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NYCC 2016: Why I Should Stick to Comics
Written by James Ferguson
For those who don't know, I mainly cover comics here on HorrorTalk. I've dabbled in books, movies, and video games in the past, but comics are my sweet spot. Rarely do I venture outside of the funny book medium now. A rare example is at New York Comic Con, where all kinds of pop culture leaders come together to show off new products.
Last year I signed up for a demo from Capcom showcasing the HD remake of Resident Evil Zero and a first person shooter (Umbrella Corps, maybe?). I played the former on GameCube a while back, so I was familiar with that. Unfortunately, ever since my kids were born, I haven't had much of a chance to play any video games. I'm incredibly rusty and I'm pretty horrible at first person shooters. After Alicia, Capcom's on-site PR person, ushered me and two gamer journalists up to the front of the line, passing by a huge crowd of onlookers aiming to get their hands on this game, I started to panic. When she said that she expects people like us to do good at these demos because it's our job, I thought of a variety of ways that I could bail out before even touching the controller. Maybe I could fake a heart attack and just fall over.
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Sure enough, I was brutally murdered in about thirty seconds. I was the first one killed every round. Most of the time I couldn't even see where I was shooting because I kept fiddling with the controls. I tried making excuses like I was just getting used to this setup, but I'm sure no one bought it. I thanked the staff and then quickly walked away.
Fast forward a year where Capcom is once again at NYCC and showing off some new games, including a VR demo of Resident Evil 7. I love this franchise so, perhaps against my better judgment, I sign up. I meet Alicia again, although I don't think she remembers my horrible performance from the year before. After a brief explanation of the game, I was fitted with a VR headset and headphones and a PS4 controller was placed in my hands. What I witnessed was nothing short of astonishing.
The "Lantern" demo was in the first person, but fortunately for me, not a shooter. You're really just walking around, exploring a creepy cabin in a swamp. There's a woman with a candlelit lamp searching for you and you're trying to avoid her gaze by hiding behind crates and other debris. Using the VR headset, you can glance around corners to make sure it's safe to continue on. It's a very tense scene. Of course, I didn't know this right away and the moment the lady comes out, I walk right up to her and immediately die.
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After Alicia kindly tells me which way to go, I venture through again, crouching and keeping a safe distance from the scary lady. She had to give me a few other tips and tricks for stuff I missed to help get through the demo in a timely fashion. Otherwise, I would still be hiding behind a stack of boxes, waiting for the lantern woman to move on. The demo leads up to a cramped crawl through an underground area and a moment that literally made me jump. Then you're shown a disturbing cut scene that reminded me a bit of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, all in the first-person view.
Here's the kicker with this demo: It's not even the main game. This is a side portion that explores additional background information. Think of when you're walking around and you pick up a transcript or some big piece of text. Sure, it provides more history to the game and the characters, but are you really going to stop playing and read through a textbook? This demo is a first-person experience that puts you right into those backstories that help develop the characters and everything around them. If this is just a sampling of what Resident Evil 7 is about, I cannot wait to see what the rest of it has in store. Whether or not I'll get a chance to play it, let alone be any good at it, will be a story for another day.
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