The new year’s game launch hiatus has finally ended. This week sees the long-awaited launch of Capcom’s foray into VR, Sony’s gravity-defying sequel and Square Enix is getting ready to celebrate a major milestone. From weird-smelling candles to beautiful art, let’s take a look at this week’s big game promotions.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Horror fans are anxious to face their fears down in haunted Louisiana and solve a mystery sprouting from the roots of Resident Evil. Full of signature puzzles, jump scares and healing herbs, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard promises not only to be frightening, but downright horrifying when played in first-person virtual reality. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter also hits theaters this week, bringing the wildy-popular film franchise to a close.
Resident Evil series producer, Masachika Kawata told [a]listdaily that the series had unintentionally evolved after every three games from its suspenseful first night in the mansion to the action sequences of Resident Evil 6—but the time was right to come full circle. “We felt that the franchise has moved forward in a more action-oriented direction and we figured this would be a perfect opportunity to take RE7 and really go back to our roots,” he said, “revisit them and rethink what it means.”
Capcom has been doing a great deal of promotion for the game, beginning with a demo on the PlayStation Network called Resident Evil 7: Beginning Hour. In it, players must escape a dilapidated house and in doing so, find clues about the upcoming game. Then there’s the Lantern VR demo, which debuted at Gamescom earlier this year, where players are pursued through a darkened house by a woman carrying a lantern. Finding clues and comparing theories about the game has kept fans busy waiting for launch day, especially trying to figure out the mystery of a certain dummy finger.
Those particularly obsessed with said finger can take one home inside the game’s collector’s edition. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is part of Microsoft’s Xbox Play Anywhere program, in which consumers receive a free PC version of the game with an Xbox One purchase.
For London fans eager to fill their pants in abject terror, Capcom has been hosting The Experience: London from January 20 to 23—a real-life adventure that offers visitors a taste of what’s to come. Following the demos’ story, visitors take on the role of an intern reporter working for a paranormal investigation group called The Sewer Gators. Visitors have just 45 minutes to brave the dark house in search of missing team members, presumably without getting killed in some horrible fashion.
Virtual reality will no doubt immerse players in the game, but for that added “essence of death,” fans can pick up a candle infused with smells like wood and blood. When it comes to promotion, Capcom didn’t forget the press—several outlets received an honest-to-goodness VCR with a custom tape begging the viewer to get his message to (insert outlet name here).
Gravity Rush 2
Sony, meanwhile, is celebrating its Gravity Rush franchise with the release of its much-awaited sequel after launching a remastered version of the original in February of last year. The biggest promotion, perhaps, has come in the form of an anime series called Overture. The animated series focuses on the main character, Kat, and her misadventures between the first game and the second.
For Japanese audiences, a short film called Gravity Cat demonstrates the many ways in which Kat can traverse her environment with . . . ya know, a cat (we see what they did there).
Those who pre-ordered the game will also have access to other Gravity Rush-based goodies, including bonus costumes for Kat and a nine-song soundtrack.
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue
After a delayed release, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue finally hits US shelves on January 24. Square Enix is offering a limited edition of the PlayStation 4 game that includes a collectible pin of the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue logo with Mickey and Sora beside it. In addition, those who pre-ordered the standard edition will automatically have their purchase upgraded to the limited edition at no extra charge.
Promotions for this particular title have been on the light side, with Square Enix instead focusing on the franchise’s 15th anniversary. For example, a series of stained-glass Kingdom Hearts clock faces went on display in the Tokyo Metro Marunochisen Shinjuku Station Promenade from January 9 to 15, which resulted in numerous social media posts and videos. Visitors were encouraged to post a picture of their favorite stained-glass clock face to determine which one to feature on the main display and surrounded by the other twelve as clock dials. As an added bonus, Square Enix will be giving the faces away to 13 lucky fans.