REVIEW – After so many episodes of scary, yet mostly traditional third person zombie-slaying, Capcom returns with a first-person horror, reminiscent of the PT demo of Silent Hills from Hideo Kojima. Forget the original gameplay and the cast of the former game: you are in the shoes of Ethan Winters, a brand new character in search for his beloved wife, missing for years and presumed dead…
First, I was a bit of suspicious of Resident Evil 7. “What the hell, Capcom just get his hand on the PT demo (the aborted Silent Hills) engine, or what?!” – I was told to myself. While there are uncanny similarities between Hideo Kojima’s own Silent Hill version, which never seen the day, Resident Evil 7 is a true part of the series – as far as the slowly building horror and tension go.
Not without my beloved wife
Speaking of Silent Hill: the beginning of Resident Evil 7 makes old school horror fans like me think of Silent Hill 2, as Ethan goes after his wife, Mia, who – presumed dead – wrote him an email – just like James Sunderland was gone to Silent Hill 2 for his spouse dead as well. The rest of the game, however, is less about Ethan and Mia – even if our hero will get a shocking surprise when he finds his beloved…
In fact, the story and the hero himself are less important this time around than either in former Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and other survivor horror games. It’s a bit of a shame because we root for the hero a bit less, but there are so absurd and horrific things which happen to Ethan, that – with the first person view added – you will feel like more to be the hero of the game, and more shocked as well.
Concerning Ethan and Mira, what I missed is a true passion of the husband, when he sees his wife suffer, so it’s not the same feeling as Silent Hill 2.
Pa Baker and Ma Baker
Same goes for the former Resident Evil titles as the story of the game isn’t about the gigantic corporation Umbrella and hordes of zombies, but rather a small family who’s got some mysterious infection which made them some kind of monsters who did some horrific experiments on other humans. (Like Mia, Ethan’s wife.) As you progress in the game, through found papers, you will discover little by little, what happened to them. It would be hard to speak about the story, without spoiling it, but suffice to say, that one of them will help us via phone and we have to combat the others, which won’t be an easy task… There will be several encounters and some nasty surprises with each of them.
“If you play the game on a PSVR (the first actual AAA title to the hardware worth playing on it), this perspective is a big plus gameplay-wise.”
Besides the family, we will have to combat some other monsters like black zombie-like creatures with some black goo on them and giant bugs, bees or spiders. To be honest, when I arrived at the part of the game, when I had to combat those, I felt less the horror and more like some kind of annoyance. While the tension is truly strong at the beginning of the game, unfortunately, it’s less accentuated in some later parts of the game.
Still, the Bakers are chilling man-monsters, and the whole ambiance of the game made me think of Don’t Breathe, a similar thriller/horror with youngster stuck in a house with a crazy serial killer, with some “found footage” horror feeling added as well.
As far as the gameplay goes – the first-person view or not – we have a familiar survivor horror experience here. On PlayStation 4 you can also play the game on a PlayStation VR, with an added tension and horror experience and easier aiming which is a big help for those who are not the best at video games.
As in every survivor horror, you have to make your bullets and health potions count – especially on harder difficulty levels. (“Easy” and “Normal” are the two options before the first walkthrough.) It’s sometimes not too obvious either, whether you should waste your ammo on bosses (like the Baker family) or rather find another solution to kill, or at least dispose of them temporally.
“The game does feel like a true survivor horror, and even the “Resident Evil” title rings truer to the game than in other former episodes.”
Some enemies require a specific weapon, like the bugs the flamethrower, and it can be a bit annoying the be out of this special weapon’s ammo when you can’t run away. Fortunately, there is a rather good number of ammo lying around; you just have to find it.
The overall feeling of combating the enemy is both better done, than in some of the previous Resident Evil games but somehow still less satisfying, than in Resident Evil 4 for example. I am not a big fan of the first person view in survivor horror games either, but it’s true, that if you play the game on a PSVR (the first actual AAA title to the hardware worth playing on it), this perspective is a big plus gameplay-wise.
Besides combat, there are lots of more or less familiar puzzles which varies on difficulties and fun factor. However, we are far from the adventure games of the nineties, so you will have to use less your brain to progress.
PS4 Pro gets the cake this time
Resident Evil 7 PS4 Vs PS4 Pro Differences Show A Mountain Of Difference. Resident Evil 7 is accessible on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. It is additionally the primary major mainline Resident Evil game that can be played in first person view which likewise functions admirably for the PSVR.
While graphically the game looks adequate on the PS4, the distinction between the game on the base PS4 and the PS4 Pro is fairly gigantic most of the time. This comes down to the resolution which totally cleans the picture quality bringing about crisper visuals.
The game keeps running on local 1080p on the standard PS4. Be that as it may, it offers a resolution of 4K on the PS4 Pro. This additionally gets supersampled for the individuals who play it on a 1080p display screen. The final product shows how the visuals are significantly more clean and point by point on the PS4 Pro contrasted with the standard PS4. This is something that likewise continues with the PSVR mode.
Seven is a Lucky Number for Capcom
Changing so much about the original formula was a risk to take, but Resident Evil 7 is an undeniable success for Capcom, especially after Resident Evil 6, which was a huge letdown for the fans. Yes, the game is a big departure from the original games, but this worked out well this time around.
The game does feel like a true survivor horror, and even the “Resident Evil” title rings truer to the game than in other former episodes.
While I don’t feel such enthusiasm as other players (the game does get a bit boring, because of some backtracking from time to time and the ending of the game is also a bit rushed), it’s still one of the better episodes of the series and truly an excellent horror title. Just don’t play this during the day, only the night, alone for the maximum effect!
+ Perfect setting and ambiance
+ A true, polished survivor horror experience
+ Great for the PSVR
– Some backtracking feels a bit boring
– Ending feels rushed
– Textures blurred on vanilla PS4
Genre: Survival horror, first-person
Release date: January 23, 2017