One of the most horrifying, brilliant and intriguing games of the 21st century. The sequel, resident evil: village, number 8 in the series, has just released.
Resident evil 7: Biohazard was released 24th January 2017. I had seen many videos at the time, and waited until around June 2018 to buy and play it. An unforgettable first person survival horror video game that is in my opinion, one of the best resident evil games ever made and the best survival horror game I have ever played in the last 10 years. 2017 was a great year for this type of experience, with only Outlast 2 rivalling the success.
“The player controls Ethan Winters as he searches for his wife in a derelict plantation occupied by an infected family, solving puzzles and fighting enemies. It is the first main series game to use a first-person view. Resident Evil 7 is the first full-length game to use Capcom’s in-house RE Engine. “
Graphically this game is top notch, the re engine really stands out and is unique in so many way. It actually pays attention to details and the environment and characters movements and interactions are stunningly realistic. Sound effects and music are generally used to good affect as well.
I completed the game in a little over 10 hours. According to my save game data. I have also just started to play it again, so that the story is fresh in my mind for when I get a chance to play Resident Evil: Village. The stories of the two games are intrinsically linked.
So, here we have a simple premise: husband goes looking for wife who has been missing 3 years. She has sent a recording to his computer supposedly stating she is alive. Ethan is determined to rescue Mia and sets off to a beautiful Louisiana. We get a brief cutscene at the beginning of the game highlighting the vast empty wilderness that Ethan is trekking into. Personally, I love this kind of setting and wouldn’t mind living there myself.
Ethan turns up at a huge plantation mansion, which at first appears one building, but as you progress you quickly realise that the sets and the game are taking place in multiple building and massive gaming areas. They are linked together in a way that would allow you to explore multiple areas without having to ‘load’ into them. Again, this is the resident evil team, they have the money to build massive, detailed worlds, yet still retain that claustrophobic nightmare of not being able to leave. You can’t leave, and the only way to truly escape seems to be to rescue Mia and kill the entirety of the psychotic and infected Baker family.
Infected with what? Mystery abound as the first hour of gameplay is simple jump scares and some fighting. It is only when the mold creatures turn up that I truly began to feel fear. I mean the family is scary and the characters brilliantly acted and designed…but when you are in a dark room and mold creatures are morphing through walls I guarantee that you won’t be able to run quick enough. Another scary feature of this game, you can run, but extremely slowly, barely being able to escape. This is by design, and makes the game a survival horror, where stealth, patience and a little brain work to figure out the puzzles is required.
Inventory management is the best I have seen in the resident evil games. Some original concepts remain, like the herb healing plant and the ability to combine objects together. Ammunition is in good supply (normal mode) along with a variety of keys and puzzles that make completing some of the smaller objectives fun and interesting, rather than running around shooting everything.
The game is essential a movie, you meet the psychotic family members and one by one you face them off and destroy – or attempt to destroy them. I spent a lot of time trying to kill the first “boss” Jack Baker. A seemingly immortal man who continues to return during your early time in the house. All the time we are getting information from his daughter Zoe, who seems to be wanting to help Ethan by way of irregular telephone calls. Mia, on the other hand, continues to show up whilst the Baker family continue to try and keep her hostage.
The story and game have you complete mini tasks and work through the story finding Mia, getting help from Zoe and all the while wondering who the enigmatic Evelyn is. The Baker family provide the bosses, as mentioned Jack Baker is the first “boss” and one that just doesn’t want to die, with 2 fights against him plus plenty of chase time in the house. The closer you get to Mia, the more tasks appear, and again, the boss fight.
All of this culminates into a fascinating gaming experience which allows the player to experience true fear and excitement as they battle and sneak their way through one of the most disturbing games I have ever seen! When you are against a giant spider lady who is giving birth to giant insects, you can’t help but think, ‘God help me.’
So, Ethan, trying to rescue Mia, is being drawn further into the story of Evelyn, the mold creatures and the whole situation with the Baker family. This is one hell of a creepy experience. The developers acknowledge that this game is petrifying and have openly stated that resident evil: village has been toned down, to allow people to get through the levels without ******** themselves.
I felt a sense of achievement and connection to both Ethan and the game. I wanted him to succeed and for the story to end on a positive note. He is a brave mane. The ending, extremely bizarre. All the dark sets, boss battles and shaking hands have led to a final mission to finally escape. Escape is not easy.
Give this game a try. Bonus: This game supports virtual reality headsets! I will be honest, I was terrified with a headset, so no chance will I be doing VR!
The second playthrough has reminded me has awesome this experience was. I bought the game second hand and I do not regret it. The developers and everyone involved deserve a pat on the back for this occult(ish) nightmare!
( I am genuinely interested in Resident Evil: Village for the xbox one, however, I won’t be playing it until it has gone down in price.)
RATING: 5 stars