Game Clocked – Resident Evil 7 Review
Is this truly a return to form for the flailing franchise? Well, I clocked the game and am going to share my experience with you. This is the Resident Evil 7 Review. Welcome to the family.
We may be a little late to the party but just bare with us. I had a such a great time with this title that whether the review is late or not, I’m sharing it with you guys. Make no mistake, this IS a Resident Evil game. And a damn good one at that. The move to first person view has made this game that much more terrifying. The ridiculous door puzzles are back and the atmosphere is just spot on. It feels like both a reboot and a core game all at the same time. So without any further ado, let’s delve into the Resident Evil 7 Review. Worry not, there are no spoilers here.
The game starts off with the protagonist Ethan Winters, who’s looking for his long-lost wife, Mia, who disappeared some 3 years back. Right until she sends a cryptic video message telling him to move on and never to come looking for her. Ethan then tracks her down to an old dilapidated house in the bayou of Lousiana. That’s the start of some crazy experiences that will no doubt leave him and you traumatised forever.
Enter the charming Baker family. No, actually charming isn’t the right word. Disturbing, unsettling, crazy and downright terrifying are better words to describe them. And then unravels a deep and interesting story of what exactly is happening in the Dulvey House with the Bakers and some poor lost sobs who ended up on their property.
Without going into too much detail, Ethan’s wife Mia herself seems strangely affected by the mysteries of the Baker family. What I absolutely enjoy about the story is how it unfolds completely while you’re in first-person. There are no cut scenes at all, so you are never taken out of the experience. The pacing is slow but worthwhile even though I found the final act to be a bit too action heavy. All this culminates with a satisfying ending that ties off the game with the rest of the Resi series. And leaves the door wide open for more.
As for the gameplay, it’s classic Resident Evil. Gone are the action heavy and Hollywood set pieces of the previous few games. Replaced by slow burn tension, atmosphere and exploration of the first games. In addition to that, that new first person mode just makes the horrors in-your-face terrifying. More so if you have the brass to tackle this game in VR.
Luckily for me, I don’t have a PSVR yet, but as soon as I do, I’ll be taking another trip to the Bakers. Just make sure you have adult diapers with you. This is a survival game and it definitely feels like it. You still get weapons but the ammo is so limited that you have to make damn sure that shot will land before firing off some rounds. Unlike the old games, you can aim and move at the same time, just you move at a snail’s pace when aiming.
Other classic tropes make a return such as the inventory screen to keep all your weapons ammo and healing herbs. You get a very simple crafting mechanic that works very well. You basically mix two items together to form a new one, such as Herbs and Chems to form a health potion. And just a word of warning, the inventory screen doesn’t pause the game. So make your decisions quick or you’ll get slaughtered while faffing around in your bag.
Puzzles make a triumphant return. Remember those locked doors that require multiple puzzle pieces to open. Yep, they’re back. And the pieces are scattered all over the map of the house, some even requiring some back-tracking exploration to acquire. There’s also these weirdly creepy shadow puzzles that open hidden passages, this one is new for Resi and there aren’t that many to overstay their welcome. Best of all is how the game handles. Its controls are solid with smooth character motion that just works. This makes me really excited to try my next playthrough in VR.
I played the game on a PS4 Pro console hooked up to a 65″ 4K HDR TV. So believe me when I say, this game is gorgeous. But not in the pretty bright colours kind of way, think ugly revolting detail kind of beauty. There’s so much detail in the game world. That details actually makes you think the Baker’s house could believably exist in our world. That’s very unsettling. In the 4K mode, the rather rough edges are smoothed out to give you clean crisp visuals at a smooth consistent 60 FPS. With HDR enabled, the darkly lit house is truly dark, I mean pitch
With HDR enabled, the darkly lit house is truly dark, I mean pitch black with only the light from your torch to shine a very small view. Play this with a set of cans and you’re going to wish you didn’t as the rattles and sounds of unseen horrors will surround you. Fooling you into thinking they’re in your real world house. What really takes the cake is the Bakers themselves. Sure there are other enemies to face like the weird moulded creatures. But they don’t hold a candle the detail given to the baker family. With perfect voice acting, this is a solid graphical tour de force.
Is Resident Evil 7 the Resi game we’ve all been waiting for? Absolutely YES! It’s a triumphant return to form for the series. An extremely polished experience that terrifies, makes you go “WTF?? Did that just happen??”. It’s got great characters in the Baker family, a huge twist which you don’t see coming until it’s too late and is definitely a great way to kick off the gaming year. This title is an immediate purchase is you ask me. Beg, plead and borrow. Do whatever it takes to experience the awesomeness that’s Resident Evil 7.