umbrella Corps. That’s Capcom’s attempt to take on the competitive online shooter with a Resi flavour, in case you missed it; think of it like Battlefield: Hardline or Rainbow Six: Siege (but with added zombies) and you’d be close, but it’s much worse than that.
Resident Evil 7 biohazard is looking like the exact antidote to all that machismo nonsense. It’s all suspense, slow builds and jangling nerves, and judging by the popularity of the teaser demo, it’s going down a treat with the series’ core fans.
It’s also worth mentioning that it can’t have hurt the Resident Evil 7 Teaser demo’s prospects to have had both Allison Road and Silent Hills – with its spectacularly creepy and somewhat similar demo P.T., that was unceremoniously pulled from the PlayStation store after Konami fell out in grand fashion with Hideo Kojima and cancelled the game – cancelled in the run up to the Resident Evil 7 biohazard announcement.
A cynical person might say that Capcom saw the cancellation of Silent Hills by its arch-rival Konami and quickly put together – or at least, modified or tailored – the Resident Evil 7 Teaser demo to address that need. Whatever the case, it’s doing rather well.