“Welcome to the family, son.”Resident Evil VII: Biohazard
Now, I am a big fan of the original Resident Evil series (games 1,2 & 3) and to some extent number 4, less so 5 & defiantly did not enjoy no. 6. This downward spiral of quality was why I was reluctant to pick up Resident Evil 7 at it’s initial release, but in fairness the more I heard about it the more praise I heard about it. So once I found the game on sale I picked it up and finally gave it a go, here’s what I thought of it.
Resident Evil 7 takes place in Dulvey, Louisiana. It’s here that Ethan Winters finds himself after he received an email from his wife Mia who went missing 3 years ago. His search leads him to an old, abandoned plantation. It’s here that Ethan finds Mia who at first is glad to see her. She then suddenly attacks Ethan taking a chainsaw to the hand, losing it in the process. Ethan must now figure out what is going on, how cure Mia and how to survive the Baker family.
First thing’s first, the game does not feel like a Resident Evil game of the past. A lot of moments, especially at the beginning of the game feel less survival horror and more just plain horror. Also compared to a lot of other more modern horror games, the games does it really well. For the first half of the game I was absolutely bricking it in fear of what my be lurking around the corner. The game oozes atmosphere and coupled in with the new 1st person camera you get a real sense of immersion. There was even a couple of times I had to stop and mentally prepare myself before heading around a corner. After about an hour though the feeling of dread did subside as enemy appearances became more predictable and I became better equipped to deal with said enemies.
There wasn’t a lot I didn’t like about Resident Evil 7. My main gripe with the game was movement of the player. There was a lot of times where I felt Ethan wasn’t moving with much urgency, especially when I’m wanting him to turn around a corner. I understand that Ethan is just an ordinary guy and as such hasn’t received any kind of special training, but still in a house of super mutant murder hillbillies I’d expect him to move like his life depends on it rather than like he’s having a lovely stroll through the woods.
Speaking of lovely strolls through the woods, The scene at the very beginning of the game bared both a lot of similarities and contradictions to the start of What Remains of Edith Finch. Both start out as walking simulators where the player is walking through the woods, however where as in Edith Finch there’s a sense of adventure, wonderment and tranquility RE7 fills the player with tension, suspense and anxiety as to what the player might suspect. I think it’s quite interesting how two games of very similar mechanics can distill opposing feelings.
Back to the topic at hand, I would recommend Resident Evil 7 to those who enjoyed the Silent Hill games or in fact any kind of horror game. Although I wouldn’t to those who are die hard fans of the Resident Evil series. In that respect it reminds me of Silent Hill 4: The Room, they are both great games but they also both feel very disjointed from it’s series lore, both feeling very off cannon. I just hope that Resident Evil doesn’t fuck it up the series again by trying to bring the cannon back in newer games… What? Chris Redfield is in Resident Evil Village? I guess some people just don’t learn.
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