Resident Evil Village will be out any day now and plenty of people are excited to be chased by Lady Dimitrescu.
It absolutely rules that a contingent of Resident Evil fans woke up today bummed that they missed the chance to try the latest game in the series because they have lives and families. I love that I just had to type that sentence. This is definitely not the dumbest, most pointlessly confusing shit in the world.
For the blessed many who haven’t been following along, Resident Evil Village—aka Resident Evil 8—is getting a series of demos. “Neat!” you might say, given that the modern era of big-budget video games is characterized by a dearth of no-strings-attached try-before-you-buy options. And believe me, I understand. As a child of the demo disc era, I miss being able to size up a game without downsizing the contents of my wallet. But this is not a return to those more straightforward times. It is instead as though the collective energies of people like you and me, hypothetical demo likers, went out into the universe, and then a finger curled on a monkey’s paw the size of a planet.
Resident Evil Village has a series of different demos, the first of which has already come and gone, that contain different sections of the game, with a final demo that thankfully mashes them together. Right now I’m looking at a schedule. It is not for a game’s release day rollout, or even a series of “beta” tests that are just glorified preorder bonuses. It is for demos. My brain is cracking open trying to make heads or tails of this, but the short version is that there are three different demos, two of which last 30 minutes and one of which lasts 60 minutes, that will be available on different dates over the next few weeks, but only for eight hours at a time—except for the last one, which will not mysteriously vanish and completely negate its own usefulness until the day the game comes out. Oh, and the first two demos are PlayStation-exclusive, because console wars have become so tired, pointless, and financially unviable for third-party publishers that we’re doing exclusive demos now.
I hate this. It’s clearly a ploy to drum up hype through artificial scarcity—to pressure fans into making time for the grand event that is playing a piecemeal portion of a game they could have just played any time in previous decades of demos. This reeks of meticulously calculated PR spin. The goal of any modern marketing campaign is to keep your product relentlessly buzzing in people’s minds; if they forget, even for a single, solitary second, you’ve failed.