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[Review] “Resident Evil 7” Sets a New Standard for Survival Horror!

Ever since “Resident Evil 7 biohazard” had its initial reveal at E3 2016, people have been skeptical. And with good measure too. Its original demo didn’t feature any combat, it was slow and brooding and of course – it was in first person. And then there’s “Resident Evil 6,” a game that still gets a bad rap to this day. I’ve been singing “Resident Evil 7″’s praises since the demo came out, though and now that I’ve beaten the full experience I can say that not only is it my favorite “Resident Evil” game since “Resident Evil 4,” but also that it sets a new standard for what a first person survival horror game can be.

“Resident Evil 7” begins with Ethan Winters receiving a message from his deceased wife, Mia. It’s a simple message containing the line “Come get me.” and an address. Without thinking Ethan hops in his car and heads down to Louisiana. This setup works really well and sets the tone early on that “Resident Evil 7” is a smaller, more personal story. Even when things get bigger in the second half of the game, most of the more pressing questions are answered by the end and the tie-ins to the larger “Resident Evil” story are mostly small nods that point to a larger future for the series.

After Ethan arrives at the Baker’s estate, he’s quickly captured by them. The introduction is more or less a re-worked version of the house featured in the “Beginning Hour” demo. It’s a brief introduction, and it’s different enough that I couldn’t just breeze through it. I won’t spoil how, but Ethan is captured and tied to a chair at the dinner table by Jack, Marguerite, Lucas and Grandma Baker. After being spoon-fed what can only be assumed is human meat, Ethan breaks out of his bindings and is left to roam the house freely – well, unless Jack catches him.

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For the first hour of the game you’re totally defenseless against Jack. During these moments, you’ll primarily be searching for puzzle pieces to unlock different parts of the house. He has a short range of vision, but if Jack catches you, you’re pretty much dead so your best bet is to run away and make him lose your trail. makes creeping around every corner praying that Jack isn’t there waiting for you a terrifying scenario.

Once you DO get a weapon, things really start to get interesting. For the first half of “Resident Evil 7,” there’s a really great rhythm at play. You creep around a part of the estate, hunting for different objects to help you advance and once you unlock the exit, there’s a boss fight with one of the Bakers who each have their own unique twist. Jack has brute strength, Marguerite can summon swarms of mutant bugs, etc.

In between fights you’ll be facing new enemies called Molded. I’ve talked about them before in previews, but they’re goopy humanoid monsters that can really pack a punch. Luckily, the guns in “Resident Evil 7” aren’t glorified BB-guns like they were in “Resident Evil 5” and “Resident Evil 6,” so if you time your shots carefully and make every bullet count, you can usually come out with just a few cuts and bruises.

The weapons themselves are all pretty standard, but they feel like real guns. One shot from a pistol is enough to stagger an enemy, and a shotgun will tear a Molded’s leg off in one well-placed blast.

This balance creates tension, especially with the new first person perspective. The Molded have a clear advantage, but taking a second to breathe and take them out smartly and quickly, and then being rewarded for it with more health and more bullets keeps encounters from ever feeling cheap.

A lot of care went into making “Resident Evil 7” feel like an evolution of the earlier games in the series rather than the more recent ones. You can only save at voicemail recorders, you really have to search for ammo but you’ll never be punished for exploring, and inventory management plays a big part in the campaign. Space will always be tight, but when things really start to get frustrating there’s usually a new backpack waiting for you just one room away that increases your inventory space.13_bmp_jpgcopy

There’s also an upgrade system in “Resident Evil 7” that allows you to purchase abilities like greater health, faster reload speed and even the series-classic Magnum. That’s really all there is, and while I think it would be nice to have a couple more of these upgrades, the ones that are there keep the game grounded and make it just easier enough to feel like the effort to get them is worth it.

About halfway through the game is where “Resident Evil 7” starts to connect itself to other games in the series. There’s a big choice that largely impacts how the second half of the story (ending included) plays out, and it’s a tough one to make. I played both paths, and they both change the story in ways that make it worth it to go back and see both endings for yourself (Hint: Make an extra save for yourself before fighting Lucas).

I won’t spoil how exactly the game connects to past entries, but it’s a nuanced connection that I could tell the devs worked very hard on to make sure it didn’t detract from Ethan’s story.

