This article will be discussing the latest entry within the Resident Evil series. It may contain spoilers for some areas of the game.
Since the initial release of Resident Evil on the Playstation, the series has strayed far from its roots. Resident Evil 5 would be better described as an action third-person shooter than survival horror. Resident Evil 6 then tried to utilize both the action sequences and the survival horror concept by introducing campaigns for individual characters. Still, it left veteran fans of the series craving the suspense and fear of the first game. Realizing this, Capcom effectively rebooted the series, and have done a wonderful job. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard brings back those old feelings of dread in a way only this series could.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
System(s): Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: January 24, 2017
Price: $59.99 USD
The game takes place in the fictional location of Dulvey, Louisiana. Our protagonist, Ethan, is reviewing some old video messages of his wife, Mia, and is visibly upset by them. She had gone missing 3 years ago and has been presumed dead, but Ethan receives a new message from her. She’s alive. Ethan tracks her to an abandoned mansion in the Louisana countryside and begins his search.
One of the biggest differences between this and the other entries in the main series is that it has abandoned the third-person perspective in favor of first-person. This changes the strategy of the game completely. No more manipulating camera angles to scout around corners — you can only see what’s directly in front of you. This makes the game very challenging at points, as you are often being pursued by your attackers. Quick-time events have been removed entirely, making players defend themselves in real time.
While changing major gameplay elements, Capcom has also managed to bring some of the older mechanics out of retirement. The storage trunk returns, making inventory management a must. It is extremely limited at first, but you can expand it as you progress by finding backpacks scattered throughout the game. The item stash from the first few games also returns, allowing you to store things you find that you don’t have room for. Other upgrades are available throughout the game, either through finding them throughout the mansion or buy purchasing them from birdcages with antique coins.
As far as story progression goes, this game is intense. Although I only ran completely out of ammo twice, there were more than a few times I was scavenging for whatever I could find, and scurrying to locate the next safe room. Some of the game’s enemies are absolutely relentless, yet others feel dumbed-down. Keep in mind that this a was a “Normal” difficulty playthrough, and I can only imagine what the new “Madhouse” difficulty brings to the table. This difficulty is locked by default but can be unlocked by completing the game. Other items become unlocked after completion, giving a kind of “new game +” feeling, although you don’t keep any unused items from a previous playthrough. The game does have tie-ins to the Resident Evil universe we all know, but they aren’t really apparent until mid to late-game.
After the end credits, players are gifted with the announcement of a free DLC package titled “Not a Hero”.
- It’s scary. The way survival horror should be. This game will leave you on the edge of your seat
- Integrated storytelling through files and interactive videos keep you in the game
- Limited inventory may seem negative, but adds a level of realism
- The game is too short (8-12 hours roughly first time, there’s a trophy/achievement for beating it in under 4)
- Some parts are difficult to discern whether it’s a game sequence, or you’re actually playing, resulting in cheap deaths
- Replayability is there, but limited. Free DLC is planned for the spring, however.
Graphics – 14/15
- Graphically this game is beautiful. Aside from the car ride at the beginning of the game, the game is very detailed.
Sound – 15/15
- There isn’t much of a soundtrack to the game, but the games sound effects more than make up for this. Creaky wood floors, heavy winds, and sounds of thunder provide more than enough ambiance to draw you deeper into the game.
Gameplay – 22/25
- In terms of gameplay, Capcom has really outdone themselves. The controls are tight, the story progresses fluidly. The transition to FPS eliminates any wonky camera angles found in previous installments. My biggest concern is the load screens. While there’s not many of them, they do take a considerable amount of time. Also in the post-video flashback load screen, the sound becomes very loud for no apparent reason. I found myself having to turn the volume down during this, and turning it back up when the game resumed.
Replayability – 8/15
- This game is lacking in the replayability department. While the genre kind of works against itself (since you will never jump like the first time you play), the fact that the end credits include a DLC announcement kind of makes the game feel incomplete. The game does have 2 endings and an additional difficulty, but even with that it just doesn’t hold up well.
Fun Factor – 25/30
- If you are a fan of the genre, you will absolutely love this game. Even without the Resident Evil namesake, this game could stand on its own. The game provides an intense atmosphere overall and will keep you guessing on what will happen next. On multiple playthroughs, however, the game loses a lot of the intensity. Not necessarily a fault, but that’s just the way survival horror genre is.
Final Judgement – 84%
This game demonstrates exactly what the Resident Evil franchise set out to do back in 1996. Provide an atmosphere that gets players blood pumping as they vie for their survival. This installment moves the series back into the right direction, and away from the action-shooter genre that the market is oversaturated with. That being said – the story is very short, and the end-game was kind of a letdown. There are some things left unresolved, and as I mentioned before, the fact that the first DLC is listed in the credits leaves the game feeling incomplete. It is a great game nonetheless, and definitely worth checking out whether you’re a longtime fan or newcomer to the series.
Be sure to check back for our review of the games first DLC “Not a Hero” in Spring 2017!