While most of us are still tip-toeing our way around the Baker estate, speedrunners are blitzing through Resident Evil 7 in mere hours. Twitch streamer 'Stirliing' currently holds the world record at 1:51:02, but runners will likely trim that time significantly as the competition and strategies begin to solidify. Right now, I'm just enjoying watching a new speedrunning scene emerge.
Stirliing's world record run is interesting to watch for several reasons, like how humorous it is to see him effortlessly sprint through areas that caused me a great deal of anxiety in my own playthrough. A lot of this has to do with the fact that he is playing on new game plus, which starts him off with an Albert-01 pistol—a veritable hand cannon that trivializes some of the early fights. Jack Baker, for example, usually takes almost an entire magazine of pistol ammo to stun for a few minutes.
Like any long-running series, Resident Evil has had impressive highs and a few embarrassing lows (opens in new tab). Years of bewilderingly complex mythology and an increased focus on action over survival horror left the series bloated and confused, and a new approach was desperately needed. Read how RE7 is a much-needed shot in the arm. (opens in new tab)
Much of Resident Evil 7's length comes from poring over documents littered about and solving extra puzzles, which Stirliing avoids entirely. His core strategy at this point seems to be "run the hell away from everything that moves"—which I also do except he doesn't end up whimpering in a corner. It's amazing how well he's been able to map out the house in his mind in just a couple of days, as some areas are confusing as hell. Throughout the run, Stirliing remarks that he's been streaming nearly constantly since Resident Evil 7 launched, over 14 hours or so at the time of his run. That's dedication.
There's no denying that at this stage RE7 speedruns are messy and full of little mistakes that cost seconds. I'm looking forward to seeing how things tighten up in a few months once runners begin to figure out the best routes through each level. If skips and glitches are found (and who are we kidding, of course they will be) we could see even bigger cuts to time. Remember, this is a game that took Andy around nine hours to beat when .
If you want to give speedrunning Resident Evil 7 a try for yourself, there's an achievement for beating the game in under four hours, which is a sensible place to start. Intrepid wife-saver James Davenport also has a guide for tackling the , which should help you shave some seconds off of your time. You can also join the community at to get the latest updates and tips.