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Bringing back the horror to survival horror. My RE7 thoughts.

Where I talk about how Capcom smashed my expectations after the trainwreck that was Resident Evil 6

Ricardo Rico

I’ve been procrastinating Persona 5 part 2 for about two months now, and I might as well be honest about it, I’ve been playing REmake 2 and Resident Evil 7 in their hardest difficulties. As a side project, I tried RE6 again, but I still hate it and will probably never finish it. However, I believe Resident Evil 7 is the right direction for the series after the abomination that came before.

I must admit, I was skeptical when the game was first revealed, as I wasn’t sure that a first-person perspective would work for a Resident Evil game (RE). Good for me, and everyone else, the perspective works great for a horror game and Capcom made an amazing job recapturing the claustrophobic feel of the first RE (1998). The atmosphere is that of hopelessness, sorrow, impotence and anger that surrounds you in real life when you end up in a situation to which you’re not sure about how to react.

You play as Ethan Winters, a totally new main character. Ethan receives a video message from his lost ex-wife whom he thought had been dead for three years after the ship she was traveling in had an accident. He decides to go investigate the surrounding area of the accident to Duvley, Louisiana where he finds a seemingly abandoned farm and decides to go into the place. Here, he reunites with his ex-wife, Mia, and they try to escape the house only to be attacked by a seemingly rabid Mia. After an intense battle, the owner of the farm, Jack Baker, knocks you with an interesting message “Welcome to the family, son!”. It becomes your mission to find Mia again and get the fuck out of there.

The game looks back at its survival horror roots, as by RE6 the games turned more into an action games, which I despised. In here, you feel trapped in this farm filled with rotten food and untreated mold growing everywhere. The farm setting is disgusting as it’s filled with half eaten body parts from other people the Baker family has kidnapped and eaten bit by bit. If you finish the game on normal, be sure to replay on the Madhouse difficulty as I believe that’s the real way you’re supposed to play the game.

The resource management comes back full force as bullets and recovery items are scarce and should be handled carefully. The game does give you enough to get through the game without much issue, but, be careful, there’s a chance you run out of bullets. A new mechanic for the RE games is the guard mechanic. My recommendation is that you master it as soon as you can, as it’s vital for survival throughout the game and, if you’re not careful, you could get easily one-shoted by a boss or even a regular molded. At the same time, while it is nice to bring a knife with you to break crates, I’d suggest leaving it behind as that extra inventory space could be the difference between being done with a terrible section of backtracking to place something in the box.

For a change, Ethan has an amazing personality. For context, usually in their first games, Resident Evil protagonists tend to not have much personality, but he’s filled with witty comebacks and human reactions to everything going on around him. The Baker family is also great, Jack, Marguerite, Zoe and Lucas are all amazing characters and you truly do feel sorry for them as you start to learn what really happened to the farm. Except for Lucas, he’s fully a dick. On the other hand, I don’t like Mia one bit, but, if you wish to avoid an extra battle at the end of the game, there’s a point where you have to choose between her and another character, and I suggest you choose her, as not only is that the canon choice, you avoid an extra fight.

Overall, I loved this revamped RE experience. I think Capcom took a step in the right direction with the new mechanics and with the mechanics that they disposed of. I hope they perfect this gameplay and don’t start messing it up little by little as they did with RE5 and RE6. At this point in time, I have not seen the trailer for RE8, but I’ll search for it as soon as I finish. I hope you have a wonderful day and remember to stay safe in these COVID times.

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