UPDATE 03/02/2017 1.45pm: As it turns out someone has completed Resident Evil 7 using only a knife on Madhouse mode. It's Eurogamer reader Quizzle, who posted the following video of their arduous task:
Sure it's less speedrunnery than ItsTheWykytron's three hour run, as it took Quizzle roughly three-and-a-half hours to conquer Capcom's latest under these extraordinary conditions, but Madhouse mode is much, much harder than Easy.
ORIGINAL STORY 03/02/2017 12.06am: Someone has completed Resident Evil 7 using only a knife. And it only took them three hours to do it.
Twitch streamer and speedrunner ItsTheWykytron is seemingly the first to complete such a challenge (at least in a speedrunning capacity). While their time is rough at nearly double that of the 100 minute 24 second current record holder in this category (Easy mode, from a fresh file), it's not the speed that's impressive. That can be adjusted with further practice. Instead it's the comically underpowered armament limitation that makes ItsTheWykytron's run so mesmerising.
Obviously setting the game to Easy mode diminishes enemies' attack power, so the player can tank damage more than usual, but there's still some bits that seem insanely challenging even on this muted difficulty setting.
Interestingly, the part ItsTheWykytron struggles with the most is the first boss. This is because this big baddie is intended to be fought with another altogether groovier melee weapon planted in the room. As such, they meet their maker a few times and roughly a fifth of this entire run is dedicated just to that one battle.
After that it's pretty smooth sailing until the game's climax where you must face off against two of the game's deadliest enemies in the same room. Skip to the 2:59:45 mark for that hectic struggle.
"All in all I'm a little embarrassed by my run. I make some huge mistakes and spend way too much time on Chainsaw Jack," ItsTheWykytron said of their run on Reddit. "I can probably save like 45 minutes by not dying to Chainsaw Jack and not going the wrong way ever."
While ItsTheWykytron's run is certainly impressive, it's not the only amazing challenge run out there as people have taken to speedrunning Resi 7 under various conditions. Some opt for Easy mode while other tackle the unlockable, extra difficult Madhouse mode. There's also different categories for starting from a fresh file or plowing through New Game Plus with unlockable overpowered weapons like the circular saw.
As of now, Resi 7's speedrun record is Twitch user xer1aN blazing through it in 1:32:17 playing on Easy mode in New Game Plus with the overpowered circular saw.
Hopefully someone will figure out a way to conquer the game using only the knife on one of the harder difficulties. Doing so on Madhouse would certainly be cause for celebration.