E3 Double Demo Review: Resident Evil 7 & Lego Star Wars

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) During this year’s E3, Sony attempted to give people a small glimpse of what it was like to play some of the games during the convention by making two demos available right after their press conference.

The first was Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This is the latest in the long-running Lego series, this time taking inspiration from the newest Star Wars film. While I’ve never really gotten into the Lego games, I definitely see the appeal in them. The demo shows off the game’s light, fun tone and simple gameplay. There isn’t really much challenge involved in the game, but challenge isn’t really the reason you’re playing. There are fun navigation puzzles to solve, and collectibles all over the place.

While this game doesn’t really shake up the formula a ton, there are some neat elements added. The demo shows off a new cover-based shooting mechanic with a sequence reminiscent of something out of Uncharted. It wasn’t particularly groundbreaking, but it was a nice change of pace for a game that has the potential to become monotonous. The demo also gave you a chance to play a scene where you fly the Millennium Falcon. Again, the mechanics weren’t the most finely-tuned, but it was nice to get a chance to play a light, fun version of the scene from the movie.

The second demo Sony announced during their conference was Resident Evil 7: The Beginning Hour. That moment in their press conference was something really special, as they not only surprised us with the announcement of a new game in the long-running franchise, but they also gave us a chance to try it out right away.

While Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens is fairly similar to previous games in the series, Resident Evil 7 looks to turn the series on its head. The game is trying to return to its horror roots by changing the gameplay focus completely. RE7 ditches the third person view that the series has had since the beginning in favor of a first-person viewpoint. The game will also focus on atmosphere rather than big action set pieces.

Resident Evil 7: The Beginning Hour, which can be completed in about 15 minutes, takes place in a creepy, abandoned (or is it?) house. Between the creaking doors and disgusting kitchen, the demo just oozes atmosphere. The developers also use a really neat gimmick where you get to play out the events of a tape you find featuring a film crew exploring the house. The dialog featured in this sequence feels very natural, which is a huge leap for a series made famous by quotes like “master of unlocking.”

While it doesn’t seem like there is a ton to do in this demo, it seems there are lots of secrets to uncover, especially since the ending you receive seems to signal your death. There is an entire floor of the house that I missed on my first playthrough, and there are at least four variations on the ending. Since the demo seems to be heavily influenced by P.T., the demo for the now cancelled Silent Hills game, there’s plenty to explore in this bite-sized experience. If this attention to detail and focus on creepiness are reflected in the full game, Resident Evil 7 definitely has the potential to return the series to the glory it had during the original Playstation era.

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