The story of ‘Resident Evil 7’ is very different from the other games but it finds its place in the ‘Resident Evil’ universe nicely.
I have a long history with the ‘Resident Evil’ franchise. I’ve always loved the tension and pacing of the classic PS1 games. The sense of terror during the door loading screens and the limited health and ammunition made these games actually feel like survival horror. ‘Resident Evil’ and its sequel are arguably the best examples of the genre in video game history. The series has had several evolutions since the Spencer Estate from RE1. Over the years the series has become almost unrecognizable to the old-school fanbase. Gamers started to accept that the ‘Resident Evil’ franchise was becoming less slow paced horror and more shoot’em up action. This was until the cryptic ‘Resident Evil 7’ was announced out of nowhere.
The early trailers and demos for ‘Resident Evil 7’ promised to bring back horror to the franchise but also looked like it could be an ‘Outlast’ or ‘PT’ clone. Thankfully this isn’t the case and Resident Evil is seemingly going back to its old-school roots. RE7 is a first-person game with no zombies and yet it feels more like a true Resident Evil game than the last several entries. Several elements such as save rooms, themed keys, elaborate puzzles and limited supplies make a return and pay homage to the history of the franchise. These elements come together very nicely and actually work even better in first person.
The overall gameplay is fantastic and the graphics are incredible. The fact the game can be quickly switched between PSVR and standard mode with minimal impact on graphics is pretty amazing as well. The first person view makes aiming a breeze and it is a welcome improvement on the tank controls of the past. The inventory system is intentionally aggravating at times but the game offers you several opportunities to expand and store supplies that are not needed. The ammo and health situation was well balanced and although it feels limited the game provides you with a fair amount to stay alive. The limited ammo kept me on my toes throughout the early parts of the game but it never hindered my progress. Just don’t be careless and you will be fine.
The main problem with the story is the pacing. The game starts out incredibly strong and stays that way through most of the campaign. Having to deal and dispose of each member of the Baker family is extremely exciting but the story eventually takes a twist that leads you into some repetitive territory.
A lot of the later stages of the game start to almost feel like filler. The early moments are so memorable, and nightmare inducing, that the ending kind of feels like a drag. The repetitive enemies and the oversimplified puzzles made finishing the game a bit of a chore but luckily it comes back around for a satisfying finale. I personally felt satisfied when the credits rolled and most of my questions about the story were answered. By the end of the game, I clocked in at about 11 hours. I unlocked some new content that will most likely entice me to play through it again.
Personally, I suggest this game for old-school survival horror fans as well as fans of games like ‘Amnesia’ and ‘Outlast’. I give ‘Resident Evil 7’ a solid 8 out of 10. Even though the last couple of hours were a little bland the overall experience was fantastic.