It has only been a few days since the release of Resident Evil 7 and it seems players are already setting speedrun records. If gameplay videos are to believed, then some players are even taking less than five hours to beat the overall game. However, does this diminish what Capcom boasts as a “re-imagined” franchise?
Ever since the game’s reveal, Capcom has been betting on Resident Evil 7 as a new take on the entire franchise. In its bid to “go back to its roots” as a survival horror game, the game now boasts both psychological thriller and survival horror qualities. Reviews suggest that Capcom is successful in this regard, but speedrunners have a different goal in mind.
Speedrunners are known to try to beat games as fast as possible. This is in a “quest” of sorts to find the quickest path to any game possible. Most speedrunners do their gameplay videos without ever exploiting cheat codes, although they do take into account the game’s overall structure. What do the speedruns have to say about Resident Evil 7?
Resident Evil 7: How Fast is “Fast” ?
Previous reports have already pegged the overall time to finish the game’s main story to be around ten hours. This is considering that the players are already taking the time to find the collectibles and familiarize themselves with the mansion. However, recent speedruns boast two-hour gameplay times.
For instance, Game Rant mentioned Twitch player Stirliing who breezed through the New Game Plus mode of the game. The player is seen sprinting through areas that could otherwise be explored for additional scares. Of course, this is considering the new mode gives him the Albert-01 pistol, which is a very powerful weapon in that it can kill bioweapons in few shots. He also has previous experience navigating the manor.
Regardless, a two-hour speedrun may indicate that the game has little replay value, already evidenced by its short 10-hour gameplay time. However, fans can expect more dynamic encounters with the bosses. Not to mention, there are new story chapters with upcoming downloadable content (DLC) packs.
Stirliing currently holds the fastest record of speedrunning the game, at 1:51:02. However, fans could expect the record to be bested in a couple of days or weeks. Casual players of the game can even try speedrunning the horror game with the tips below.
Principle of Speedruns
It may be important to consider that all games are, by structure, “linear.” This also applies to open-world games. After all, video games are made to have objectives in order to actually “finish” them. Even randomly-generated puzzle games like Tetris have “objectives” which are to get to the next level. In this regard, story-driven games like Resident Evil will eventually have a conclusion.
The “survival horror” aspect of the game lies in two aspects. “Horror” focuses on scaring the player, courtesy of the environment and the monsters. The “survival” aspect focuses on motivating the player to survive, despite these overwhelming odds. Unlike open-world and adventure games, survival horror games rely on exploration to make sure players find weapons to survive. However, looking at it from a storytelling perspective, players only have to take one path – as in the one that corresponds to the plot – in order to succeed.
Going by this mechanic, Redditors at the /r/speedrun say that speedrunners will get the fastest time by finding the “quickest” route to survive the game. This can be reflected by the story-driven structure of Resident Evil, where weapons are only needed to survive encounters with the Baker family and the monsters in the mansion. However, if gamers know where to find the right weapons and escape the monsters unless they need to be fought in the game, then speedrunners will definitely have an edge.
Players who are new to speedrunning are advised to study the game very carefully. This means learning the fastest ways to go to certain areas, and what to avoid while playing. Players should do as much casual runs as they could in order to fully “master” the game. However, fans should be ready to do a lot of resets in order to constantly best their previous runs.