Sunday, 5 March 2017
Resident Evil 7
Resident Evil 7 isn't like anything that came before it. A long while ago there were articles going around the internet that Shinji Mikami wanted to take the series back to its roots. I think secretly horror fans were hoping that this meant we were going to get a horror game in the classic style but it would look all shiny on the new systems. Well we didn't get that but what we did get was bloody good.
The game starts out with the main character getting a message from his wife who he thought was dead to come and save her. Upon arrival he manages to find her but then starts getting attacked by the absolute batshit insane family that live in the house and from there all sorts of insanity goes down. I don't want to go into the story too much in this piece because its really the best thing if you experience it without knowing anything.
The whole game is done in a first person perspective which at first sounds really lame but actually works quite well. It was obviously done in order to make the VR thing worth it but it doesn't detract from the overall experience if you don't have it. If anything Resident Evil is the first game that has made me think that I want to buy a VR set at all which is a pretty good indicator of just how the general atmosphere was done in this game.
What makes Resident Evil 7 so enjoyable is that all the ingredients of classic survival horror are in the game but with the first person perspective it's like they've just put a new twist on it. Usually these kind of first person horror games involve simply hiding from the baddies but in this one we have all sorts of weapons and items that we have to manage. The combat, which I'll talk about in just a second is actually fun and it feels like the character is decently capable of dealing with whatever is being thrown at him.
The most important question that most people will be asking though is "is it scary?" and the answer is somewhat. If you're not the kind of person that is super used to horror like I am then there's probably going to be a great deal of moments that will have you shitting yourself. However if you're a bit hardened on the genre then while it probably wont scare you as much it's still sort of stressful. The atmosphere never lets up and while it's predictable in certain places it just adds to that feeling of stress because usually it'll be a situation where it's the only way to progress. There have been so many shitty horror games in recent memory that maybe I'm being nice to it but it was definitely a nice feeling to be made a little uneasy by some sections.
Of course, the game isn't perfect and while the problems don't detract from the experience so much it's hard to just ignore these glaring faults. First the movement just feels a bit weird overall. Of course, you adapt to the games weird movement but there are plenty of times that I took a hit from and enemy or boss and got a little frustrated because if the character just walked or ran like a normal human being instead of like one of those crazy huge movie cameras on legs then avoiding damage would be a bit easier. Second the AI on regular enemies is laughably bad and once you figure out how to bait out certain attacks then each encounter becomes a trivial inconvenience. This is a shame because the first time you fight the regular enemies it's genuinely intimidating but then you realize that they all behave like morons and they lose their impact.
The enemy variety is also shockingly bad. The encounters with the family are extremely fun and varied but the regular characters that stalk the corridors are lacking to say the least. Just think, Resident Evil 1 had zombies, spiders, snakes, hunters, crows, dogs and the remake brought in the famous crimson heads. Resident Evil 7 on the other hand has black thing with teeth, fat black thing with teeth and spidery black thing and that's IT. Finally without spoiling anything the final section of the game is just pathetically easy because the game gives you so much of a certain weapon that the enemies blocking your path have no chance of stopping you because not only is the weapon so powerful but the enemies make 0 effort to avoid it.
Still, generally speaking Resident Evil 7 is a really good game so if you need a good horror fix then play this. At time of writing I'm not really aware of anything even remotely entertaining in the genre coming out aside from We Happy Few so while Resident Evil 7 is MAYBE a little on the short side you'll be happy you decided to play it by the end.