Like many longtime gamers, the Resident Evil series is near and dear to their hearts. I’ve played the entire series, and some of the installments, many times over. However, the installments since Resident Evil 4 (the best in the series), have lost the “it” factor that made the series unique. Resident Evil 5 moved more action based, and Part 6 was all action, that the series lost the horror element.
Not Resident Evil 7. This game changes the formula to a first person based game, but goes back to the tense, ammo scarce, horror game that the series was – yet adds new elements to the game. This game takes influences from western and eastern horror genres, and melds them into a intriguing, and immersive, story. Looking at the game you ask, is this a Resident Evil game in title only? The answer is no – but be aware that this is in the same universe as you come to expect.
Graphics: Breathtaking 9/10
The graphics are make you look twice – anyone fans of found film movies, or even the torture film genre, will find the visuals in this game well done. Take some time to watch to look at the detail of the environment. Little touches in lighting, leaves, pictures, and shadows really take this game up a notch. If playing in 4k/HDR, this looks as if you are playing a VHS video, and the environments look real and full.
Sound: Amazing – 9.5/10
The sounds, music, effects, and voices take you immediately into the game and you can get lost into it. Surround sound / headphones are a must so you can hear the uttering, chanting, and footsteps in this fun house of a game. The sounds are enough to make you yell out loud.
Gameplay: Spectacular – 9/10
Smooth animations, smart A.I., brilliant level design, and different possibilities for battles make this game fun. Easy puzzles, especially for this series, is the one thing that is a knock against this game. Younger gamers may not think so, but those familiar with the series will see that this is extremely easy. Overall, the gameplay is different from the past, and in a good way. The first person perspective is a refreshing change of pace – and the dialogue / story is well thought out.
Replay Value – Amazing 9.5/10
Even without multiplayer, this game has high replay value. You get to choose your own path, make your own choices, all which affect the outcome of the game. The game will take you anywhere from 12 to 16 hours to complete, but you will want to do it again.
Overall – Near Perfect 9.5/10
I am a fan of First-Person-Shooters (FPS) and all that is associated with them. This is a FPS technically, but it is so much more. It takes a tired, lost Resident Evil series, and breathes new life into it. It may be FPS, but it is survival horror and scavenging that the roots of this series introduced 20 years ago. The story details and ideas that went in this game prove that the mix of Western horror and Eastern horror can mix in story telling – There are a few quirks in this game, but it was fun.
Resident Evil 7 is labeled as a survival horror first person shooter, but it is so much more. It takes a tired series and made a game that I am recommending to everyone. It was such a surprise – that I have not felt this way about a game in years. It has elements taken from past RE games, such puzzles, jump scares, scavenging, and action-adventure, and brings it to the now – not a tired old Umbrella story. Spending time with this game, it is apparent that Capcom wanted to create a statement, also to create a cinematic game, and different experience in a game – one not felt in a Resident Evil game before.
RE7 took a chance to be different, and it worked. This game is gorgeous, involved, and deep - and it is not the same experience for everyone. The experience and horror is different for each user, which just shows you how much time and thought went into this game. With this much depth, it is hard to compare it to something else out right now, and you can’t. It is the perfect January release – for when game releases slow, the lull of winter sets in, and the year is just starting.
Typically, when I play a game that I truly enjoy, I have a wow moment – maybe two. This game made me do that several different times. Maybe they weren’t WOW moments - more like OH SH$# moments. This game is definitely worth checking out, and I hope that it does not get lost in the with an early spring release, but for 2017, it is already in my GAMES OF THE YEAR list.