Review by Leigh
SPOILER ALERT! Some of the images and links in this review may lead to story spoilers.
Let’s pretend I’ve never played anything from Capcom’s Resident Evil series before … because that’s what it feels like upon initially starting this incredible game. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is a complete breath of fresh air and a much needed one after the last few lackluster installments from this series.
You play the role of Ethan, a man on search for his missing wife, Mia. You are lead to a house located in a Louisiana swamp where you hope to find your missing missus and the reason why she had vanished in the first place. I don’t want to spoil the game, but basically you’re captured by an immortal family of psychotic rednecks. Will you make it off the property with your wife alive? You decide! Multiple endings included!
It’s played from the first person perspective, a drastic change from their previous instalments which were in third person. It’s a slow burner and a scary one at that. Starting as a haunted house simulator, it then throws in some cat and mouse stealth mechanics later down the line. Even after getting your first gun, it’s still better to run and hide in some circumstances as opposed to tackle enemies head on. Don’t worry. You’ll accumulate enough guns to blast your way out of every situation eventually. For those that are fans of the Resident Evil series there’s definitely content that will make you feel like you’re playing a Resident Evil game. (You got the SCORPION KEY. Hmmm … I wonder if that’s to open the doors with scorpions nailed all over them? Also puzzles.) The inventory is still there as you pick up objects along the way. You can only hold so much making it necessary to store your items in the chests located at most save points. Combining items will allow players to create their own medication or ammunition. This is a little tedious at times when juggling your inventory, but rewarding. The heart/health reading still zig zags across your screen on a funky little watch worn by Ethan. Cute.
RE7 has learnt a LOT about what makes a game scary from other recent horror game titles and horror movies, making it a truly gripping experience from beginning to end. The game becomes a lot more action oriented towards the end, so be prepared to blast away monsters with everything you’ve got! It’s even got its own escape room! There are multiple ways particular scenes in the game can pan out depending on your actions, which makes for a surprising and dread-inducing experience on your second or third attempt.
Visuals are so good you’d swear you were there … perhaps I’m exaggerating a little. But it’s the small details that are much appreciated when it comes to exploring the house that really makes it … come ALIVE … muhahahaha! Seriously though, the character design is brilliant with natural facial expressions and body movement animations. There has been a lot of time and effort put into each character. The minimal HUD keeps you absorbed in all of the horrors the game has to offer.
In the empty hallways of the decrepit property you are greeted by jarring creaks, groans, wind and other terrifying sounds keeping you on the edge of your seat when there’s no action. The musical score is of a big budget cinematic standard, the original soundtrack boasting over 70 tracks. The title song isn’t really for me and I’m sure the 70 plus tracks would include many songs that would go for less then 30 seconds so I restrained myself as I put my wallet back in my pocket.
The only glitch I found was a monster getting caught in a wall … which was actually good. I was running low on ammunition and that particular type of creature is very hard to pin down. If only they’d all do that, perhaps I wouldn’t be such a jittery mess.
Some people have argued the conclusion is a little lack luster. I disagree. I think the game winds it up very nicely and also hints of more to come if you’re up for purchasing some downloadable content. There was also a SLIGHT design flaw with the escape room sequence that had me confused, but I got there in the end though.
As far as I’m concerned this is the best Resident Evil game of the series and a new landmark in the survival horror genre. All gamers that can stomach an intense and visceral horror experience should definitely buy this game.
Born of a jackal, Leigh decided to devote his life to all things horror at a young age. Now that he’s an adult not much has changed. He enjoys Board Games, Tabletop Role Playing Games and Electronic games, has a loving family that have put up with his crippling addictions, and is an ordained priest of the First United Church of Cthulhu. In his spare time he is a facilitator for a bank.
Leigh is also the creator and moderator of the Call of Cthulhu Melbourne Facebook community, where he goes by the madness-inducing pseudonym of “Leigh Carrthulu”. If you love Old Squidface as much as we do, ask Leigh to join the Facebook community. You can also read the interview with Leigh here on Games vs Play.
To find out more about the latest reviews, stories and other cool things in the world of games, like Games vs Play on Facebook. And remember – if you’re game, we’ll play!