Danny Steuber, Staff Writer
The Resident Evil franchise dates back to 1996 and has had multiple games whether being mainline or spin offs. They basically invented the survival horror genre with mechanics revolving around limited ammo and needing to survive dangerous enemies at the same time as needing to solve puzzles.
Then with Resident Evil 4-6, it became more of an action series with some “horror elements” but it lost its way from what made the series special in the first place. Even though Resident Evil 6 was a monetary success, it was panned by critics and fans alike to where it seemed the numbered series was dead.
Cut to five years later, and Resident Evil 7 launches by fully reinventing itself again, this time being first-person perspective and more focused on the horror elements. Not only was this the right thing to do for the franchise, it also now became my second favorite game in the series.
You play as Ethan Winters, a man who receives a message from his wife who disappeared three years ago, saying to come get her in Louisiana. Once he gets there though he finds it to not be a cakewalk; as he encounters dead animals and a creepy house that he must navigate to continue forward.
Skip forward a bit and he is being held captive by a backwoods family named the Bakers who want to mess with him mentally and physically till they murder him. The player must avoid and defeat the Baker family and find his wife while trying to escape from them and monsters alike.
The game really has the feel of old horror movies such as the Evil Dead and Texas Chainsaw Massacre which really adds to the terror of it all. The set up and environments were terrifying through my whole play through and even playing it again multiple times I always found something new to scare me and make me feel at ease.
In case you couldn’t tell already, this is a pure horror game. If you’re not ok with horror, excessive gore, and things that are included in that genre I would stay away. This was not only a fun adventure game with good mechanics, but it was also the scariest game I have played in years and it will stay with me for a long time.
The gameplay is the same as any first-person shooter game because you have guns to fight and the ability to block. That’s really it. You’ll find a variety of weapons from pistols to flame throwers but ammo and supplies are scarce which really adds to the tension of the game not knowing if you’ll be able to defend yourself in the next fight or not.
A lot of games that go for a horror setting with limited supplies normally end up making you over prepared by the end but not this game. Basically, all the way to the end you have to stay on your toes and be really careful with each shot. All of this combined with a good shooting system and a satisfying story of finding out going on with the bakers and trying to find your player’s wife, keeps you on the edge of your seat for the 10-12 hour campaign.
By time the credits roll around and I’ve gotten all my questions answered, I just want to jump back in and to this day I have beaten the game around 8 times and plan to keep playing. It’s just so much fun that I can’t put it down.
As a side note, I played this game with the PlayStation VR headset. Because it adds to the overall experience of the game. You also can aim with your head movements which is much better than just aiming with a stick and I never felt nauseous at all which is a rarity for virtual reality games.
This game is a great reason to own a PSVR headset and it catapulted the game from a great time to a memorable experience that I’ll never forget. You can play this game without VR of course but if you have the opportunity I recommend it 100%.
After your first play through and after really learning how the game works, later playthroughs become very easy (I can now beat the game every time in 2 hours or less compared to my first 12 hour play through) but with a bunch of unlockables, such as over-powered guns and unlimited ammo, you’ll want to play it multiple times.
Not only that, but once you beat it the first time you unlock a new difficulty mode which makes the game much harder and changes enemy and item placement through the whole game basically making it a totally new experience.
Overall, this game gets everything right for a Resident Evil game and for a horror game. If I had to complain about anything, the second to last section of the game is not fun on multiple playthroughs and I wish it had a little more substance. The DLC so far has added four side stories and two new game modes which are all fun but I feel like they should have been in the main game itself instead of sold separately later on.
A free DLC story will be coming in the spring, which is a nice touch and I just can’t wait to spend even more time in the world. Those are all nitpicks, so if you love the horror genre or liked the Resident Evil franchise before it took a nose dive, know that you will not be disappointed with this game and it already is one of my favorite games of the year.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard 9.5/10
Photo source: gamespot.com
Edited by: Brea Childs