I do have a couple gripes with “Resident Evil 7,” though. First, a couple encounters are easily escapable just by running away. Having a bunch of Molded in a room causes them to trip over each other, and you can grab what you need and avoid them by taking minimal damage. It killed the tension a couple times and made the whole area feel a bit sloppy.

My next issue is related to how much content you get on the disk. The story took me about 10 hours to complete on normal, 15 if you count playing through the second half twice to see the other ending. And of course, once you beat the game a new difficulty and some silly new weapons are unlocked. There’s one glaring omission though – “Resident Evil 7” doesn’t feature any sort of Mercenaries or Raid mode.

I know it’s not fair to compare apples to oranges with all the changes made in this new entry, but when pretty much every game before it has had some sort of extra mode to unlock for beating the game, it brings out a little disappointment. Even an arcade mode that alters the campaign to give you points for creatively solving puzzles and killing enemies would be a welcome addition. The game does have a Season Pass though, so maybe something like that will get added in a patch or through DLC down the line.

At the end of the day, I loved nearly every second of my time with “Resident Evil 7”. Capcom clearly took their time and really honed in on what makes “Resident Evil,” well, “Resident Evil” and I think all of the major changes they made paid off. They paid respect to what came before where they had to, and the finished product is one of the scariest, most engaging survival horror stories out there. Resident Evil 7 should without a doubt set the standard for mainline games in the series going forward.



COMMENTS

58 Comments
  • Go Ace!

    How is not being forced into combat with enemies a bad thing? Harkens back to the original Silent Hill games.

    • There’s a big difference between running away and being able to run past.

      • Branden_Lucero

        its called “facing your fears”, which many horror games these days don’t do. they always give you the option to run away and hide, but how many of them actually force you to stand up and face the horror in front of you?

  • Saturn

    But, is it a “game changer”?

  • huntermc

    My only complaint about the demo was that it didn’t feel like a Resident Evil game, but instead more like something out of Silent Hill. But after RE6, I think it was apparent that the series was in need of a new direction.

    • Yeah and it definitely does feel like Resident Evil in its finished form.

    • Branden_Lucero

      i’d rather RE7 feel like Silent Hill than Silent Hill feel like Silent Hill <– because Silent Hill doesn't feel like Silent Hill at all anymore.

    • Jonathan Larsson

      It does have a bit of a Silent Hill feel; in a sense I think Capcom took some inspiration from PT when it came to the general sense of horror and gameplay… I guess that’s yet another way to show Konami what they missed out on.

  • zombie84_41

    So is this sort of some quassi reboot.

    • Yeah but it doesn’t really throw any of the previous story away.

      • zombie84_41

        Sweetness. I’m getting it today can’t wait to play.

  • Thrash13

    I’m glad to hear it’s a good one! I have it pre-ordered, and I plan on picking it up tomorrow.

  • Interesting. I lost hope with the Resi franchise but I am intrigued now to see how it is connected with the games……maybe I will pre-order now!

    • It’s not a HUGE connection, but it’s there. This is definitely its own story.

      • Halloween_Vic

        That’s what disappoints me and stops me from buying the game.

  • Rohan Sorensen

    Too bad there is no mercenaries. Facing molded or something along the lines of the alien isolation survival modes. Looks sick though. Excited for a TCM type game. (Besides LVCC)

    • Dude, exactly! That’s what I need. There’s going to be updates that add stuff like this but they’re paid which is a little frustrating…

      • Rohan Sorensen

        Eh, I was gonna get the season pass anyway. Just played through the first hour, and wow… shit hits the fan VERY FAST!

    • Branden_Lucero

      Mercenaries is s out of place and doesn’t fit RE7 at all. in fact, Mercenaries doesn’t fit in anything but RE3.

      • Rohan Sorensen

        Not mercenaries, but like an A:I thing. I don’t really like mercenaries but I enjoyed, raid, I think?

  • Richter Belmont

    RE 7, Tales Of Berseria, Gravity Rush 2, Yakuza 0, and DQ VIII: Journey Of The Cursed King! This month is on fire!!!

    Death to bro-gamers!!!

    • This is a really good week for games lol. Thanks for reading!

    • Shawn Simpson

      Don’t forget Nioh and Horizon:Zero Dawn! Its gonna be a good year for gaming!

  • Nahuel Benvenuto

    i dont think so, also as always, lots of stupid spoilers without warning

    • American Atheist

      I quit reading after: Resident Evil 7 begins with Ethan Winters…

      I knew he was about to blow his load with spoilers just because he was entitled to play the game before us. Weak.

