So I played and beat Resident Evil 7 this weekend, and I want to pass along some impressions specfically geared to those who played and disliked the demo.
When I played the demo, I was uneasy, anxious, at times terrified. However, I thought it all too similar to games like Outlast and Amnesia. I felt like Capcom was overcompensating for the high-octane action in Resident Evils 4-6. And, indeed, the first hour of RE7 plays very much like those aforementioned first-person horror games. The hero Ethan is essentially helpless and must sneak around to survive. It was an OK experience but other games have done this kind of thing better.
About an hour into the game, things open up. Ethan finds weapons, ammo (not much of it), herbs, and other items to keep him alive. The game introduces puzzles and hidden items. There's combat. There are boss encounters. There's item crafting. Gradually I realized that Resident Evil 7 is very much a love letter to the original Resident Evil, only set in a first-person perspective.
So, if you crave the old-school RE experience, don't let the first hour of Resident Evil 7 fool you. There are about 11 more hours of pure RE goodness after that
tl;dr version: after the first hour, RE7 turns into the old-school survival-horror action-adventure we know and love.