Review: Resident Evil 7
By Sam Wilkinson
Resident Evil 7, which came out on January 24, 2017, is the newest release into the acclaimed Resident Evil horror game franchise, and it’s came back with a bang.
Developed by the game studio, CAPCOM, the creators of the previous Resident Evil games, Resident Evil 7 goes back to the classic horror that the series was once know for. Resident Evil 7 takes place in the backcountry of Louisiana where the main character, Ethan Winters, has to find his missing wife all while escaping from a decrepit farmhouse full of mutated creatures.
The first subject to mention is that Resident Evil 7 brings a drastic change to the series by changing the well known third person perspective of the original games, and the over the shoulder view of the more recent games to a first person view point. Many fans, saying it contributed to the overall scare factor, approved this perspective switch. However some fans said that the third person camera was a staple of the franchise, and that it diverted from the original concept of the game.
The main complaint of the more recent Resident Evil games was that they were changing genre from a survival horror franchise to more of an action game with horror elements. This was most notable in Resident Evil 6 where there were many action set pieces as well as car chases and long periods of gunplay. Critics and fans alike were displeased with the state of the Resident Evil series, which was in need of a push back in the right direction, and this is where Resident Evil 7 shines.
The game fits back into the survival horror genre well, with two of the main antagonists chasing you around the house, they’re also unable to be killed… This brings back the sense of helplessness that was captured in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, with the main antagonist of that game being immortal, too.
Although the game is rooted in survival horror, the boss battles mildly draw away from that experience, with the fights having the player use most of their hard earned supplies. Depending on your chosen difficulty, it might take a few tries to finally defeat the boss.
The puzzle sections that were widely considered a staple of the early series makes a return in Resident Evil 7. These puzzles are considerably easier than its predecessors, as many of the puzzles in the game are shadow locks. This is where the player has to rotate an item to cast a certain shadow on a wall, which then unlocks the next area. Compared to the puzzles in the original Resident Evil, which required players to think a bit more and punished players that got the answers wrong, the puzzles in Resident Evil 7 are simple in comparison.
In the recent surge of virtual reality technology, many games have come out that support the use of various VR headsets such as the Oculus rift, HTC Vive and the PlayStation VR. One of those games is Resident Evil 7; unfortunately VR is only supported on the PlayStation 4 version of the game. Since Resident Evil 7 was built to be viewed on a standard TV screen or monitor, and not through a VR headset, it causes a few problems with the game. The textures start to become less detailed to compensate for the headset moving back and forth, as well as jagged edges becoming more notable. A few people who have tried the VR for Resident Evil 7 said that they felt slightly nauseated after playing for as little as 20 minutes. However the VR isn’t all bad, the jump scare that were scary on a regular screen become terrifying in VR, creating a greater horror experience for the player.
Overall Resident Evil 7 has the potential to be the best horror game of 2017, with its survival horror mechanics, interesting story and detailed graphics. The ending also implied that a sequel could follow up expand the already detailed universe of Resident Evil.