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Resident Evil 7: Biohazard Review (PS4)

Written by Ben Pilaczynski (Twitter: @GetBenPd) From being trapped in a mansion in the mountains, to running through a zombie infested world that was maybe too big for its britches, Resident Evil takes the long running horror franchise to a whole new world in "Resident Evil 7: Biohazard". Resident Evil 7 is a survival horror game following Ethan Winters, a man who lost his wife when her cruise ship disappeared. 3 years after her disappearance, Ethan receives an email from Mia (who up until this point has been presumed dead), stating she is still alive and where he can find her. Thus begins a living nightmare for our protagonist.

For the first time in franchise history, Resident Evil 7 is played from a first person perspective. Environments are dark, the sounds are eerie, and enemies are in your face like never before. As Ethan explores the world you will notice a lot of things that aren’t in the norm. Doors shutting and locking behind you, video tapes of past visitors activities and their fates, and even strange Polaroid pictures that hint at what you may find later in the game.

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Matching the game’s dark atmosphere and subject matter, the graphics work for this game. While playing you will find yourself taking corners slow or even stopping to see if you can hear someone (or something) coming for you. However, there are times when some visual effects took me out of the world immersion. I found that certain graphical details and textures were not only blurry but also slow to load at times.
On the other hand RE7 does a pretty great job on character presentations. Jack Baker is the “Daddy” of the group. Crazy strength and a bad temper will make you want to avoid him at all costs. Marguerite or “Mommy” can be equally as terrifying but her encounters tend to be more frustrating than anything. Last but not least you have Lucas. Lucas is more of the guy you’d always see getting suspended from school because of some sick prank he is always playing. These are going to be the main antagonists you will be following but there is more to the game
and the story than just the backwoods family in the decrepit house.
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The story line isn’t the strong suit of this game. It has its twists and turns but overall nothing memorable. You will find one or two major twists to the game’s story plus a couple alternate endings depending on what path you choose.

The puzzles can be tedious at times. Most objectives really follow the “find this specific piece/fit item here” type of method. Yes, you find minor obstacles and enemies standing in your way from time to time but most are easy to avoid or figure out. Most enemies are fairly easy to sneak by or hide from and if they do catch you, your movement speed will allow you a good chance to avoid their blows.

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Voice acting can also take you out of the immersion of the game. Ethan doesn’t always react the way that you feel he should. Whether he’s getting stabbed with a screw driver or getting taken down by the “Molded” (RE7’s secondary enemies), his reactions seem to fall short of expectations. Taking down enemies doesn’t feel as satisfying as they should, and I don’t find myself taking interest in these characters.
Overall I believe that this was a step in the right  direction for the Resident Evil franchise. Yes, there are some things that could be cleaned up and worked on but I think that the game mostly succeeds in creating a great atmosphere with decent gameplay. There are times when you do feel helpless and you have to really think in order to get past certain obstacles. With some cleaning up of the artwork, more enthusiastic voice acting, and more character building, Resident Evil 8 has some great potential. For now I would say its a great experience to play but not quite worth the $60 price tag.

 

Fit The Gamer rating scale: Buy, Borrow, Pass

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Developed by Capcom
Published by Capcom
Available on PS4, Xbox One, PC
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