Before I begin, I would like to shill….. I mean tell you about the streams of this game I did over on my YouTube channel, for my initial reactions to things in and about the game. You can go here for the playlist. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtL3Nn_o1EEQ2V-WTXEWS7whxCbONw-gS
Right, with that out of the way time to put my thoughts in print.
Resident Evil 7 is a return to the franchises horror root’s. And it is a great return, the game is fairly scary throughout, more in the first half than the second I would say. The game has an entirely new cast, and it is this that allows Resident Evil to be a horror game again. The cast of the older Resident Evil games, at this point in time are so jaded to this kind of scenario (and this game is rather small-scale compared to what they are used to) that it is no longer scary to them and by extension the player. So by putting you in the completely new shoes of Ethan Winters and with a new perspective it allows Resi to become scary again.
The gameplay is done from first person, which is also a first for Resi. The new perspective allows the scares to feel more impactful, as well and making the game feel better to play (although some of the bosses can be a little difficult to deal with, but perhaps that is just me). More puzzle orientated gameplay makes a return which is broken up by small shooting segments and the odd boss fight here and there. The puzzles are all fairly simple, it probably took me about 20 minuets to solve the most difficult set. The shooting feels great, although I am a poor shot and there are a fair few different weapons through the game which made for a fun experience for the most part.
To combat you feeling too powerful the game has a few points in which you must hide from unkillable enemies or sink bullets into them to incapacitate them for a while, the latter option not being recommended as ammo is extremely limited. like the Resi’s of old there are “safe” rooms in which you can save, and put items in the bottomless item box and restock a limited amount of supplies.
Spoilers from here on!
The game starts out making the threat look paranormal, but playing through will show that it is a bioweapon in the form of a small girl called Eveline. She is the one who is causing the Baker family to go insane, which is later shown to the player through a dream like vision sequence. She was the one forcing the Baker family to act the way that they are, while also giving them regenerative abilities.
In the climax it is revealed that Eveline is actually the old woman you see in the baker house now and then, then you stab her with a neurotoxin and she becomes a face on the wall which is par for the course in Resident Evil. Once beaten with a gun thrown to you from a helicopter by a mystery man, he then comes down the rope and takes off his mask to reveal he is a called “Redfield” (the credits list him as Chris Redfield, but others speculate he is actually HUNK) He looks nothing like Chris, and has a different voice actor in the role as well (In an upcoming CG movie, he looks and sounds like Chris. Which is fuel for the fire of speculation), but nothing more comes of this for now. There is DLC on the way about Redfield, so I will look at that when the time comes.
There is a point in the game in which you must choose who to save, Mia your infected wife. Or a girl Called Zoe, who is a member of the Baker family who hasn’t yet gone insane, but is also infected. Zoe has also been helping you over the phone up untill this point. I chose to save Mia, because why wouldn’t you. and it led to her and the player on a boat, they come across the remains of the Tanker Eveline was being transported on, she then attacks the two. Mia wakes up and you are now in control of her for a portion of the game while Ethan has been taken by Eveline. there is a brief flashback with Mia, showing her relation to an organization, which I belive to be Umbrella (which is also on the helicopter Redfield arrives in which is odd, he is supposed to be BSAA). It makes for an interesting change of pace, and is a great section of the game.
So overall, it is a very different game compared to the rest of the series (but then, so was 4). But it has enough familiar elements that it still feels like classic Resident evil, but on a much smaller scale. I would like to see the continuing adventures of these characters in future games. considering since the death of Wesker in 5 and most of the overarching stuff has wrapped up by the end of 6. So Resi is lacking in an overarching plot, so seeing something bigger would be nice, but if you want the smaller scale stuff to be numbered entries so they are more scary and atmospheric that is fine, but gimme a bunch of spinoff’s following the older characters so that Resident Evil can still have it’s silly charm.
So, till next time…..