A shift in perspective is far from the only change that this new Resident Evil has, the opening moments are terrifying and weird. For the first time in years, Resident Evil feels scary and frightening again and it’s a return to the roots of the franchise that began 20 years ago.
I wake up at the table, one that is layered with food that may have gone bad. Maguerite is happy that you’ve awaken, and Jack watches along with his grinning son and to our right is Grandma. This is the first time that I truly feel scared and uncomfortable, this is the first and last time you might see them happy.
“He’s not eating it, Jack!” , the mother says to her husband.
Jack is furious that I spit out my food and he proceeds to cut off his son’s arm with an axe then walks towards me to give me a lesson and proceeds to stab me and is ready to plunge the knife into my eye until I’m saved by a ring from the front door. It’s the most unsettling opening I’ve seen yet in any Resident Evil game or any horror game to date, especially now in Modern Gaming. You might be thinking Outlast 2 sounds amazing by now which I agree with, it’s brutal and unsettling but then things turn to traditional RE ways. I escape the dinner table and I find myself hiding in a room and hearing closely to the footsteps of one of the Baker’s, just wait until one of them sees that I’m gone and I see a locked door that needs a key to open, it takes me several minutes to find the key in another room in true horror fashion and get the jump of my life.
Much like in the Beginning Hour Teaser, Resident Evil VII takes certain moments and ideas from Hideo Kojima’s P.T from 2014, everytime I backtrack across the same hallway, it’s chilling and different every time then the first time. There will be a shadow or singing or somebody stalking you as you go to that door to open it, even opening the doors is frightful and that’s what I like. The game plays on your fears of the dark and your fear of the unknown and that’s what’s great, you don’t know what’s across that hallway until you head over there and you have the imagination to imagine something terrible and something scary that will jump at you and attempt to kill you. It’s a horror factory.
Resident Evil 7 isn’t just a rollercoaster of jump scares though, the game makes a good jump of playing as different people through VHS tapes. I nab one and pop it into a TV where I play as Ethan’s wife. She is being stalked by Maguerite Baker, who’s wielding a lantern and I’m running for my life where the game turns from action packed to something similar to Outlast, I’m running through hallways and opening and closing doors until I jump down into a hole in the floor but as I jump down, I’m greeted by a full view of Maguerite who curses me out and tries to get me, I fall to the ground and crawl on all fours but no such luck as Maguerite drags her away to her room and I return to the viewpoint of her husband, Ethan. That sidestory is interesting and I like how you get more insight into the game’s story as you play through different people’s viewpoints.
The combat in Resident Evil 7 is alright, it is an option to tackle the game’s enemies. Every weapon within the game itself is different, and everything beyond the pistol is powerful and absurd. When you blast a molded with a shotgun, you feel the impact and once you pull off a headshot or two, it’s pretty satisfying and necessary if you don’t want to throw away your bullets because you’ll need them later and the first person view helps that. First person view in Resident Evil 7 is limited vision, the enemies will appear in front of you but sometimes they will spawn right beside you and that’s frightening. The first person view means tension.
In the older titles like RE2 or RE3, you would be scared because you don’t know what’s behind that hallway but in RE7 however, it’s very different. You have to be cautious because anything can appear, like an enemy who has slid in a room beside you or behind the door or an enemy and if you check, then you’ll be blindsided by an attack.
The tension is accompanied by the audio. The Baker mansion is filled with creaking and strange noises that keep you awake at night, these noises blend in with movements that you can see from the corner of your eye. It’s extremely effective at creating fear and terror within your own head as you don’t know at all.
Resident Evil 7 brings something fresh to the game and it takes the series to new heights and a new direction. I have been pleased with the game so far, it’s an evolution and it’s a modern day version of the Resident Evil franchise. Make sure to stay tuned for my review.