A new Evil has finally come to the next generation. “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard” is the seventh game in the core Resident Evil franchise and the twenty-seventh overall. In this series, more games did not always equal better games, but “RE 7” revitalizes the franchise credited with creating the survival-horror genre. The game offers a new perspective and a new game graphic engine, known as the RE Engine.
In this game, you play as Ethan, who is looking for his wife, Mia. His search takes him to the creepy Baker family mansion. From there, the game gets crazy. And then crazier.
The atmosphere is so claustrophobic and creepy that it puts past Resident Evil games to shame. It’s littered with dark and narrow hallways. The scenery is barely lit as you venture deeper into the madhouse that is the Baker residence. This is the scariest Resident Evil game since the original. The jump scares are scarier than in most games due to the dynamic gameplay style and the defined and disturbing characters.
What makes “Resident Evil 7” even better is that it’s entirely played in the first person. That perspective change completely warps the style of the eight- or nine-hour experience. Once you step into the neatly tied shoes of Ethan, the game becomes more intense than most new attempts at modern survival-horror.
Ammo is scarce, and you are forced to manage what and how much you should be carrying at all times. A crafting mechanic allows you to use materials you find to create items. It’s very quick and can be done with a few buttons at any time during the game.
The bosses are very creative, unlike other games that have you fighting something 200 stories tall with a rocket launcher. Your foes utilize the environment to their fullest potential. One forces you to grab a chainsaw and fight in a metal mosh pit surrounded by body bags that can be used to stun him. Creativity like that makes a game unique. “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard” has it in spades.
The story is much simpler than in other Resident Evil games. One new element is the cassette tapes you must watch. Some of them offer welcome challenges and hints – one of them is used as a cheat to a puzzle later in the game. But others flush away some of the intensity and ruin surprises.
A few negatives of the game include the hokey voice acting, with bits of over-the-top screaming. Also, the lead up to the boss fights are poor. One of my big pet peeves about survival-horror games is that when the player is approaching a boss, the game lays out loads of ammunition. In the gaming world, we call it the “boss fountain,” which telegraphs when a boss fight is coming. It destroys all the built-up tension. Fights should happen at random times, when tension is at its highest.
“Resident Evil 7: Biohazard” is one of the best games of this series. The environments are dirty, the intensity off-the-charts, and the gameplay is smooth and crisp. It delivers an experience unlike any other survival-horror game out there. Capcom should learn from this going forward: quality over quantity. And “Resident Evil 7” is gold.
This game is rated M for mature.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.