Wow. I would say there are few words for how great of an experience Resident Evil 7: Biohazard was, but I have plenty to say for Capcom’s latest installment. In few words, it’s true to its roots with creative scares and strategic gameplay. But more than anything, RE7 is terrifyingly unique and a step up from past games. If you haven’t played this game, exit out of this screen now and buy it now and then come back to read this. Just do it already!
Are you gone yet? Okay, for the rest of you…
For one thing, I am completely satisfied I was right about how great RE7 is. Not simply for being right but because playing it, I couldn’t stop thinking about how different it was compared to its predecessors. Certainly, it’s a great start to reboot the series. The basic story line is Ethan heading to Dulvy, LA looking for his wife who has been missing for years. The search was prompted by a video message sent by the wife, and the rest is history.
RE7 is in first person perspective and somehow, it’s that much more terrifying. So much, the moment I walked into the house, really just a dark hallway, I instantly had to pause the game…okay, I left the game because I wasn’t ready (Are you happy now?). After entering the house with nothing but a flashlight, it was clear this game had put a lot of work in design and lighting, every detail done with effort and the player’s experience in mind.
Another great feature was the functionality of the rooms. Now, I say rooms as in the first house. Most cabinets and drawers can be opened (or picked open), though not every draw has items within it, which of course annoyed me at first. Through the first house, there is a sense of dread and darkness, not just because of what happens – finding his wife, Mia, realizing her ‘condition’ but it varies from area to area which constantly keeps a gamer on their toes. I’ve listed the locations with a few details:
- Guest House: This is the first house you enter and it’s dark, dreary and creepy as hell but sets the motion for the game. There will be a few scares, mostly from Mia in this part and reveals her condition that comes and goes.
- Main House: Vast but you need to break into many items while killing the father, the first time, and not all doors are simply opened with a key. This house has the most rooms and opportunities to find supplies but there are puzzles to be solved if you want to move further.
- Processing Area: One of the creepiest parts of the game as you wander in a creature-infested basement. Luckily, your save point/room isn’t that far away and you can out run them.
- Yard/Trailer: All of those coins you’ve been picking up finally are useful…if you have enough.
- Old House: A place where almost every room has a swarm of venomous bugs or bugs stuck to areas you need to break into. Bring plenty of fire because you use it the most in the Old House.
- Testing Area: Key cards and traps everywhere.
- Boat House: Tripwire, your awesome supply boxes containing vital items, or completely explode and affecting your health, and sadistic birthday games set up by Lucas who may be the most insane boss in the game.
- Wrecked Ship: Challenging with partial ability to hide in the sleeping quarters but the most useful stuff are between you and fast crouching monsters, which are a B to kill. You also end up using a lot of different chemicals to open doors and moving around artwork to unveil other items/stories.
- Salt Mine: Sometimes closed spaces, it’s easy to get trapped between monsters who have more energy than you. Shotgun and fire does the trick but if you need to go back to your supply chest, I recommend it.
The vast locations in this one compound really allow the gamer to explore but stay within a confined area – allowing details to flourish, especially in regards to the wrecked ship in the swamp and salt mines.
Characters within the RE7 world are creepy AF. That’s it – just creepy beyond my own imagination and really difficult to defeat. Firstly, trying to get away from Mia was a pain but then meeting the father of the Baker Family (Jack) made her a cake walk. Fighting the baker family, the initial threat of the game brought many challenges yet each villain (sure, let’s go with that for now) were diverse in their threat. For instance, Jack just wouldn’t die. You end up facing him a few times and running away from him doesn’t always work. Once he’s been defeated in this bizarre cage fight looking area, you are off to your next contender. Dear old mom, Marguerite Baker. And she’s one nasty monster.
Located in the old house (this, of course, after a dinner scene where the food is rotting and they are trying to force Ethan to turn), which is falling apart in several areas, Marguerite roams around, attacking you until the final battle. She’s not easy and like Jack, you are not just dealing with humans but other types of monsters or venomous bugs. After the mother, you are getting snippets of this Eve (short for Evelyn) and her position in the story of being brought to the baker house, and then everything went to shit.
Can you reveal more about Eve? Not until beating the son, Lucas (with the assistance of his sister Zoe who also wants to escape and gets Ethan to that point). Of all the baker family members, Lucas posed the most challenge, growing into this god awful looking creature. It didn’t help I was first low on ammo and failed to make it a few minutes. Of course, you don’t always see the extra ammo/boxes to assist you but thankfully I did, shooting out all of Lucas’s eyes, and escaping the Boat House.
Moving between characters (Ethan to Mia and back to Ethan) and flashbacks filling in the storyline of Evelyn at the wrecked ship, the little girl/unstoppable weapon, you are then faced with her monsters, making difficult decision on who to save, and Eve’s origin while being allowed to see the Baker Family on the other side. Not expecting it, it’s revealed the Bakers, were in fact, victims of Eve and her infection which forced murderous influence upon them, to say the least. In the end, it’s you and Eve, which ironically is the easier of the battles.
An impressive feature of the game is the monsters, the variety, and ranging difficulties. I’ve posted a few pictures below, including of Eve, both in her ‘natural’ form and final form.
Completing the game brings more questions than answers, especially as there are alternative endings, depending on who you save (if you’ve played, you know what I’m talking about), though it’s not vastly different. Another positive is the game being so much on its own with almost no connection with the last few games, it was interesting to see the Umbrella Corporation make an appearance at the end. What corporation was Mia really working on while ‘watching’ Eve? Was it the very same Umbrella corporation we’ve come to know and despise? Is Ethan’s story truly over? This weapon that is Eve which was manufactured, is she the only one? Though completely bizarre, if there is a serum that essentially could break Eve down, isn’t that contrary to the story? (I hope not.)
It’s stressful just thinking about how long it takes for a game to go from idea to execution that it may very well be years before we know if anything comes of it at all (and if Capcom was smart, would start making the next chapter or similar story line already). Until then, one has to bask in completing the game and what’s to come.