I’ve been trying to come up with words to describe the marvelous wonder that is, Resident Evil VII. It’s been a great while since I’ve been legitimately spooked behind my own controller–and to be honest, I am so thrilled with how this has turned out.
Back in the day, I rented Resident Evil 2. It was a gamble, a transaction made on a whim because I’d never played them before. YES. I RENTED THIS. I came from a time when game rentals were a huge thing, I promise! Anyway, My brothers and I spent a lot of time huddled around one TV (also a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, before multiplayer, streaming, online, etc., yeah you get the point) — and we loved playing games together, but a lot of that used to be Super Mario RPG, Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past, Mario Kart, or beating each other up on Super Street Fighter . But after we discovered how awesome this game was, we endured those obnoxious camera angles from this series, Silent Hill and Fatal Frame too…But in Resident Evil — hours of screaming and running from the tyrant, dodging that pesky sewer gator, zambie killing was so much fun for my family. How sweet, right?
Now I’m not sure if you guys caught my old coverage/article about how thrilled I was for the now dead title of “P.T” aka “Silent Hills” aka “Konami why you do dis”–but after the demo scared the bejeezus out of everyone and was cancelled, I started to worry about the horror genre in the mainstream. Indies? They can keep doing what they’re doing. I was able to feed my need to see some awesome scares by watching my favorite YouTubers play some pretty fantastic horror games online, ranging from really well done rpg-maker tales to some spectacular and beautifully rendered games (of which I even bought on Steam). I can’t discount things like “Outlast” either, because that one was pretty damn intense, and the sequel? That looks even BETTER. But, that’s another tale for another blog. 😉 Promise.
So then…Resident Evil 7 happened. As Ethan Winters, you search for your wife Mia who has gone missing for over three years and along your way, you meet the Bakers…lovely family, really. >_> Early reports kept mentioning the words “get back to their roots” and while I was skeptical at first, I was low-key hoping this was going to really do it. The demo itself was enough to get people talking, as it sought to change the perspective of the franchise, nay, genre entirely. AND with the power of the virtual reality headset, this game has taken it up several notches from where it had been before. Though, even without the VR, the situations you’re put into, on top of some of the surprises the Baker Family has in store for you with every turn, made the wait for Biohazard well worth it.
For those of you who haven’t played it yet or are looking into it, I liken it to the thrill of the chase from “Amnesia” or “Slenderman”, and especially the old title “Haunting Ground” (PS2) (The part (no spoiler) when”Daddy” Jack Baker decides he wants to rush you and you have to find a nice dark place to hide? Yeah. Worst.). These sons of guns are really strong and resilient too, so while ammo may stun them, it’s best if you use it sparingly and just keep moving. Now, add in the first-person perspective that mixes feelings from both “Condemned” and the late “P.T.”, plus the gore and fear factor of the original “Silent Hill” and “Resident Evil” but worse? This game is just a heart attack waiting to happen.
I have to throw this much in because I’m such an audio junkie when it comes to gaming…The sound design is absolutely brilliant, screwing with you at any given moment. What’s that? Someone knocked on the door in the distance? Check it out, if you dare. Did you hear someone whisper to you? Maybe you should turn around… *shudder* Just thinking about it…heebie jeebies.
If you’re brave enough to play this in the dark, or in VR, kudos to you. But for me? I’ll leave the light on for my inevitable “cry and scream” sessions. I may check back in once I’m finished with the playthrough, but for now, this one remains on my highly recommend to those of you with strong hearts and strong stomachs.
Til next time!
Krys, The Unfinished Gamer