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Review: Resident Evil 7 (Spoilers)

As is almost always the way, Tarkan plays catch up on the lead in game to the newly released Village - Reviewed on PS5

With all the hype surrounding Resident Evil Village, I thought it was a good opportunity to take a look at the previous release.

I had never played Resident Evil 7 when it originally released, but got access to it for free thanks to the collection courtesy of Playstation Plus.

This game introduces us to a new protagonist in the form of Ethan Winters.

Ethan’s wife, Mia, disappears in the opening sequence of the game and after years of nothing, Ethan finally hears from her asking him to come get her.

This brings Ethan to a derelict house in Louisiana and it is here things begin to take a turn for the worst.

Image copyright Capcom

Having played all the core Resident Evil games since the original title (with the exception of 6), the first thing I struggled with was the move to first person.

In the beginning, I felt unsure about it.

Resident Evil was a third person game, it always had been. As I played through however, the reasoning for the first person perspective became clear. This game was going back to its roots, it was back to being about horror.

The claustrophobic camera angles help to add emphasis to the fear factor, and let me tell you, as I was adventuring through the first real portion of the game, it had me almost entirely in a panic.

There were even a few times my Apple watch popped up with a “breathe” suggestion (this is usually prompted when it detects an accelerated heart rate without any physical activity).

You just know you’re going to be in for a treat – Image copyright Capcom

Outside of the first person view, the game feels and plays much like your typical Resident Evil game. You need to manage your inventory, try and conserve ammo where you can and craft items to stay alive.

The enemies don’t seem to number very high, but when they do show up, boy, do they like catching you off guard.

As you progress through the game and start finding or making better weapons, it does begin to instill a sense of confidence in you. Personally, I found once I was out of the main house, I didn’t really struggle too much facing off against enemies.

There is an interesting feature in the game I liked, where you get to play through the past through videotapes located throughout the game, it is through these flashbacks, you can learn from the mistakes of the previous person in order to succeed as Ethan.

Image copyright Capcom

As you progress toward the latter portion of the game, the fear element seems to drop in favour of action. I can safely say that by that point, I was getting ample ammo reserves and was able to rip through enemies in a storm of bullets.

It just wouldn’t be a Resident Evil game without an end boss from your worst nightmares and in this regard, RE7 doesn’t disappoint, however it did feel less like an actual battle and more like an interactive movie. That isn’t a bad thing necessarily, it was just a little less involved than other end battles in previous titles.

Conclusion

Resident Evil 7 was a tall order, trying to convince the masses on the move to first person would have been a tough sell, but they managed it with a much more fear focused game.

The storyline was solid, though I did not feel especially attached to Ethan like I did with the likes of Jill, Chris, Claire and Leon.

All in all, it was a very good survival horror game that kept me more nervous than I’d typically like, at least for a good chunk of it.

I would definitely seek it out if there is the intention to play RE: Village, if nothing more than to get some of Ethan’s backstory.

By Tarkan

Thirty-something father of two who stays up later than he should to juggle playing video games, watching TV and working.