Resident Evil 7 Reviews

  • The Horror NetworkThe Horror Network214,064
    16 Jun 2017
    4 0 0
    Resident Evil 7 is the long-awaited next chapter in the franchise that has become the crowned king of horror survival. Four long years since the release of Resident Evil 6, Capcom have returned with not only a new, revamped style for one of their most popular series', but also a virtually unheard of cast. The new concoction has left long standing fans of the game wary, and only time will tell if the endeavor is a hit or miss with old fans and newcomers alike.

    Being a long time fan of Resident Evil myself, I too had my doubts about the entire overhaul that the series has undertaken. It's true that there are absolutely no characters from the previous installments, and it's quite odd to play a game in first-person perspective knowing that it's a Resident Evil title. However, these two implementations shouldn't be a cause for one to shun the game; after all, variety is the spice of life and let's face it... people complained endlessly about the last two releases for one reason or another. While diving head first into such a shocking reincarnation is extreme, brave, and ballsy, it does bode well for Capcom and the future of the Resident Evil series.

    Running with a GTX 1080/i7 6700k/16GB DDR4 3000 setup, the optimization here is absolutely outstanding, the title is completely void of any stuttering, FPS drops, texture issues, and I personally did not experience any crashing; in fact, I didn't experience a single problem whatsoever for the continual 11 hours of play time. The game itself looks remarkable, and it boasts a near photo-realistic quality that we haven't seen since the Silent Hills PT demo; additionally, the lighting and ambiance are just incredible. It's also a major bonus that the creepy, atmospheric soundtrack is as equally impressive as the visuals. It should also be mentioned here that the AI of the enemies and bosses is almost perfect; although it is odd that during the few stealth sequences of the game, the main foes do not react to your footsteps.

    Yes, you read that right, stealth. Resident Evil 7 is anything but a one-trick pony, as it will take you on a roller-coaster ride of adrenaline-pumping atmospheric horror, frightening and well placed jumpscares, stealth segments, classic puzzles, pure survival in its most true form, and a little bit of action toward the end. At its core, however, the game is absolutely of survival horror origin, and it's great that Capcom have listened to the outcries of their fans to bring the franchise back full circle to its roots. Within the 10 hour long campaign, there are countless odes to previous Resident Evil titles, as well as small nods to other popular horror names such as Evil Dead and Stephen King. Even though Chris, Jill, Leon, Ada, and Wesker are nowhere in sight, you will be reminded of them at some point or another.

    There are only three real downsides to Resident Evil 7, and that's its lack of enemies, a memorable cast, and weapons/upgrades. There are no Lickers, Hunters, Cerberus, Tyrants, Villagers, Zombies, or any of the other enemies that we've become accustomed to over the years. In their place are the Molded, humans that have been infected by a mold-type virus and have turned completely black and tar-like, with razor sharp teeth; think Uroboros from Resident Evil 5, just without the regeneration factor. There are roughly three types of Molded, and overall about 5 boss fights with 3 different villains. You play as a man named Ethan, who is looking for his wife Mia; all we really know is that she has been missing for three years, with no further backstory for the characters. Even throughout the 10 hours you will spend in the campaign, the protagonists never get very well flushed out in terms of story or personality.

    However, with that said, the primary plot and story of the game is extremely memorable. I will refrain from going into any detail in this review about it, as it's something that you should very much experience for yourself from beginning to end. I will say that this entry into the Resident Evil franchise is a great segway, perhaps even a prequel, to what lies in store for us with the inevitable release of Resident Evil 8. Surprisingly, Capcom have pulled off this seventh installment with flying colors, despite tearing the series down to its very essence of survival horror and rebuilding around that with all new elements and features. Some things stay the same, such as item boxes, manual save points, and limited inventory. Some things change. Resident Evil 7 is a much needed breath of fresh air in the franchise, and it's a welcomed return to the series' survival horror roots. Welcome to the family, reader.

    Rating: 5.0/5.0 - An astonishing achievement, this game must be played.
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    Banned Footage Vol. 1 is the first DLC provided by Capcom for Resident Evil 7. This additional paid content was released on January 31, 2017, a mere week after the launch of the base game, at least for PlayStation 4 owners; PC gamers and Xbox One owners were forced to wait until February 20. For extra content to be released so early for a title, you are bound to know that the developer already had the material ready and waiting for consumers, which isn't unheard of for greedy Capcom.

    Banned Footage Vol. 1 consists of two new scenarios, "Nightmare" and "Bedroom". The former is a novelty wave-survival mode where you must last through waves of monsters until 5:00 AM by gathering crafting resources and setting traps; it takes place in the basement of the Baker house to boot, so there's no new or interchangeable locations. There are unlockables, and higher difficulties to play on, so think of Nightmare as Resident Evil 7's Mercenaries mode... just not as good, or in-depth.

    The latter is a puzzle game, wherein you must escape a room that Marguerite keeps you confined in. If you make any loud noises (and you will) she will storm back into the room anywhere between 30-60 seconds, during which time you must put everything back as it was or she will know that you escaped from your bed. This scenario is more unique and a little more fun than Nightmare, although it only takes roughly 20 minutes to complete.

    There's also a new gameplay mode titled "Ethan Must Die", which is nothing more than a brutal rouge-like slaughterfest. In most cases, you will die in one hit; from traps, from enemies, from pretty much everything. In this mode, items that you will find are randomized, so if you don't find a weapon right off the bat you're pretty well screwed. It's not just a tough-as-nails mode, but it also borderlines on unfair play, and it can become exasperating quickly, especially if you die multiple times to an item box trap.

    Ultimately, deciding if this content is worth your money depends on what you're looking for. If you like replaying the same area over and over again while unlocking things such as extra guns and infinite ammo, then you might really enjoy Nightmare. If you like puzzles with a semi-strategical twist to them, then you'll dig Bedroom. If you love being frustrated beyond belief, then Ethan Must Die is for you. Personally, I found Nightmare incredibly boring, I thought that Bedroom was way too short, and Ethan Must Die is little more than a luck based time sink. For a price of $13.99 CAD, and knowing that Capcom had this at the ready by the time Resident Evil 7 launched, Banned Footage Vol. 1 is an overpriced, near-day one DLC money grab.

    Rating: 3.0/5.0 - Average, can take it or leave it.
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    Released on February 21, 2017, Banned Footage Vol. 2 is the second set of paid DLC for Resident Evil 7. Coming in at just under a month since the release of the base game, it should come as no shocker when one denotes this material as the worst so far for this otherwise excellent survival horror title. Comprised of three new features, Banned Footage Vol. 2 includes the 21 mini-game, a story related scenario called Daughters, and a tongue-in-cheek gauntlet known as Jack's 55th Birthday.

    Let's begin this review by saying that the Daughters scenario is really the only reason to own this DLC set. It provides two endings, so there is a small replay factor available, and a decent look into the history of how the Baker family was turned into the maniacs that we've become familiar with in the main campaign of Resident Evil 7. It takes place on the stormy night when Jack finds Eveline. The event is only about half an hour long, perhaps a bit longer if you don't use a guide to find the true ending.

    Now, Jack's 55th Birthday can be a little fun at first; it's a series of six maps (across three locations), where you run around while a timer counts down, shoot hat-wearing monsters to gain bonus time, all the while searching for food to feed Jack to satiate his hunger. You can combine items to create new foods, which will fill Jack up even quicker, and at the end of the level you're given a rating based upon your quickness. Even though it's very out of place in the game, Resident Evil has always had some sort of twisted humor to it, so it's passable despite the fact that this gauntlet quickly becomes boring.

    The worst part of Banned Footage Vol. 2 has to be the mini-game called 21; it's Blackjack, plain and simple, but it's a harshly unfair and intensely rigged game of Blackjack. It has a Saw quality to it, given the plethora of TV screens that surround you as you sit at a card table, your hand in a machine and each finger with a razor blade lingering above it. The opponent across from you is wearing a burlap sack over their head, making the atmosphere all the more ominous. Of course, the goal is to get to as close to 21 as possible without going over, but there's a catch; each hand you lose, you lose a finger... lose all your fingers, and you die.

    There are also trump cards in 21, which can be used for various bonuses such as raising your opponent's finger bet by a certain amount, or drawing certain cards, etc. This is where the majority of the problems with this content dwells, since your AI opponent will always have the proper cards to suit their needs. The vanilla base of 21 is easy enough to beat once you get the hang of it, even though you can only win the final battle by using one particular card so long as you've hung on to it. It's when you reach the Survival and Survival+ modes, beating 5 and 10 opponents in a row respectively, that things become infuriating. Even if the computer dealer only gives the AI three cards, they'll end up having 10 cards and all of them will be exactly what they need, meaning you have to have enough "right" cards to counter whatever trump cards that the AI plays. It's a terrible mini-game, and one of the most corrupt I've ever played; it's not hard, it's just downright rigged.

    To sum everything up, if you think that playing a 30-45 minute scenario that will show you how the Baker family turned into insane hillbillies is worth it, then by all means spend the $19.00 CAD for this DLC; the remainder is just a shameful waste. If you're considering purchasing the Season Pass, keep in mind that the two major DLCs have now been released (Vol. 1 and 2) and we're only waiting on an additional episode at this time, which is hopefully not the free episode, otherwise Capcom will have done a great job ripping people off with a shoddy mini-game, an escape the room puzzle, a wave-based shooter that's nothing but a skeletal version of Mercenaries, one worthwhile scenario, a rogue-like death mode, and a comedy gauntlet.

    Rating: 2.0/5.0 - It's not awful, but it's not great.
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  • realhumanbean4urealhumanbean4u42,186
    02 May 2019
    1 0 0
    While I am in the minority of loving Resident Evil 6, I like everyone else saw that Resident Evil was in desperate need of rebooting. Changing the formula is what the series thrives on, from the larger scope of 2, the new camera in 4, and the emphasis of action in post-5, I welcome change as a Resident Evil fan. That being said, when the trailer dropped for Resident Evil VII: Biohazard, I did not know what to think. Maybe it was TOO different. But I always had a strong curiosity for the direction it took. I'm a huge Tobe Hooper and Sam Raimi fan, and I loved how the game spliced Texas Chainsaw and Evil Dead together. I finally played and beat RE VII this year, and even if I don't think it compares to the franchise's best, it is still a very strong and always captivating video game.

    The game takes full advantage of its new camera system just as RE4 did over a decade ago. Even without VR (I almost do not want to imagine how terrifying it would be to use it) this is still an extremely immersive game. That goes beyond just the camera; the attention to detail in level design, graphics, and soundscape really sell this uncomfortable world. Also with is are the vocal performances, which dare I say for a Resident Evil game, are actually really great? Seriously, everyone is fantastic. All the members of the Baker family are so iconic in every way, from their lines, designs, fights, character, everything. They're some of the best group of baddies Capcom ever put out. Ethan is a step down from other RE protagonists simply because he exists more as an avatar for the player, but even then he has his moments ("Who builds this shit?!"). The real star is Clancy, the unseen previous victim of the Bakers explored in videotape flashbacks. Every one of his scenes are among the most revolting and he hardly speaks a word. I really do wish the whole game was around him.

    Like every other Resident Evil, it has its fair share of criticisms. My biggest one is that there is practically zero enemy variety, even in the DLC. The design for the grunts, called Molded, are totally uninspired and visually uninteresting, and all of them are practically the same. Like many other RE games, it loses its tone in the finale, becoming a streamlined action game. The difficulty curve is all over the place, beginning really stupidly hard before quickly becoming easy and easily exploitable, until you get to the ship and it once again because hard until you find the big stash of one-hit kill explosives. Everything from then on is a glorified QTE, especially the final boss which, while interesting in design, is one of the most monotonous final bosses of recent memory. While the rest of the bosses are pretty good, one fought in a barn was a real disappointing bait and switch that's easily exploitable. But hey, chainsaw dueling Jack makes up for it.

    Everything up until the finale is near perfection, however. The game banks heavily on the first RE in terms of design and atmosphere but still goes out and makes its own thing. It's strange to see a RE game played so straight, but it works amazingly well here, and even then it still is not afraid to show off some camp. The story is a genuinely interesting one full of intrigue while also succeeding at that small scale "anything can go wrong really fast and no one will know" paranoia that makes 70s horror so great to me. Controls are surprisingly good for a first time mainline FPS entry, though leaning mechanics would have helped out a lot in a certain part of the game, and making inventory selection real time feels like a mistake when the interface is still as clunky as ever. Little new things, like the Madhouse difficulty which totally changes things up like making you find secret coins to unlock key items as well as the trademark perfect RE balance of brevity and content make this an extremely replayable game, and I cannot wait for my second and even third playthrough despite its flaws.

    RE VII shines in its concept, design, characters, and story, doing a great job at rebooting the series from over the top camp to something more believable while losing nothing that RE is known for. Even if it ultimately doesn't reinvent the wheel, it's a must play for fans, and even a good entry point for newcommers since it's so narratively separated from the others.