Resident Evil VII: Bio-hazard was released worldwide on the 24th of January 2017. It marked Resident Evil’s main series debut on current-gen consoles.
Since being announced at E3 last year, fans were quick to dismiss the fact that it was first person, and seemed to be more of a reboot for the series rather than a canonical entry.
I strayed away from any leaks, early reviews and or debates until I could eventually play it and judge it for myself.
I picked it up on launch day and quickly realised that fans were wrong to doubt the direction that the series had gone in.
I know its early days of 2017, but so far this has been my game of the year and if you have not played the masterpiece that is RE7 yet, I’m going to give you seven reasons that I recommend you stop whatever you are doing right now and go play this amazing game.
1.That Main Theme Song
If a game has a killer song on the soundtrack I am usually sold. Kingdom Hearts’ “Simple & Clean” is one that still gets played on a daily basis, even though the first game was brought out in 2002.
Resi’s “Go Tell Aunt Rhody” is a haunting piece of music, which I am sure will still be in my playlist in 2027. The song is a cover of an old folk song, which was quite dark in itself, but the game’s version is positively twisted. Full of whispers, snarling lyrics, and holds even more meaning for anyone who has completed the game.
Jack Baker, the patriarch of the Baker family is one serious bad motherfucker. He is the primary antagonist for the first two thirds of the game. Jumping out at just the right time to make sure your underwear is never fresh for too long.
The seemingly indestructible psychopath is responsible for some of the toughest boss encounters of the game. As no matter what you do to the old man, he just keeps coming, mocking you, and delivering excellent lines such as “Welcome to the family son” before he knocks you the fuck out.
Later in the game you finally get some back story on The Bakers and why they are the way they are, and I’m not going to spoil it here, but it will leave you with a completely different view of the murderous mad man.
3. The Environment
The Baker’s plantation is an environment in which you never feel truly safe. Resident Evil began with a house and this is a brilliant callback to the series’ roots.
Whether its the dining table full of human body parts, the overgrown green house, or the basement full of horrors. Every inch of the Baker’s household makes you feel like an unwelcome intruder. You will be left both eager to explore and dreading each new room as you explore the complex corridors of the haunting homestead.
There are other places that the character visits towards the end of the game, but they do not compare to the sadistic dwelling of RE7’s starring baddies.
4. Jump Scares
The entire game is available to be played in VR, two words, fuck that! I almost had a heart attack on more than twenty occasions during my play through of the game, and i was playing in quite a well-lit room in the daytime.
Some of these you could tell were made with VR in mind, but that doesn’t make it any less scary to the normal TV set player. My advice to anyone playing it, take regular breaks. I usually lasted about an hour each session, and then my nerves were shot.
The whole reason for Ethan travelling to the god forsaken hellhole that is The Baker’s house, is due to a message he receives from his girlfriend that he suspected to be dead.
When he arrives at the Guest House he realises that Mia is definitely not dead. Which is good news, the bad news is she seems to be suffering from a split personality disorder. One minute she loves you, the next minute she’s coming at you with a kitchen knife.
Now, I’m sure anyone reading this has had psycho exes, but Mia takes it to the extreme.
6. You can fight back
Too many ‘Survival Horror’ games from the last few years have you playing as a character who cannot defend themselves at all. Usually you are armed with a camcorder, but when it came to engaging with enemies, your character had the combat experience of a paper towel.
Now I’m not saying that Ethan can fight and win all encounters, but he can fight. you actually assemble quite an impressive range of weaponry by the end of the game. But save for a small part in the final third, you never feel overpowered. This is due to a shortage of ammo and the fact that all enemies seem quite impervious to bullets.
So whilst it is possible to fight the monsters in this Survival Horror, I recommend that you learn when to fight and when to run away with your tail between your legs.
7. So Many Horror Tropes
Whilst the game does have some interesting call backs to earlier titles in the series. The things that interested me more were the parts where you could tell RE7 had borrowed pieces of other horror series and plonked them in to their game.
Some that are included are Chainsaws (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Characters grudge-walking up the stairs (The Grudge), VHS tapes (The Ring), Invulnerable stalker characters that pop up outta nowhere (Halloween/Friday the 13th), Creepy little girls (Japanese horrors) and twisted killer traps (Saw).
All of these and more are pulled together to create a game that can scare you senseless in so many ways. Whilst making you keep your eyes out for the next horror reference.
So … Go and Enjoy the Fear
If you are a gamer and haven’t played this game yet. This game demands your attention. I’m just jealous that you get to play it and experience it for the first time. I wish I could go back in time and experience it anew all over again.
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