If you were a gamer in the late 90’s and enjoyed playing horror games, then you definitely played Resident Evil. It was the franchise that not only started, but defined horror games. But unfortunately, the franchise couldn’t hold its title as the best horror game in the mid-late 2000’s. We saw games like Dead Space and Outlast claim the title of great survival horror games from Resident Evil. Today we have with us Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. The game has moved away from its third person action-adventure roots in favor of the first person perspective. Has Resident Evil 7 reclaimed its title as the king of horror games?
FUN FACT: The Resident Evil franchise is called Biohazard in Japan
Let’s get the biggest question bothering you out of the way. No you don’t need to have played the previous games in the franchise to know what’s happening here. If you have, it will help with the ending, but if you haven’t, then you will enjoy the game all the same. You don the role of an average Joe named Ethan. Your wife, Mia has gone missing. After three years of Mia being MIA (Missing In Action), you get a video message from her asking you to stay away. Like any good husband, you disobey her and land up at the creepy mansion which is the Baker estate. That’s all I’m going to tell you about the story of the game. Anything more and we will be in spoiler territory.
Overall, the story of the game is very good. From the minute you enter the mansion, the story starts to unravel. It leaves enough unanswered questions at every turn, leaving you wanting more. The story is very well executed and if you are one that enjoys a story driven game, this is one horrific adventure you won’t want to miss.
This is where we see the biggest change in the Resident Evil franchise. It isn’t a third person shooter anymore. The perspective has changed to first person, just like we have seen in games like Outlast and P.T. This change in perspective adds to the jump scares as it all happens front and center of the screen. There are times when I literally jumped out of my chair and a lot of credit for this goes to the well scripted moments and great visual design of the Baker family members and of course, the first person perspective.
Don’t mistake this game for a first person shooter. You do get weapons like a knife, a pistol, a shotgun, a flamethrower and more, but this isn’t a run and gun game. In fact, it’s the opposite. There are some mutated enemies that can be gunned down, but it’s the baker family members that require some strategising before they can be eliminated. Or rather before you can get away from them.
The way the game world is presented to you is great too. You start out in a certain section of the house and the rest of the house is opened up to you at a gradual pace.
The game is well paced. Explore the house, run from Mr. Baker, solve a puzzle, run from Mr. baker, find a tape, play the sequence, reach a safe house, solve a puzzle. You get the drift. Even though the mechanics of the game sound simple, it’s the constant fear that there’s something waiting for you around the next corridor that will keep you at the edge of your seat.
The gameplay and the execution of the horror experience in first person is one of the best I’ve had in recent memory. The game supports PSVR but unfortunately we don’t have a VR headset to test the same. The other games worth enjoying in first person in the horror genre are outlast and P.T. You may not be able to get your hands on the latter.
If there is one problem I have with Resident Evil 7, it’s the low resolution textures plaguing the game. Sure, the baker family members, Mia, the protagonist and some of the environments look spectacular. But it’s the low resolution textures of drawers, walls and some artifacts that take away the experience. But as far as the baker family goes, once you get up close and personal with them, you can make out how well detailed they are. Sure, this game isn’t Uncharted 4 level graphics, but it still good.
Coming to the PS4 Pro, the platform on which we tested the game, the game uses checkerboard rendering. It also supports HDR so if you have a 4K HDR TV, the good will look incredibly good and the bad will still look just as bad.
|Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro, Xbox One, Xbox One S, Windows
Price: PC – Rs.2,499; Xbox One and PS4 – Rs.3,999
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
Seldom is no sound good sound and that’s exactly what Resident Evil 7 brings to the table. Most of the time when you are exploring the environment and there is no background score; and the game resorts to natural sounds like the floor creaking, doors creaking, sound of your footsteps, so on and so forth. When you are in one of your encounters with the creatures or a member of the baker family, it’s then that fast paced orchestral music with a prominent heart beat thump kicks in. It is possible that I was listening to the sound of my own heart beating, but it added to the experience all the same.
Moving to the voice acting it’s top notch too. I expected some cheesy dialogues between the long lost couple or members of the baker family or the mysteries person helping you through your journey, and I can’t find a single one. The narration is well scripted and the voice acting is good.
Verdict: Resident Evil 7
If you have a weak heart, then don’t play Resident Evil 7. I think I am a strong person who doesn’t scare easy especially when playing a video game, and I jumped out of my chair on multiple occasions. If you enjoy games like Outlast, Dead Space, the original Resident Evil games or even Alien Isolation, then yes, you will enjoy the game. It will scare the pants off of you though, you’ve been warned. However, if enjoy running and gunning more, then you are better off looking elsewhere.
|Alot of good scares
The Baker family with terrify you
Amazing sound design and voice acting
|Some textures are low res
Annoying zombie like creatures
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Sameer "Psycho Mantis" Mitha
I live for gaming and technology is my muse. When I am not busy playing with gadgets or video games I delve into the world of fantasy novels.