We now have another piece in the Resident Evil 7 puzzle thanks to a new gameplay trailer released at Gamescom. However, it's a very condensed take on what's actually playable and, having gone hands on with it, there’s a bunch of stuff you need to know.
These videotape missions are the new 'notes'
Remember how Resi always had lots of notes you could read to pick up on backstory and non-essential narrative stuff? (The ‘Itchy. Tasty.’ one from the first game being the iconic example). These new videotape missions replace those.
The Beginning Hour demo we’ve already seen won’t actually be in the game itself but this Lantern one will. Both, however, demonstrate their function: with this one filling in prior events, while Beginning Hour teaches you something you need to know - in that case how to find a secret switch hidden in the fireplace.
It means that while we’ve now seen two pieces of gameplay, we haven’t actually seen the game itself.
This isn’t the same house as before
I know it’s hard to tell one spooky murder shack from another, but this is a different building to the one you saw in Beginning Hour. This is, in fact, a mansion in a swamp, and during my demo I was told it was part of an estate. The implication seems to be that there will be several houses to explore at the very least, if not more. We also now know the game’s set in Dulvey, Louisiana, within in a plantation, and the disappearance of Jack and Marguerite Baker (remember those names) seems to be the catalyst that kicks everything off.
That woman is WAY worse in the actual game
You get it easy in that trailer. The woman is actually very vocal in-game, screaming and swearing at you constantly about your ingratitude for her ‘opening my house to you’. There are a fair few f-bombs and lines like ‘every step you take away from me you spit on her memory’ - begging the question whose memory? She also talks about 'feeding you to her babies' and generally sounds furiously insane, in a Texas Chainsaw murder hillbilly kind of way.
Worse still, if she catches you as you sneak around she drops the lantern and runs at you - screaming all the way until her horrible, horrible head fills the screen. Still screaming at you. Then she pounds your face to mush with the palm of her hand.
She’s called Marguerite Baker and is actually another member of the mysterious ‘family’ the game keeps referencing. You’ve already met Jack in Beginning hour. They’re not good people.
There’s a classically weird Resi puzzle
Most of the actual gameplay in the Lantern demo involves sneaking around rooms trying to avoid Marguerite. Survive long enough and you’ll find a strangely shaped stone. Take that to a plinth with a lantern shining on it (there’s a theme here) and you can twist it around until it makes a spider shadow on the wall. That then opens up a secret passage. It’s a very old school style Resi puzzle which is nice to see.
Who’s that girl?
The title card of the video identifies the girl as Mia, who also calls out an Ethan in the opening. And that’s all we have so far. You can hear in the trailer that she says ‘I can’t let her catch me again’ suggesting this is joining her part way through the ordeal. She's definitely not the main character and chances are it doesn't end well for her. It's also likely we'll be meeting Ethan later to find out what happened to him.