January 24th marks the return to survival horror, as the long-awaited “Resident Evil 7” arrives after a very positive reception to the demo and kitchen teaser. However, there are still doubts whether Capcom will hit a home run or not, mostly due to the poor run of Resident Evil games in the last few years; so let’s take a trip down memory lane shall we?
Right off the bat, you might remember a game called “Umbrella Corps”? Well, if that´s the case, then you might also remember that it was bloody awful and a bastardization of the Resident Evil franchise leaving a bad taste in the mouths of fans everywhere, falling in the line of other poor games like “Gun Survivor”, “Operation Racoon City”, “Resident Evil 5” and 6. As a fan of the original trilogy and Code Veronica, I can’t help but think that the series took a misstep after Resident Evil 4…
Because gone are the days where a piece of text tells you “You have once again entered the world of survival horror”, walking down claustrophobic hallways and having that relief when you find a save room packed with a safe and a few shotgun shells. Resident Evil seems to have forgotten its roots; “Resident Evil 5” was a joke, and “Resident Evil 6” felt like an arcade game. The “horror” aspect seemed to be lost, while Revelations 2 was fairly good it didn’t set the world on fire. To be blunt, we’re well overdue for a decent Resident Evil game. Even creator Shinji Mikami had great success with “Evil Within” (published by Bethesda) it truly felt like a Resident Evil game and proved there’s still room to develop the franchise. So I hoped this would force Capcom to move away from the arcade nonsense and return to form with a new release.
Well, luckily enough for us, it seems like Capcom have been listening to their fans. As they just recently announced “Resident Evil 2” would be getting a remake, and unveiled “Resident Evil 7” (which looks to be the biggest shake-up for the franchise in years). It all started with a demo called “Kitchen” which was available at many press events showing off VR, shortly after the Resident Evil 7: Biohazard demo dubbed “Beginning Hour” launched, and at long last we were once again thrusted back into the world of survival horror. The demo sported excellent visuals, secrets and new gameplay mechanics such as switching between reality and found footage. We were introduced to “The Baker Family” resembling “The Sawyer” family from “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. These menacing people will hunt, trap and ultimately kill you, while you can fight back; they have supernatural strength, whether it’s a form of the T-Virus strain or something more, I imagine we will find out in the full game.
The family themselves are confirmed to be main antagonists throughout the game so far; Jack, Lucas and Marguerite will chase and harass you as you explore, solve puzzles and ultimately try to escape. Those that played Resident Evil Nemesis where you’d perused at random intervals will be well at home here. You will also come across Aunt Rhody, a creepy old woman who sits in a chair humming, and if you get to close, she stops and just stares. Capcom of promised there will be a lot more to discover touting the game to have at least a 15-hour playtime.
Of course immediate concern jumped to the fact that there were no zombies, and the game would be in a 1st person perspective, but zombies and viewing angles aren’t the soul thing that makes a Resident Evil game. It’s a variety of things, music, atmosphere, characters, story and horror. It’s also way too early to jump to conclusions without playing the full game, but from what we have seen so far is a vast improvement over anything that Capcom has done with the series in years. Furthermore, the demo had various updates, which added new areas and a brand-new terrifying monster; it also added a brand-new way for users to experience Resident Evil if you have access to it, which is Virtual reality.
That is also why I cannot stress enough how awesome it is playing the Biohazard 7 demo in virtual reality, as it truly does feel like you’re there in the house, the visuals look simply amazing, and it’s certainly the best-looking game I’ve played on PS VR it introduces a new way to experience resident Evil and after playing it, it’s the only way I want to play this game, the main reason being the horror aspect is ramped up to 11, it feels like you’re really in the shit, traveling down to the basement for the first time and having that creature burst out on me scared the bloody hell out of me, and it was brilliant! Motion sickness wasn’t an issue either, but I can’t speak for the intensity of the things happening, which could be too much for some people, because jump scares in VR are far more terrifying than they are on a TV. You can still enjoy the game normally on a TV, but I personally feel the best experience will be on a VR Headset, which will be exclusive to the Sony platform for the first year.
Resident Evil is a franchise loved worldwide; everyone has their favorite games, characters and moments. While the franchise has had its ups and downs, “Resident Evil 7“ has the potential to re-establish the franchise. Furthermore, the more I hear about RE7, the more excited I get. You see, in previous RE titles I didn’t care what was around the next corner because I was either loaded to the teeth or could do spinning kicks. However, this time spinning kicks won’t do any good at all. As RE7 is all about run, hide, sneak and pure horror. So RE7 really does looks like a return to REAL survival horror, a return to what made the original games so special. Roll on January 24th!
And with that said, what´s your take on this matter? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below!
Robin Ek – Editor
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground ´s) opinions.
The Gaming Ground
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