Ah, another series from my childhood. A few short months away from the series 21st anniversary, Resident Evil 7 has come crawling, and growling, back into the heart and mind of this gamer and other fans around the globe. One thing that’s always stood out about the series, is CAPCOM’s willingness to try new things. Whether they are mostly forgotten relics like Resident Evil: Survivor and Resident Evil: Gaiden, spearheads for new consoles such as Resident Evil Code Veronica and Resident Evil 4, or the infinitely polarizing “love it or hate it” entries such as 5 and 6, CAPCOM is always willing to try new things.
With Resident Evil 7, the goal was to return to the days of old where tension and jump scares melded with puzzles, mystery to the plot, and plenty of fight-or-flight scenarios. It also aimed to do this from a first person point of view, rather than fixed camera angles or over-the-shoulder third person. While technically not a first for the series, it has been a long time since we have seen one and never in one of the mainline games of the series, only the side games. So, people were concerned justifiably. Would it be too similar to Outlast? Would it become a mindless shooter, lacking on plot and scares? Or, just maybe, would CAPCOM be able to pull it off, in an era where they aren’t exactly as trust as they used to be?
Far from the urban sprawls, the deserted towns, and subterranean labs, in a way the series comes full circle. With Resident Evil 7, the story and setting takes a turn off to something akin to where we started from. A desolate mansion, far enough from civilization that no one will hear you scream. Players take on the role of Ethan Winters, as he investigates a mysterious email from his wife whom was thought to be dead. He couldn’t just leave well enough alone, not with his wife potentially still alive. He left immediately from his (presumed) home in Texas to drive to Dulvey, Lousianna and ends up at an old house just off of a bayou tied to the disappearances of at least twenty confirmed cases over the last few years. With some sections well cared for, and others falling apart, you really get a sense that... well, maybe this place isn’t so abandoned after all. Someone has been here, and recently.
For those that played the demo (which you should, it’s free and it’s its own separate sub-story from the main game with three endings of its own), you have already been acquainted with one part of the residence. Once making it inside, players will walk familiar halls under drastically different circumstances. The moment I stepped back into that house, I was filled with a sense of dread. That dread would soon become justified upon meeting the Baker Family, our gracious hosts.
A frightening return to gameplay elements that made the series great, terrifying antagonists and monsters, perfect setting for a horror game.
Some pathing issues noticed, monsters are not the brightest, a little on the short side for a full retail title.