Capcom’s been around for a long time in video game markets with legendary titles: Street Fighter, Devil May Cry, and Monster Hunter just to name a few. Their library expands from fighting game titles to platformers; often being childhood favorites in the 90s and evolving for better or worse, (looking at you Marvel Vs. Capcom), to its current standing today in 2020.
Most famous, or infamous, is Resident Evil. Once a cheesy horror staple on the Playstation 1, it has since expanded into a storyline mixing with bioweapons, gigantic tyrants chasing after you in dark corridors, and host of legendary protagonists, like Leon Kennedy, Chris and Claire Redfield, Ada Wong, and Jill Valentine. Resident Evil’s popularity rose high with games like Resident Evil 1 through 4 but faltered with the sequential releases of RE: 5, 6, and its spin off games. Resident Evil was turning from a horror staple into a weak shadow of itself. After Resident Evil Revelations came out in 2013, it was only a matter of months; RE recovered only because Resident Evil: 0 and Revelations 2 saved it, for a moment. Then, it disappeared for three years, only to resurface with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. This is Capcom’s way of saying, “Maybe we should go back to the survival horror we made than the action set pieces of old.”
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, developed by Capcom and powered by the RE Engine, is a first-person survival horror/action game that changes and establishes the formula that Capcom made with Resident Evil. It isn’t perfect by any means but brings a new light and (un)life to the Resident Evil story with both horror camp and legitimately terrifying story moments.
Resident Evil 7 separates itself from the third person perspective for an unnerving first-person perspective in the protagonist of Ethan White, a guy who gets an email from his thought to be missing, presumed dead wife Mia. After travelling to a backwater area of New Orleans, Ethan finds himself trapped in the Baker house with a possessed family of gross out proportions and helped by Zoe Baker, the only sane yet infected person in the Baker Family. All of this to face off against the “little sister” of the Bakers, Eveline, a bioweapon in the form of a little girl.
Gameplay is fairly the same with classic Resident Evil games; you are walking or running through floors of rooms in maze-like corridors to get from place to place by finding items and solving puzzles. There are enemy encounters where you use weapons to burn or blast through enemy waves; the same is applied to boss fights. Sneaking around will help.
As my first Resident Evil game I’ve played through, I was surprised by how many times I was creeped out by the atmosphere of the House itself. In many moments where I was hiding or standing still, the faintest breeze or the creaking of old boards would set me off, pointing my pistol at an invisible enemy or screaming and firing at Jack Baker coming towards me with a shovel and murderous intent. It exceeds with creating atmosphere which satisfies any horror nerd.
The DLC packs for Resident Evil 7 are a mixed bag at best. The free “Not a Hero” DLC featuring Chris Redfield is a perfect way to get people excited about the continuing story of the Baker Incident, then you have a survival mode, a card game, and then a search around the house for food the next. There are good DLC in this game. There’s “End of Zoe,” where you play as Joe Baker, a gigantic man that punches Bio freaks with his fists trying to save his niece, Zoe, then “Daughters,” where you play as Zoe and witness the events leading to the Baker Family being infected.
Resident Evil 7 is a good start to anyone seeking a horror game experience outside of other big-name games like Five Nights at Freddie’s, Bendy and the Ink Machine, or other first-person horror experiences. It won’t blow you away with its story, but it lets the Resident Evil franchise breathe in its new graphical engine capacity. Who knows, maybe Resident Evil may be even better because of this change? The players will have to wait and see.
Resident Evil 7 is rated M for Mature. It was released worldwide on January 24th and 26th 2017. It is available on all consoles and PC for $19.99-$29.99