      • There’s no spoilers in the article dude. Watch ANY trailer for the game, or hell, read the back of the fucking box. “Ethan Winters goes on the hunt for his missing wife who was thought to be dead.” Is not a spoiler. It’s the setup for the story. Quit whining.

        • American Atheist

          Lol. Sounds like you’re whining. Nice to know your attempt of an article can be summed up on the back of the box. Good job. Be well.

        • zombie84_41

          For real. I think the trailers spoil more of the game. Which btw you are right it is badass. I must of almost shit myself like 6 times last night. Playing with the lights off full volume not the best of ideas LOL>

  • American Atheist

    I’ve seriously quit reading all reviews and previews on this site. Change the name of the site to: Bloody Disgusting Spoilers.

    • zombie84_41

      HAHA well thats your fault 🙂 but seriously… I normally read a first sentence then see the score on all games, and movies on any sites. Because they really do love spoiling them it is annoying and sometimes these assholes don’t even put spoilers. JOBLO is famous for doing this shit.

  • Jonathan Larsson

    It really is the best since Resident Evil 4, and I get the feeling that like the 4th, this one is going to greatly effect the coming entries.
    It really does bring true horror back; many times it’s like being inside different horror movies, like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Evil Dead, The Ring and even Saw.

    • Chemaira

      best since RE4? For me RE 4 killed resident evil

  • Halloween_Vic

    Justice for Resident Evil 4-6 I don’t understand the shade for parts 5&6 both are bad ass great games. Just because we weren’t provided with just one knife and a melee handgun with 5 bullets lurking around a hallway people wanna compare them to Call of duty lol. I still haven’t picked up my copy of RE7 just because the trailer and reveal disappointed me. It seems more forced for the fans who bitched to Capcom about it so the whole “hey let’s put them in a mansion again, make it first person and throw in elements from indie games like outlast and P.T then tie it in with the previous games and call it Resident Evil.” I’m a huge Re fan since the very first game and honestly I loved what they did with the first 3 games and loved what they did with the last 3 games, I was hoping for a continuation of Jake’s story, why the hell didn’t Capcom continue his venture? Because everybody wanted to be put back in a mansion like the first and do the same old recycled shit. At one point I couldn’t wait for RE7 to be announced and released and now I can’t seem to convince myself to buy it that excitement has died. And for the love of god I hate first person so there goes that. But I really want to play this and enjoy it and feel like it’s still part of Resident Evil but I’m scared I’ll hate it and it’ll change how future RE games are made.

  • Halloween_Vic

    Any true RE fans since the beginning who’ve played through all the games or atleast the main games 1-6 in full like this one? I need someone who’s played through all to tell me how they feel about 7.

    • WoepWoep

      It’s amazing, I’ve played every one of them. My favourite games are now REmake, RE3, RE4 and RE7. Do yourself a favor and play this game because it is in my opinion a revolution for the first person horror genre. There are some of the interactions/gameplay elements to immerse the player into the story that I’ve never seen or played before.

      • zombie84_41

        Yeah I love what they did with it, I’m so happy they made this game and did what they did. I’m nowhere near done with it, but I’m love it. Its like playing out a horror movie.

    • zombie84_41

      I got about 3 or so hours in. Its fucking intense. scary, and fucked up.

      • Halloween_Vic

        Damn you guys are making it sound worth it!!

        • zombie84_41

          Well don’t go in expecting a run of the mill RE game its basically Re texas chainsaw style, its so fuckin different and crazy. The scares are right away too. I hate to play this in VR I prob die LOL.

          • Jegærn

            I just played the first 30 minutes of it in VR and it nearly killed me! I know people always say “that scared me to death” but this fucking game actually did it! I had to take the VR glasses off. I had to take a break. I won`t spoil anything but shit this is THE scariest game I have ever played! You just have to try it in VR. You actually feel inside the damn game!

          • Halloween_Vic

            Oh man lol ahhh I’m gonna grab this then!

          • zombie84_41

            Yeah bud, let me know what you think I gotta play more but I been busy with work again.

        • Jegærn

          IT IS worth it 🙂 Trust me! I`m a huge fan og the first 2 games and this fucking game is spectacular. But do yourself a favour. Play it in VR. The most intense experience I have ever done.

