Resident Evil 7 Biohazard Review
Reviewed by: Travis
Developed by: CAPCOM Co., Ltd.
Published by: CAPCOM Co., Ltd.
Platform reviewed: PC
Platforms available: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Date reviewed: January 28th, 2017
Price (USD): $59.99
Resident Evil 7 is a game that begins in mystery, as you are thrust into the character of Ethan Winters, a man who has been contacted by his wife Mia that has been missing since she last contacted him 3 years ago. Following her message, Ethan heads alone to the rural area of Dulvey, Louisiana. As events unfold, Ethan comes to realize that there is more to the mystery than he ever could have guessed, and he finds himself becoming trapped in a house of dark and disturbing horrors.
In style, Resident Evil undeniably takes influence from other horror games, particularly PT, the playable teaser for the canceled Silent Hills. Clear cues are taken from the late title, such as the slow pacing and the looming dread evoked as the game forces the player to feel that not only are they not alone, they are not in control. The game artfully crafts sequences of terror, making the game world seem hostile, in ways known and unknown.
However, the game is more than pure horror. Some segments play out more as action segments, putting the survival into survival-horror. To this end, the game features a number of weapons, which must be balanced with the game’s limited inventory system. There is a finite amount of ammo and other items, such as healing herbs and first aid. Seeking out these items and making sure they are not wasted adds a degree of tension to the action as you must figure out how to fight and survive against the horrors and monstrosities of Dulvey.
In terms of story, the majority of Resident Evil 7 leaves the player in mystery, handing them more and more scattered pieces to a puzzle with no clear picture to be formed with them. These pieces come together in the later acts of the game, but it actually benefits the atmosphere of the game keeping you shrouded in a veil of the unknown for so long, leaving you guessing and uncomfortable as you find so very little to make sense. In its final acts, the different elements of the story come together to create a cohesive, and surprising picture.
Regardless of my praises, there are some issues within Resident Evil 7. In some sequences, particularly in boss fights, the difficulty can spike harshly upward. This is particularly true in cases where you must perform specific actions in a boss fight, but the actions that must be performed are not made immediately obvious and the checkpoints around the fights can be unforgiving if you struggle to figure out what you must do. The game also isn’t free from technical issues, and upon launching the game I sometimes find myself reset to default settings. There are also some oddities to be seen with the physics engine, but they’re irregular and benign enough to have very little impact on the game or even the atmosphere it holds. Resident Evil 7 also features a large amount of backtracking, returning to previous areas as you unlock new corners of the map and occasionally finding new enemies in these areas. Combined with the slow pace of the character, this can feel incredibly tedious. This can be a positive as well as a negative though, as these areas can change throughout the course of the game, and the dread grows as you witness the discomforting changes in half-familiar spaces.
Overall, it’s pretty safe to say that Resident Evil 7 as a whole is a fantastic experience. The game balances sequences of action with sequences of horror while maintaining a beautifully dreadful atmosphere and terrifying setting throughout. The mystery of the game’s story adds to this as you figure it out. In spite of some spots where difficulty may spike in ways that seem unreasonable, and some minor technical problems, the overall experience is incredible, and I highly recommend it.
Resident Evil 7 Biohazard
|Evokes fear and dread marvelously||Game is heavy in back-tracking*||Difficulty spikes unreasonably up and down|
|Seamlessly blends action elements with elements of survival-horror||Small number of bugs and irregular issues|
*may vary by personal opinion
Resident Evil 7 is a fantastic survival-horror experience and one of the best horror games in some time.