The latest chapter in Resident Evil will try to redefine the franchise’s style of survival horror.
Resident Evil 7 biohazard is the next game in Capcom’s long-standing series, Sony revealed on Monday night during its E3 presentation.
The game will launch on Jan. 24, 2017 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC for $59.99.
Resident Evil 7 will be fully playable through PlayStation VR from start to finish. The game can still be played stand-alone outside of virtual reality.
The reveal trailer shows that Resident Evil 7 looks to bring the franchise back to its horror roots but with a different spin compared to the classic games. The story takes place after the events of Resident Evil 6 (2012), with the game once again set in a mansion on a plantation area in rural America. The game’s biohazard subtitle is taken from the franchise’s name in Japan.
The game will be played entirely from the first-person perspective, a major shift from the third-person gameplay of the previous mainline Resident Evil titles.
Resident Evil 7 will feature a cast of new characters. The main protagonist is described as being a regular person, designed to set the player inside the world from the character’s view. As seen briefly in the reveal trailer, the game also might introduce new ghost elements alongside the classic zombies.
The game is in development from Capcom’s team in Japan using the company’s new proprietary “RE Engine,” which is the first game designed with it. Resident Evil 7 partly expands upon the Kitchen horror demo for PlayStation VR that Capcom created in 2015, which the company developed to test its new engine. Resident Evil 7 has been in development since early 2014, according to Mike Lunn, the associate product marketing manager at Capcom. Masachika Kawata, a long-time developer on the franchise and the producer on Resident Evil: Revelations (2012), is Resident Evil 7’s producer.
A demo of the game called Resident Evil 7 Teaser: Beginning Hour is available to download now exclusively on PS4 for PlayStation Plus subscribers. The demo has multiple endings and ways to play through it.
Pre-ordering Resident Evil 7 digitally from the PlayStation Store gets a dynamic theme for the game. Those that pre-order will also get a Survival Pack that unlocks special in-game items and the highest difficulty level. The game can currently only pre-ordered from the PlayStation Store with the Xbox One and PC versions soon following. A deluxe version of Resident Evil 7 comes with access to four extra smaller stories and one full story add-on for $79.99.
The last mainline game in the series was Resident Evil 6, which first released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in October 2012. Resident Evil 6 and its action style is an even further departure from the franchise’s survival horror roots than Resident Evil 5 (2009), which expanded upon the action gameplay elements that began with Resident Evil 4 (2005).
While Resident Evil 7 is taking the franchise in a new direction, it won’t be the first game in the series to be played from the first-person view. Spin-off games like Resident Evil Survivor (2000) on the PS1, Resident Evil: Dead Aim (2003) on PlayStation 2, The Umbrella Chronicles (2007) and The Darkside Chronicles (2009) for the Wii were only played from the first-person viewpoint.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the survivor horror series created by Shinji Mikami that started on the original PlayStation in March 1996. The latest game in the franchise is Resident Evil: Revelations 2, an episodic release with more traditional survival horror elements that launched last spring. As of March 31, the entire Resident Evil franchise has sold more than 68 million copies.
PlayStation VR launches on Oct. 13 for $399.99.
Watch the game’s reveal trailer: