Review: Resident Evil 7

Originally known as Biohazard (バイオハザード ) , the mother of the modern day survival horror game genre first hit our screens in 1996 as it catapulted the original Playstation to a must-have status. I was in university when I was first had to run the heck away from zombie dogs, conserve magnum ammo, learn how to combine red and green plants to make a first aid kit, learn the value of a properly aimed rocket launcher and meet Jill (The MASTER of unlocking).

So 20 odd years and numerous sequels, movie adaptations, merchandising deals and even more game sequels later (a few of them not successful at all!) Capcom releases Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.

First Impressions:
Mike: Having played a majority of the RE games- yes even the crappy gun games, RE7 looked like a proper return to it’s roots. The graphics are great, the sound is finely tuned and characters have just the right combination of “screw with your head scary” and “how the F$@# am I supposed to survive that!?”.  There are gratuitous amounts of gore and violence even in the first 15 minutes of game play and once it starts you seldom will find respite long enough to really calm your nerves.

Shane: I’m fairly confident I skipped RE3, 5 and 6. I loved 1 and 2, they were excellent games, full of suspense. Albeit, easy to run around the undead, there were quite a few scares in it. Jump forward to a time past the infamous PT (Silent Hills) demo that never made it to full game, and we have RE7. Dark and moving around in first person with a flashlight. Scare after scare, I had to pause the game a few times to give myself a break. The tone is bang on terrifying, the music is……wait what music, it is all just environmental sounds with a lot of pipes “expanding” for that added “SOMEONE IS BEHIND ME!” effect.

Gameplay:

Mike: I have been playing the game on PSVR and even though I consider myself an above average VR user, the first time I played the demo I actually got VR sickness. The full version rectified this by allowing you to use the joystick to move your head in 30 degree increments in conjunction with using the headtracking on the VR unit. The sudden movements allow you to get away faster from (insert expletive about spoiler free villain) – yeah… that dude, but centering your view can be problematic (moreso if you are not running the ps4 pro).  That being said, the game is still a technical marvel- its a whole game of this caliber IN VR. Let’s let that sink in for a second… it’s not some 5 minute gimmick- its the whole darn game in VR. The sound design is well thought out- and each time you get a break to catch your breath you know that there is some crazy shit lurking close by just waiting to knock the wind out of you.

Shane: I bought the game through Steam. Mostly because when I went into GamesStop they were sold out, as was Amazon. So obviously I knew the game was doing well at that point. I played around with HDR for a bit, trying to find the best way to experience the game. HDR makes the game very dark, like hard to see stuff in good definition at the start, but when you get inside the house it runs perfectly. On the other hand, without HDR looks washed out and pale. Another issue I found was that, using the XBOX controller through the PC, there was quite a serve input lag. You would move to the left and it didn’t respond for about half a second. That doesn’t sound bad but, in a horror game like this, that adds to the suspense and infuriates you a little more because it shouldn’t be like that! The graphics on the PC are wonderful, the picture jumps out of the screen (no pun intended…maybe). The one big downside is that…..no VR support. Although I’m not sure I could play it in VR, I might be too much of a wuss!

Overall review:

Mike: The game is scary. It is a complete mindf@#$. It will get your heart racing. In short, it is an awesome revival of this seemingly saturated genre. It brought me back to just how creepy the first game was- how you angry it made you seeing the “YOU HAVE DIED” screen over and over and over again and how you just came back for more. Some might argue that it has taken too much from the gimmicks of other survival horror games out there like Outlast – but I’d argue that those games took their cues from RE and this game is just taking it all back.

I really like the game and like the direction they are going with it. The VR aspect is an added bonus and is the main reason why I picked it up for PS4 instead of for PC. I feel that the game can deliver for both veterans of the series and new gamers who will play an RE game for the first time ever.

Shane: I’m not saying I play this game with a baseball bat beside me or anything, or that I have to have the lights on…..but I am. This game delivers in all the aspects you want from a horror game. You want to turn off the game and never return, but you can’t. You need to keep playing. I’m confident that my heart beats at twice its normal speed while playing this game. I’m confident that I will finish this game, in due time. I’m also confident that this is by far the best Resident Evil game since 1996 and would go so far as to say, this is actually the best Resident Evil game. If you love horrors, if you love survivals, if you love having the general sh*t scared out of you and dying over and over again, then stop what you are doing and go pick this game up right now!

I’m looking forward to seeing what direction the next game goes to, and I’m not used to saying that for a Capcom game!

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