Can Resident Evil 7 bring horror back to the series?
When it was said that the Resident Evil series was going to undergo a new style, I like many others were skeptical as the last time the series did so was with RE4. While Resident Evil’s 4-6 weren’t bad games, they removed the core elements of fear that made the series what it was. I’m glad to say that Resident Evil 7 brings back core horror elements that has been missing from Resident Evil games, creating quite possibly the scariest Resident Evil game.
Resident Evil 7 follows Ethan Winters on his journey to Dulvey, Louisiana after receiving a mysterious message from his wife Mia who went missing 3 years earlier. Upon entering the mysterious Baker manor, Ethan quickly realizes all is not right with the Baker Family.
Right off the bat, Resident Evil destroy the series’ cliché of making your characters into superhuman heroes that can destroy boulders with their fists. The player is more of an average joe, which makes you feel even more vulnerable; and you should. Aside from the seemingly immortal Baker family, the presence of the molded that can appear almost anywhere make you fear what is around the next corner; or what will appear right behind you.
As you progress through the game, you’ll notice the return to game mechanics found in the first few Resident Evil games. This means you’ll be exploring the various environments for keys, or exploring for items to help you along the way. While you will have to backtrack through the areas, this is very minimal and you won’t notice most of the times as you’ll be avoiding one of the Baker family members. That’s right, the Baker’s will roam certain areas continuously. There’s nothing more frightening than returning to a room from earlier in the game, and hear Jack Baker start yelling from the top of the stairs.
While the game allows for the use of various weapons such as pistols, knives, and even flame throwers you shouldn’t think of these weapons as more than just deterrents. Much like the Nemesis is RE 3, these foes can take quite a beating. The concept of choosing your battles is vital to succeeding in this game. With this lack of being able to defeat your enemies with conventional means, this is where the new hiding mechanics are used. Hiding behind boxes, doors, or behind bookshelves are sometimes the only way to escape the wandering foes. This adds not only tension to find the perfect hiding spot, but fear in hopes that they don’t cut around the corner and find you. There are points where the foes will find you easier than they should be able to, which does take the fairness out of escaping.
Resident Evil 7 creates the perfect horror scene with incredible details in the environment and a lack of music for more realistic sound effects. Walking into a dark underground bath room, covered in mold helps create an uneasy feeling as you progress; helping further make exploring the home more unsettling. Some of the awe in scenery is disrupted by bits of lag in the game when opening doors; and not like the door loading screens from earlier Resident Evil games. Numerous scary moments throughout the game were almost ruined since the game would stutter right before a scary scene. This isn’t to say that it only happened before a scary scene, but you’ll notice a trend.
Resident Evil 7 sought to recreate the series’ image by bringing back key elements from earlier RE titles, and blending in new elements to create one of the best Resident Evil games period; and possibly one of the scariest horror games ever. Through incredible, and gruesome, details, Resident Evil 7 looks to create an unsettling experience for players and nails it perfectly. Though small glitches appear throughout the game, it does do little to take away from to overall incredible experience. We hope to see the series continue with this trend in Resident Evil 8!
- Resident Evil 7 brings enough horror elements to ensure you’ll be scared all the way through
- New gameplay mechanics breathe new life into the series.
- Visually the most impressive Resident Evil game.
- Various instances of lagging during pivotal points take away from scary moments.
- Enemies are either too easy to pass, or too difficult to pass.