Capcom’s Newest Installment Showcases PSVR and Flamethrowers
By Rami Tabari
While the last few additions of the Resident Evil series had disregarded their original horror aspect, Capcom does a fantastic job at terrifying newcomers and veterans with the Baker family in “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.”
The game doesn’t bother using its original protagonists, such as Chris or Leon and instead uses Ethan Winters: a civilian who, unlike the others, doesn’t have any military training.
Ethan travels to an abandoned house in Louisiana looking for his missing wife, Mia, who is revealed to be abducted by the Bakers: a family who’ve been infected by an ailment that turned them into bioweapons. Ethan’s mission is to cure his wife and escape the mansion.
The initial teaser for “Resident Evil 7” sparked doubt throughout the series’ fanbase by being overly similar to games like “Outlast,” but they soon discovered that Capcom had actually brought the series back to a place where they all wanted it to be: its roots.
Capcom delivers us a taste of the old by weaving the original’s element of fear with the RE Engine, which included VR developmental tools that allowed it to be fully played in VR.
The VR experience was quite terrifying, however, it wasn’t without its flaws.
The VR can be played while sitting down which is easier on your legs, but it quickly causes motion sickness when you move the camera with the controller rather than your head.
The optimal way to play this game in VR without motion sickness is to stand up while using your head as a 360 degree camera. One problem is the game registers head movement as Ethan turning his head instead of his whole body, which causes the start of cutscenes to be faced backwards until you resync.
It’s a choice between your legs and your stomach, but the consequences are surely worth it if you play in small amounts.
The gameplay revives the same style and atmosphere that made “Resident Evil 4” one of the few classic, survival-horror games. The major difference is that it’s in first person.
Capcom took a risk with its fans considering every other Resident Evil has been a third person shooter. This decision allowed Capcom to deliver the horror in a more petrifying way.
While Resident Evil is well known for being a zombie game, there is a surprising lack of zombies. Other than fighting off the Baker family, which are the bosses of the game, there are normal enemies called the “molded.”
The molded are basically giant, black goo-monsters that are tough to kill if you don’t strategize or have bullets for that matter. While it would’ve been nice to see zombies reappear, the molded are a welcomed addition to the series because their creepy design blends with the dark surroundings for maximum scare factor.
Ammo is incredibly scarce and the game purposely tries to catch the player off guard to force them to act irrationally with their supplies. Most of its charm is comprised of the exploration that gives players the freedom to search every corner for items and non-story puzzle pieces so they can access better gear.
The beauty of this is the player can miss many goodies if they’re not careful or if they decide to mindlessly run through the game.
Boss battles are a major aspect of the Resident Evil series and this game makes these moments both difficult and interesting. Some battles resort to straightforward shoot-outs while others take some thinking, such as finding the right method or using a specific item which makes the battle much more interactive.
The game’s atmosphere quickly wraps the player in its grasp with a terrifying and intense soundtrack that both scares you while moving forward and inspires bravery into your every step.
From the little details inside the mansion to the horrific “molded” enemies, “Resident Evil 7’s” graphics are gorgeous.
While it is definitely deserving of the next-gen consoles, the facial features on the human characters seemed oddly disproportionate and doll-like. The movement of their mouths felt awkward and unsatisfying, like watching something dubbed in a different language.
“Resident Evil 7’s” gameplay is the most enjoyable throughout the series, however, its story is lacking. The major issue the title brings forward is its placement in the Resident Evil universe and where the series goes from here. This game has none of the original characters, which is disappointing because fan-favorites didn’t return.
The dialogue was very unfulfilling and cringe-worthy, carrying out the cheesy-charm of “Resident Evil 4”. Ethan spouts one-liners every time you kill a boss and makes stupid comments about everything happening around him. Whether or not it was planned, the game still carries its own as a cheesy and horrifying addition to the franchise.