Survival horror. One of the most prominent video game genres of recent years, thanks to the likes of PewDiePie and JackSepticEye among other internet personalities that seem to have brought the genre back into the mainstream. For the last while, the genre itself has been a very over-saturated market, with everyone trying to cash in on the reaction video craze we’ve all seen on YouTube where the player ends up screaming. The predictable jumpscares, the seemingly endless catalogue of indie titles that all use the same mechanic, it just got sort of stale, with only titles such as Outlast and Dying Light really breaking the mould.
Then this came along. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. When this game was announced, I’ll admit that I was skeptical. The Resident Evil brand itself just outgrew what it was, what I remember it to be as a kid, half scared to death. The later offerings in the series were just crap, utter crap. To tell the truth, I didn’t hold out much hope for this game. Until I played it.
Very few recent games have done what this game has done to me. I cannot recall the last time that a game has had me this on-edge, scared to progress at every turn, waiting with baited breath for the next, unexpected might I add, jumpscare. Something about this game had a true horror vibe to it, even to the extent where on numerous occasions I had a sick feeling in my stomach, knowing I had to keep venturing on through this horrible place.
The story is extremely intriguing, it sucks you in, and spits you out multiple times along the way. What might seem fairly cliché at the start, really gets deep and fleshed out the more you progress, naturally. You haven’t heard from your girlfriend in quite some time, so you rush in, like some stupid, lovestruck knight in shining armour to attempt to rescue her, not knowing what lurks in the depths of the place you last heard from her.
The game is controlled in the typical survival horror style, first-person view, creeping through a spooky house with a flashlight, searching for weapons, ammo and healthpacks to keep you going for as long as you can. It seems a lot different though. It’s not just your run-of-the-mill survival horror that completely overuses this mechanic and gameplay style. Something feels completely unique about it. Even the shadows cast from the character you play as will scare the crap out of you, which just goes to show the level of thought and attention to detail in this game. The use of lighting to create tension and atmosphere is nothing short of phenominal. Top notch.
This game is full of puzzles. They are well executed and well thought out, while not being too frustrating to figure out. Every now and again I got slightly frustrated with them, but certainly not enough to ragequit. Unless you use your head, you will not progress in this game, and you have to keep your cool too, as someone may be looking for you, right on your tail, as you have to solve this puzzle to survive. Very enjoyable.
The characters we encounter and the enemies we face along the way are chilling. The Bakers, the family that occupy the house in question are quite simply terrifying. We never really quite find out whether they are some form of ghosts or spirits that inhabited the house years ago, or that they are alive, possessed by some kind of demon. Either way, they are one of the most memorable sets of characters, for all the wrong and horrifying reasons, in this case, I guess that’s a good reason. They do exactly what they’re supposed and designed to do, scare the living daylights out of you. They make you feel uncomfortable and dirty, always unsure where they will come from next.
Combat is satisfying and solid. As you progress, you find better weapons and ammo that will be sure to put a stop to those who stand in your way, or for the most part, chase after you. The beasts that lurk this grimy and creaky place take one hell of a beating and you’ll do well to take them down with ease for the first while. No matter how many times I came across these creatures, I was just as terrified as when the first one jumped out of this wall of black tar type substance at me. They are disgusting and vile creatures that will haunt the dreams of the faint hearted. Look how pretty they are:
This game will send shivers down your spine at almost every turn, have you on the edge of your seat for it’s entirety, and force you to buy a whole new underwear drawer all at the same time.
A fantastic game that we think has all the makings of a modern day classic. With some DLC already available and more to come, we’re sure that we’ll be talking about this game for a long time. Top marks.