PSXGAMEREVIEW

Resident Evil 7: biohazard

Great news! Resident Evil is back! After the trash that was RE6 and its hulk size characters and nonstop action movie chapters, Resident Evil is back to being a scary game. Capcom not only brought back the fright but also took a risk by changing the formula and by also investing in the VR capability of the PS4 and both paid off really well. Actually, these changes made Resident Evil 7 a contender for game of the year.

The very first thing that must be discussed before anything is that Capcom changed Resident Evil to a first person game. Now now, it did not keep its nonsense nonstop action sequences from the previous title. This time they took cues from other recent horror games and made resources and weapons a little more scarce and or the game does not give you an insane amount of refills or ammunition. Due to this the game is scarier since you cannot blast your way through the entire playthrough. In addition, your character is not a professional soldier so you are not some Rambi type of hero. This makes the game more down to earth (in a Resident Evil setting though). 

The first person view gives new meaning to the word horror. Monsters and insane people (the Baker family members) are too scary and even more frightening up close and personal. This aspect of the game is even more apparent if you play it in virtual reality. You will jump up so many times it might not be for the fain of heart. The Bakers are really sadistic and insane. They are not the type of people you want in your face. This has to be the best VR on the PS4 by far.

Now on to the story. You play as Ethan Winters who is looking for his missing wife Mia. You find out that she went missing in an old manor located in Louisiana. Yes, the game has shifted from a make believe Racoon City to a real world locale. However, once Ethan gets there things go terribly wrong. Eventually you will meet with the property owners who are know as the Bakers. The problem is that they are not really human anymore and they go on looking for you as you progress through the game and try to kill you. This gives the game a suspenseful vibe. Eventually even monsters will show up as you try to solve the mysteries of the Baker manor. This is somewhat of a departure from past games as its primary focus is on frights and not the Umbrella saga. 

What gives the story and the whole first-person view life is its graphics. Resident Evil 7 is a very good looking game. The fact that it looks so good really makes you feel you are really stepping on the Baker estate. The dark areas and lighting gives you a creepy feeling and the models of the characters and rooms are great. Capcom has outdone themselves. It is also the best looking VR game to date.

The only thing keeping it from a perfect score its the second to last act where it becomes a little cumbersome or a little too hectic to maneuver and the story focus changes dramatically. It is also particularly long and overstays a little bit. Before that the pacing is perfect as you go unlocking aread in order to find your wife. The Bakers are sadistic and fun to get away from but the focus changes at the end. Cannot spoil it of course.

The change to first-person worked so well. The focus on exploration with limited ammo was a great change from the previous title. There were some more puzzles introduced but not as much as the first four entries. The goal was to make it about scaring the player and less on making it an action movie flick. The developers cannot be commended enough. Top it off with great graphics and very good compatibility with the VR system and you got yourself a winner. The story like usual takes a backseat but the Baker family were very good antagonists. There are some extra DLC episodes that provide more chills if you are willing to pay for them. Resident Evil returned to its roots with this installment. Let us hope that this formula is used for the next entry. 

Score: 9.3

Pros:

First-person paid off tremendously.

First half has great pacing.

Gorgeous creepy graphics. 

Return to focus on frights and not action.

Cons:

Last third of game looses pacing.

Story focus changes too much at the end.

Update!

Resident Evil 7 was nominated for 2 awards in 2017. 

2017 Game Awards
6th Place Overall Game of the Year
2nd Place for Best Adventure Game