Updated: Apr 28, 2021
I recently watched my partner play the Resident Evil: Village timed demo on PS5; and then several more people play through the same short section of gameplay on YouTube beside him (he’s a little over hyped for this game imo).
While the game itself looks pretty great. Visuals are beautiful, the detail on Ethan’s hand alone deserves applause. My thinking keeps going back to, what is the point of this demo. More specifically, what is the point of It being a timed demo.
(On your Marx)
Now I'm old enough to remember PS1 demos coming in breakfast cereal of all things. Those disks becoming permanent additions to our game collection. Playing through the same one level of Total Wipeout or Tony Hawks Pro Skater over and over again till the disk was too scratched to read. (Fs in chat). I appreciate a demo. But with the game due out in such a short time it doesn’t seem worth using up the bandwidth to download it. It feels like scrubbing your hands clean just before stepping into the shower.
That aside my gripe is with the timed aspect. It’s fair enough if this was the game, open ended, and the time limit is to prevent you completing it all without buying it. Like shadily reading a magazine in the newsagents, ignoring the tired shopkeeper's insistence that this isn’t a library.
But this demo has a definitive end. One we discovered while watching the YouTube play through, as my partner hadn’t quite got through the entire gifted sequence of events due to being savaged by Lycan.
Spoilers for the demo ahead. (Though what is a demo if not a spoiler for part of the game anyway.) Once you smash your truck through part of the house. Hit the wall, causing it to somehow tip over. Escape the fire and out of the house. Grab the second seal and open the heavy door to Castle Dimitrescu. The camera pans up and away and then flows the trailer.
My partner crashed the truck and then the 30 minutes timed out. What’s the point in rushing us to play through this in 30 minutes if we’re also restricted to only this small section of game?
One or the other sure.
I’d be happy with Capcom limiting it to just this section. A nice tight introduction to some characters. The mechanics of picking up items, shooting werewolves, briefly driving a truck out of a garage, but not through the apparently missing garage door. Yet by rushing it through in half an hour you are robbed of time to appreciate the efforts that have gone into the details of the game. My gripes with this demo aside, it’s clearly very, very pretty. I for one would love time to look around every square inch of the map they have so carefully crafted. This would give me more desire to buy the full feature.
Maybe it’s to prevent you thinking too hard about how those bits of scrap metal can be turned into bullets on the go. Or how the hell that truck got into that house with no garage door. (Seriously I want answers).
(Behind the Truck! That seems like the optimum way out.)
With 2 more demo windows for other parts of the game to come, each time limited, each no doubt limited to a small area of the game. I suspect this is a psychological manipulation tactic by Capcom to give their demo an over inflated sense of value. Sure, you can test play this game we want you to buy, but only when we say so and you’d better show up as there’s no second chances.
(This hot nonsense)
Being psychologically distressing is somewhat in the wheelhouse of the company behind Resident Evil, it’s kind of the point of the game. But I expect it to be in the game not in my real life. I wanted to go to bed frankly, and play the demo the next day. The fear of missing out preventing me. So now Resident Evil is directly responsible for my lack of sleep but not through the expected fears of monsters.
This all said, I'm sure it’s a very clever tactic. After all, we’re all talking about it. Any publicity is good publicity and all that. And the YouTube videos we have since watched showing secrets we didn’t have time to discover have given this game way more time in my brain than it should have. Zombies, brain eating...there’s something there I'm sure, but moving on.
My concern is that this becomes the norm for other game marketing teams. Suddenly my schedule is planned around when I have to be home to lick the water droplets off the game dev’s flask. Sorry I can’t visit you Nan, Insomniac said I have to stay home to see Spider-Man fight two street thugs and the first half of a boss fight with The Thumper.
Really this level of drip-fed excitement that I'm expected to feel grateful for just makes Capcom appear to be up their own arse. Leaving a somewhat sour taste in my mouth for the game over all.
But I’m sure I'm in the minority, the game does look great, and every single second of new information thrown to us from Capcom’s table makes my boyfriend foam at the mouth. So clearly the marketing strategy is working.
If you're sold on this demo, pick up Res8 Steelbook edition here.
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