By Jeremy Julian @faithfulmantis
Confusion, paranoia and the pressure of fear. These are a few emotions that humans never like feeling. The constant feeling that someone is watching over you and each and every step you take may be a dangerous one. This is “Resident Evil 7:Biohazard”, a game that incorporates all of these feelings into the player.
When initially starting up the game I had no idea of what to expect. I’m not someone that is fond of horrific experiences. It felt like anxiety had taken over my body while playing this game, and that’s a good thing.
Resident Evil 7 is the seventh entry in the main series of the Capcom franchise. With this game, Capcom seeks to capture the essence of past games. RE7 takes the series back to the roots while pushing forward the horror genre.
The problem fans have had with the last few games in the series is that they aren’t as scary and emphasize too much action. RE6 for example, essentially took out what made the series so unique and turned it into a somewhat generic zombie shooter.
The game revolves around a new character to the series, Ethan Winters. Ethan receives a message from his presumably deceased wife, Mia. He then travels to a southern plantation in Louisiana where he indeed finds his living wife, but runs into some sinister people in trying to escape with her.
These sadistic individuals are the Baker family, they have been infected by a virus that turns them into freaky, sadistic people. The family consists of the patriarch Jack, his wife Marguerite and Lucas who is their son. Zoe is the daughter of the Baker family and helps Ethan throughout the course of the game.
The overall story isn’t the strongest when it comes to the characters but the storytelling is done with the game’s environment. The dark creepy plantation has many pictures, notes and figures that one can discover and learn about what is going on and who these people are. There is a lot to be discovered about this family and it is up to the player to search around the property for clues to the story.
The first hour or so of the game feels different than the other games in the series. The game sets the player up to feel harmless and in a completely inescapable situation. Jack will stalk the Ethan throughout the main house as he’s trying to find his way out. The constant threat of being stalked by a psychotic hulking murderer is incredibly unsettling.
Shortly after this, the game feels like any other Resident Evil game, but with the scary meter cranked up to the max. It is a horror game but at its core is a very smart and well-designed puzzle game. The Resident Evil series is known for its well-placed puzzles and this game has plenty of them.
The puzzles mostly consist of finding specific items for a locked door, but some of them require manipulation of certain objects to open up concealed crawl spaces and openings. Sometimes the game forces the player to do these puzzles while being chased by the family, which makes gameplay all the more frantic and interesting.
The combat in RE7 is similar to other games in the series except it is from a first-person perspective and Ethan is more vulnerable than other characters in the past. The game is fairly scarce on ammo than other shooters so it is important for the player to practice ammo and resource management.
The game also features boss battles that are both challenging and fun as Ethan goes toe to toe with the various members of the family. Defeating the bosses is incredibly satisfying because the player is finally able to defeat something that’s been stalking them for prolonged periods.
Until these final battles occur, the members that stalk you can not be killed but only slowed down. This adds to the sense of horror and urgency to the game.
The series is known for the resource management and crafting aspects, this game puts an even bigger emphasis on those gameplay aspects. The game keeps players on their toes walking around the plantation because anything can jump out at any given moment.
“Resident Evil 7” is a great title that pushes forward the horror genre while also appeasing long time fans of the series.
It’s the best game in the series in over a decade and a welcome addition. Initially the game doesn’t feel like a RE title but it starts to open up throughout the playthrough and becomes more like the early entries that were so loved.
I would recommend “Resident Evil 7” to any gamer that has a knack for the horror genre or anyone that is a fan of the series. The game is awesome but is surely not for the faint of heart. It is a dark, violent and unsettling game that will leave a mark on anyone that dares to experience it.