Tuesday, December 11

Resident Evil 7 Biohazard Review

I played on: PS4
I paid: £20.99 (Amazon with next day delivery)
Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Notes: Since originally reviewing this game on my old blog I've played the entire game and all the DLC in VR and boy is it an amazing experience. I'd play through first-time non-VR but if you're able to then it's well worth a second playthrough in VR.

I don’t want to be shy about this review so I will just come out and say right away that this is an amazing game. This may very well be my favourite game in the series so far and after the remake of the first game that’s saying a lot. I’ll be looking at what makes this game so fantastic in this review. So without further delay let’s begin.

Resident Evil 7 takes the best parts of the series long history and combines them with the best parts of modern horror. What I mean by this is that it takes inspiration from Resident Evil 1,2 and 4 as well as modern games like Alien Isolation. Safe rooms return as do the universal chests to store your items in. Cassette recorders take the place of the iconic typewriter of the series past. These allow you to manually save which you will have to do before exiting the game. In both easy and normal difficulty the game will also autosave. This helps you avoid the negative exit points of the past games but also allows you more control over your saves. However, on the hardest difficulty, it’s just you and your cassette recordings. Resident Evil 7 takes these ideas from the early games in the series. The Baker estate is one large area that you will slowly open up with keys and puzzles. It feels very much like the Spencer mansion from Resident Evil 1. During your journey through this nightmare, you will find crates containing useful items. This along with having to know when to use your knife takes its inspiration from Resident Evil 4. You play in first person and will find VHS tapes that then translate into found footage for certain parts of the game. This has been taken from games like Outlast, Amnesia as well as Alien Isolation. Just like those games, you will also need to hide from enemies. I love all of this because it feels more like a Resident Evil game than we have had in a long time. The changes made to the basic gameplay and the new cast of characters, however, also keep it feeling new and modern. Resident Evil 7 is a perfect marriage between old-school and modern survival horror.

This level of quality continues through to the cast of characters and monsters which are also amazing. I don’t want to say too much for fear of spoiling parts of the game. What I will say is that I’ve not enjoyed a boss fight this much since Resident Evil 4. The voice actors all do an amazing job across the board. The Baker family are most certainly the stars of this show and blow it out of the water. This may be the best most charismatic bunch of psychopaths to ever grace the series. Any Resident Evil fans will know that’s not an easy feat but the Bakers really are that outstanding. They very much make me feel like part of this sick twisted family and it’s beautiful in a very morbid sense.

Beyond all this wonderful gameplay and presentation stands something more important to me. The Baker estate itself. There are a few locations across gaming that make me feel comfortable, safe and just naturally at home. The Spencer mansion from both the original and remake of the first Resident Evil is one of these. The Greenbriar house from Gone Home is another one but outside of these 2 places, I can’t think of any others. This is how rare this feeling is for me and I feel it with the Baker estate. For this reason and in a very personal way I think Resident Evil 7 will always be special to me.

If I had to think of some negatives about this game then I could only think of 2. Firstly the monsters start to look similar to each other during the last act. The original PS1 games had monsters that all looked vastly different. The Zombies, Lickers, Hunters and more all varied greatly and here that’s not the case. I still love all the designs but it’s true that they don’t look that distinct from each other. Secondly, I played this on the original PlayStation 4. The game still looks so beautiful but the load times were long and the PlayStation itself made quite a lot of noise while I was playing. I’m guessing none of this would be an issue with the PS4 Pro but not everyone has the £300 for a new PlayStation. I know I don’t. It’s not a game killer by any means and honestly, I love this game so freaking much that I’m having to dig for nitpicks.

These minor points do nothing to change the fact that this is an outstanding game. I think I honestly might have a new favourite Resident Evil game. If you like horror in any way then play this game!

Recommendation Rating: 10 out of 10

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