          • Halloween_Vic

            I don’t have VR I need to get it for my PS4 just don’t feel like spending the money on it right now, but u definitely sold me on getting the game lol

    • Tim Nuttall

      Although the marketing made it look like Outlast, it actually feels like the first three Resident Evils with a perspective switch and some new updated elements with the Baker family. I mean that in the best way possible, safe rooms, key puzzles, scarce ammo, backtracking in that tense way the old games did. Nostalgic whilst not resting on its laurels. Great game so far. Still a little bit stuttery on PC though.

      • Halloween_Vic

        So you definitely feel if you’ve been a fan since the beginning that this one fits in perfectly with the franchise and worth the buy?

        • Tim Nuttall

          Yes, it surprised me in that respect because it doesn’t look like a Resident Evil game, but it feels like one gameplay wise. Really my only gripe so far is that I wish there was more enemy variety.

          • Halloween_Vic

            No zombies???

          • Tim Nuttall

            Gooey Zombie-like wotsits that may as well be.

    • Weresmurf

      Played since 1 back in the day. Its brilliant.

    • Blade4693

      Sorry for the late reply Vic as I just got my copy yesterday and just started the game today.

      I have played every main game and many of the spin-offs and I think this game is fantastic so far. It brings back a tension that 5 and 6 lacked in my opinion. I was originally worried about it being in first person but do not worry, they made this well and once you play for a bit it feels just right.

      I know there are some old heads who hate the idea of FPS and wish it still had tank controls and fixed camera angles but even without those things if you liked the slower pace, scarce supplies, puzzles, notes/documents to find and read, etc.of the og games (1/2/3/0) then I think you will enjoy this game. I certainly am.

      I don’t hate 4/5/6 either so I am not being biased here, but I do think this game is a step in the right direction for the franchise as a whole.

      • Halloween_Vic

        Thanks Blade, I’ve just been so skeptical of getting it just cause every trailer makes me feel like it’s not RE. But being that you’ve been a fan since the beginning like me I definitely trust you’re opinion. I keep seeing comments online about it and people seem to like it and says it goes back to it’s roots. I guess I was rooting for them to continue Jake’s story from part 6. And I guess I wanted main characters to return in this one. I feel they should’ve held off on this till a few years down the line if they wanted to remake RE. But based on what you said you made me want to play it. Thanks for the info Blade, what # would u rank it out of all 7 main games.

        • Blade4693

          Yeah I will admit it does feel a bit “disconnected” from the main characters and story we usually follow in the games but again, I have yet to even finish the game so who knows what hints/clues are there to connect them later. I am excited to find out though lol

          I feel you though I like a lot of the classic characters (Wesker, Ada, Jill, Leon, Chris etc.) but even without them the game so far is still fun and trying to figure out just wtf is going on is fun as well lol

          I would say it reminds me more of 0/1/2/3 but with modern controls and in first person and no lie, the first person adds to the tension a bit imo. Like something could be behind you and you don’t even know until it’s almost too late lol

          as for a ranking like I said, I haven’t finished the game yet so I don’t think it would be fair of me to rank it just yet. I have a hard enough time ranking 0-6 as it is lol

          TLDR: I think if you had a decent time with the 0/1/2/3 games you will enjoy this one and the only reason I separate the 4/5/6 in particular was because they have a more action, big crowds of enemies, QTEs etc. so the feel is a bit different.

          • Halloween_Vic

            Yea I love 0/1/2/3 and 4/5/6 so being that it’s more like the originals is still exciting to go back to the nostalgic roots. But based on what everyone is saying and being that you’ve been a fan since the originals and I trust your opinion I think I’m gonna go pick it up and fuck it just play it myself and experience it for what it is. Did u get the deluxe or standard?

          • Blade4693

            I got the standard because when I went to go get the game I was still kind of on the fence about it because the free demo really didn’t do it for me, but now that I have played a good amount and am having fun ill probably be getting all the DLC if has a decent amount of content with it lol

  • shane

    no way i would throw my phone away at the end,not without deleting alotttttttttt of stuff off it first

this week in horror

This Week in Horror - August 7, 2017

The hard copy of Friday the 13th: The Game is coming, Sarah Paulson joins M. Night Shyamalan's Glass, and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark gets a re-release with the original art.

Posted by Bloody Disgusting on Monday, August 7, 2017
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