Resident Evil is a long-standing franchise, spanning multiple generations of gaming, with an overarching plot that is as convoluted as anything out there. So going into Capcom’s new game I was not exactly convinced this was going to be a great game. But, ready to get on my Resident Evil 7 review for you all, I went at it with an open mind.
The Resident Evil series has had more low points in many of its recent iterations, but 7 is tipped as a fresh start. But the question here was, where can the series go next? Will the seventh game be a return to form, or another convoluted mess.
Well you can read my thoughts on the game below. Do drop me a Disqus Comment with your thoughts. Did the revamp work for you? Was it nice and scary? And anything else too! Just make sure you don’t experience this horror alone and Share on social media.
Things that go bump…
Whenever someone mentions resident evil to me, I immediately recall the brilliance of the original three. Further down the line came the awesome “code veronica” – however my mind then wanders to where the series lost it for me in Resident Evil 5. A game equal parts barmy and throwaway in it’s style in my opinion.
So where can Resident Evil franchise go? South, apparently, well – southern America in the case of Resident Evil VII.
You play as Ethan, the kind of protagonist gaming needs more of. He can be in any situation without just doing the sensible thing. The switch to first person point of view allows for him to be both the vocal protagonist we need, literally questioning the puzzles in some cases, and the vessel by which we experience this absolute horror.
See, Ethan is looking for his long assumed dead girlfriend who has been “found”, apparently, and so he travels to find her. This is learned in the first 30 odd seconds of the game and he set’s about his search.
But what he finds is horror, violence, and darkness.
The Hints From The Demo…
The main game and demo have a few shared core elements. If you do play the demo before the main game, make sure you take note of the Van!
The demo did a good job setting the tone and style, and the main game delivers on what this promise. It even manages to feel like it ties in, like a prologue of sorts to bring in the main game.
There is something to be said about how good the demo is that I felt it worth noting here. But what is also good is that the demo doesn’t spoil anything serious in the main game and should help decide if this game is for you.
It is often said that a story is only as good as its villain, and if that is true, then Resident Evil has had some crackers.The villains in Resident Evil as a franchise will always be a great debate topic, my personal favourite is the Nemesis from Resident Evil 3.
The Nemesis was a lumbering, unrelenting, beast – it could be slowed down, but stalked the player throughout the game. Without any hesitation it would chase down the player, until it either had to retreat, was defeated (albeit temporarily) or it killed the player.
This made it an imposing figure – and many of the enemies encountered in Resident Evil 7 are unrelenting, aggressive and challenging.
Boss fights are tough, and will likely take you a couple of attempts to clear. The other common enemy to Resident Evil is the puzzles and the need to backtrack! As always there are keys and areas that require the game to be done in a set order. And whilst this leads to you having to follow a set path, it also means you will be returning to areas you probably would rather avoid.
The game being in first person is no hook to get it to work with PlayStation VR. The tone, pacing and presentation play to the idea that this game is supposed to scare. Make mistake, Resident Evil VII is supposed to terrify players as you explore this strange house.
There is a lot of stuff happening at times with some amazing sequences. But throughout my time with the game, the best moments were in the times nothing happens. Building the nervous anxiety is where Resident Evil VII does its best work. There are times the sound will suddenly drop to “hear a pin drop” levels of silence as you explore a new area, and suddenly the game has your nerves on edge.
But is it really scary? Yes.
Not only did it have me scared, but others in my house too. I’ve even see people struggle to watch live streams. This game really captures the horror and while I played on Xbox One, I can only imagine the intensity upgrade using VR. Actually, I’m quite thankful for not having to do it on there!
The Story & Control
As with all Resident Evil games RE7 will keep you guessing on the plot (don’t worry, no spoilers here). What it does is spoon feed you seemingly unrelated things, and major revelations will then follow.
This iteration of the franchise is new, but has a lot of the same core concepts, at least in terms of delivering its story. The aesthetic changes serve the tone and tempo well, and the ‘stuck in a house’ vibe feels very much like the original Resident Evil.
In short RE7 is a great breath of fresh air into a stagnant franchise that was in need of revitalising. Whilst it retains some of the camp silliness that resident evil is known for, these moments are fleeting.
The new more straight-laced horror, is what the game will be known for.
Being both a horror title and a first person experience it all works perfectly for the “he’s behind you” moments. Plus operating in this perspective adds to the combat too, fights feel really intense and personal and when you die it feels bad!
Sometimes the point of view does make navigating doors a pain, the game allows for both walking into doors and a button press to open them. This should have always been either the button press or the motion, but this is a minor complaint.
Also as a footnote, the fixed locations is something that has always done massive favours for the genre. So to summarise, RE7 is a brutal, gore fest of a game, daddy is home, indeed.