Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Resident Evil 7 Review - Survival horror makes a return for the series.

By Sam Coles:

Resident Evil in recent years has had an identity crisis since Resident Evil 5 as it tried to cater to an audience that was not interested in the series to begin with, by trying to produce Call of Duty style games. The final nail in the coffin seemed to be Resident Evil 6 although I don’t think it’s a bad game; however it is not a good Resident Evil game. Capcom tried to go back to survival horror with mixed results with the decent Resident Evil Revelations on the 3DS which eventually got an HD port on PS3, 360 and Wii U.  It was a decent attempt but still had a few flaws for it to be a true survival horror. What was surprising was E3 2016 when Capcom announced Resident Evil 7 during Sony’s conference and a lot of people were surprised with the new perspective and the fact that they were going back to survival horror. Does it succeed? Yes.

Resident Evil 7 takes place after the 6th game were you play as Ethan Winters and he gets a message from his missing wife who he has not seen for three years and he finds out she is in Louisiana and he goes to get her. It’s not long before he finds that something is not right and finds that his wife Mia is being held against her will by a rural family called the Bakers who have been infect with something that make them almost immortal. The game’s story takes classic Resident Evil tropes and mixes it with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and it works, yes it has a more serious tone but it does not stem from the campy and dark sense of humour of the old games.

Gameplay goes back to survival horror but there is a new feature of a first person perspective which if you were like me were sceptical because I thought it was buckling to trends with the popularity of first person horror games like Outlast. I was wrong because it still feels like a traditional Resident Evil game with a massive house to explore, puzzles to solve and item management, the first person view just makes the experience more immersive. Unlike most first person horror games you’re not defenceless as Resident Evil gives you firearms to help you get through some segments which makes sense if you were in a similar situation.

Crafting is a new aspect which if you know me I’m not a fan of in most games but it is necessary to help you progress through the game as you can craft first aid, bullets, flame rounds and special ammo types which helps with enemies and boss fights.

The presentation in this game is fantastic and I was really surprised that the game runs at a buttery smooth 60 frames per second. The way I would describe the visuals in this game is moist, the game has a really disgusting look to it in a good way to cater to the horror theme, with mouldy hallways and blood soaked carpets. The Baker family are unique with visual design especially Marguerite when she mutates into her insect form. Some textures do look a bit blurry but they did sacrifice some visual fidelity for a smooth frame rate which I can commend them for.

Resident Evil 7 was a pleasant surprise as it is a triple A release with subtlety rather than shoving explosions in your face and it’s a nice change of pace. If you haven’t played this game go out and get it, yes it is still rather expensive but it is worth every penny.

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