The Resident Evil franchise had started out with very simplistic beginnings and kick started the entire Survival Horror genre in video games. It spawned sequels and carbon copies (i.e. Fatal Frame, Silent Hill), games all of which were classics in their own right; but, by Resident Evil 4’s release, there were subtle changes from the tried and true formula.
Fast-forward to 2012–and the release of Resident Evil 6–and there’s a whole slew of half-assed games that bucked the trend from Survival Horror to full-blown Action up to Michael Bay standards: guns, unlimited bullets and big explosions. Until June 13th, 2016 came around, this trailer dropped and sparked a fire, or was it terror, in our zombie loving hearts?
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard you take control of an everyman Ethan Winters whose wife, Mia, has been missing for three years until he gets a call from her urging Ethan to come find her leading Ethan to Dulvey, Louisiana and a derelict plantation. From the get-go you know that this isn’t your ‘roided out meathead that can punch a boulder; rather, a man that’s in desperate search for his wife and some answers–a welcome reprieve from a badass commando type.
Everything we experience in RE7 is from Ethan’s point of view. A grand departure from RE’s standard over-shoulder or single placement cam. It is this new POV that adds to the terror when exploring the claustrophobic plantation home. The sound design is on point, as you search for clues to Mia’s disappearance you’ll hear footsteps right behind you, creaking floorboards, the Baker’s incessant taunting and some startling noises. There’s great use of lighting and shadows that’ll make you think you saw something darting past your peripheral.
The Bakers will be your primary antagonists, stalking you around the house and showing at the most inopportune time. You can run from an encounter with one of the Bakers’, sure; but unless you put them down, they will be hunting you. Another type of enemy are called “The Molded” that serve as the Bio-Organic Weapons in this installment. And, boy, are they a pain in the ass!
The name of the game here is Survival Horror. So, scavenging for weapons, ammo and herbs can help you get out of almost any tight situation. They won’t just be lying around for you before any big boss fight, though; you’ll actually have to look for them. And of course no Resident Evil game is complete without some puzzles sprinkled in here and there, I found them amusing and, although not too difficult, sometimes tedious. The story unfolds naturally and has enough merit to stand on its own and also tie-in to the overall RE mythos — packaged all up as a Re-Sequel (or Reboot-Sequel).
To close, Biohazard is refreshing enough to bring the casual gamer in and keep the hardcore gamer hooked. If you’ve been a long time fan of the series you’ll appreciate this grassroots revival of the series, and, if you just want to get the crap scared out of you, you’ll also have fun. Whatever your fancy, pop this game into your system and “welcome to the family.” 4.75/5 Bibles.