This bangin' Steam Next Fest demo is a throwback to classic Resident Evil survival horror but with modern graphics

Echoes of the Living
(Image credit: MoonGlint)

If you've ever wondered what a modern day take on the classic, fixed-camera Resident Evil games would look like, an upcoming indie survival horror called Echoes of the Living is pretty much exactly that.

After playing through its stellar Steam Next Fest demo, I highly recommend checking out Echoes of the Living, not only if you're a fan of old-school horror, but also if you're just a fan of tense, atmospheric scares more broadly.

When I first downloaded the demo, my biggest initial worry was that Echoes of the Living would just be old Resident Evil but not as good. But what it ended up being was old Resident Evil but really, really good and just modernized enough. 

For example, the game is gorgeous. It does have that very late-90s top-down, fixed camera perspective, but each and every frame crams in so much beautifully macabre detail that I can't help but take a beat - once I've bested all of the zombies in the area of course - and appreciate the grisly view. The soundtrack is also great; original and effective, but definitely evocative of the classics.

Echoes of the Living

(Image credit: MoonGlint)

There's also an option for modern controls, which, again, even as an appreciator of PS1-era survival horror, I thanked the heavens for while playing the demo. You can play with the classic tank controls if you prefer, but I'd rather leave those in the '90s along with seashell bracelets and bleached tips.

Otherwise, this is a Resident Evil-like all the way. There are cramped interior and outdoor corridors littered with the walking dead, scarce supplies of ammo and healing items, safe rooms where you can save your game and store stuff, and even a very Resident Evil-esque pause menu, inventory screen, and font.

Just like the first game in the series, you can choose from two characters at the start: Leon - ahem, Liam - Oakwood or Laurel Reaves. An ex-Spec Ops soldier and a deputy, respectively, the two protagonists have different personal goals they want to achieve before ultimately finding the truth behind the apocalypse and escaping the hellish situation alive.

Again, from what little I was able to play of Echoes of the Living, I didn't see anything that hasn't been done before and I didn't mind one bit. It's a new-old Resident Evil game in all but name, and it does such a damn good job living up to that promise that I'm just solely grateful for its existence.

Developer MoonGlint, a new indie studio comprised of just two people, says Echoes of the Living will release on Steam in Q1 2024.

Echoes of the Living is already one of the most exciting new PC games on my radar and one of the best Steam Next Fest demos I've personally played so far.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.