…there will be blood…and tears – mostly tears.
Capcom promised they would try and return to the roots which made us all fall in love with Resident Evil originally – scary atmospheres in unsettling locales and a scarcity of supplies. Although many of people where put off by the first person perspective I am sure you are all asking one question – did they succeed?
WARNING : The following will contain MAJOR spoilers of the games story. If you haven’t finished it please go and do so then return to read the review after!
Let’s start with the visuals. It’s stunning, it’s absolutely stunning. Playing on the PS4 I was a bit taking back to be honest! The lighting makes the mansion seem very claustrophobic and the details that litter the environment are finely crafted and really add to everything the game is trying to go for. You can kind of tell what the family was like pre-infection and with intense visual ques for the worst affected areas of the house are not tip toed around. You know when hell is about to break loose! The only real problem I had with the visuals was the AA in the very beginning, the trees looked jagged but it really wasn’t enough to break my immersion or anything like that.
Sound design again is phenomenal, playing the game with headphones or surround sound against just playing on bog standard TV speakers is a world of difference. You hear every footstep, every sludge as the molded unveil themselves from the walls and I really think that sound will stay with me forever. Unfortunately being partially deaf I cannot comment on the 3D sound that VR provides as that would be unfair as I cannot hear half of it – but I do get told very positive things about it!
Now on to the nitty gritty – the game play! Well, I must say…this is the most Resident Evil game since probably Resident Evil 2. Due to ammo scarcity you will find yourself trying to find ways to leg it past enemies in order to preserve your precious ammo while exuding an almost OCD element of obsession trying to find materials that you can use to craft health potions and enhanced ammunition.
The shooting can feel a bit light, I honestly liked the shooting better with the VR on than using the thumb-sticks but I did get accustomed to the thumb-sticks more and more as the game went on. It’s amazing what adrenaline can do when you know you have to make those last few shots count!
While the game play is absolutely phenomenal I must admit this games biggest downfall is the story. The story starts of amazingly, setting you in this battle of wits as you try to escape from a deranged family who are hell bent on making you apart of their set up or taking you out of it altogether. That part I really liked and wish the game stuck with it.
Unfortunately to try and explain how the family got infected it turns into your usual horror trope of evil little girl is behind it all and she must be stopped at all costs. I’ll admit the first encounter of Eveline in her bedroom is bloody unsettling – it took me a good 10 mins trying to gain the courage to crawl back through that gap towards her feet but as soon as you reach the boat section it gets sloppy and a bit of a chore to work through.
I am glad I did though because there is an amazing sequence when you are communicating to Jack and Zoe while Ethan is trapped in the mold that honestly brung a tear to my eye. They were just an ordinary family trying to do the right thing by these couple of strangers they saved from a boat wreckage. It honestly gave me the drive to go and finish the last hour and take that wee brat down!
Overall, I really liked my experience with Resident Evil 7 – I am even trying to platinum it! And the more I reflect on it, even though parts of the story drag it down – I don’t feel it effected my overall experience of the game! It is probably my favourite Resident Evil game to date – VR being a major part of that! Be warned though, VR is not for the faint of heart – I found this out the hard way!
Score : 10/10
While we are talking Resident Evil 7, if you are not on PS4 you obviously haven’t had the opportunity to play the “Banned Footage 1 & 2” DLC’s. I bought the Season Pass and my experience with them so far is yes, they are absolutely worth the asking price. There is 2 pieces that will give you more back story to the main plot in the game but other than that they just add fun re-playable game modes. If you wouldn’t be interested in a Binding of Isaac type experience or doing a time trial in order to feed Jack for his birthday – maybe wait for a sale!