Resident Evil 7 does a brilliant job of going back to its roots and incorporating all of the features which made Resident Evil such a successful franchise in the first place. This game expertly blends the aspects of horror with an enthralling story. The game does take on a first person view rather than a third person like in the originals, but in my opinion, this makes the game feel that bit scarier as you don’t have the ability to know whats on each side of you at all times. The game goes back to carefully creeping around corners and searching every nook and cranny for collectable items that will aid your experience later in the game. Safe rooms are also nicely integrated into the game for a break in the never ending feeling of sheer dread as you roam around the Baker family home. Gone are the days where Resident Evil was turning into a fast paced action shooter and in its place comes a game that is not perfect but has begun to make the necessary adjustments to get itself back to where it needs to be.
Set in probably the most terrifying area since the Spencer Mansion, Resident Evil Biohazard instantly catapults you into a world of horrifying mystery with tantalising puzzles that need to be solved as you go along. Nothing in the game feels unneeded, I never went to get an item or completed a puzzle that I felt had no bearing on the actual story. One of the smaller problems for me was the physics of the game. For example one simple cut in a door would make it shatter into a million pieces. This took away from how scary certain parts of the game should have been. This was only a minor problem though and things like this only happened once or twice throughout the whole story. The one thing I think this Resident Evil did superbly well was make the house feel like somewhere that people actually lived rather than just some giant hollowed out maze. The photographs and viewable items scattered all around the house made you feel like you were truly apart of this story that was unfolding in front of your eyes.
There were sadly not enough enemies in the game for my liking. While the game did have me constantly on the edge of my seat, I knew that the only enemies I would ever encounter would be either the Baker family or these disgusting demonic creatures seemingly made out of a substance which is scattered all around the house. After encountering the creatures a few times, they did lose their scary aspect and by the end of the game I was strolling around shooting them for fun without actually feeling like they were causing me any trouble. The Baker family however, are brilliantly portrayed. Every single encounter with them is different and I was never once locked in battle with any of them without feeling utterly terrified that I was going to die any second. Each time you fought one of the Bakers they would be weak to a certain weapon in your inventory and the game left you to fumble around trying to find the right combination of weapons to fight with, while also scrambling around small congested areas trying to not get your guts ripped out by the crazed Bakers.
The game was not horribly challenging to get through and never was I in a boss fight or roaming an area that I felt completely out of my depth in. In saying this however, the game does a good job of punishing you if you do get lazy in boss fights. For example while fighting one of the Bakers the chainsaw I was using ran out of power and I failed to realise this until he was half through cutting me into a million tiny pieces. Some of the puzzles in the game while they were always fun to do, felt a bit overly simplistic, particularly the shadow puzzles. One of the Bakers also seemingly just disappears before the end of the game which, did leave me a little bit annoyed. Without ruining any of the storyline, the ending does leave a bit to be desired and does feel slightly lazy but it is not significant enough of a fault to take too much away from my overall enjoyment of the game. As a whole, Capcom has done a good job of creating a game that brings back all of its old features that once made the series great, while also integrating some new ideas to keep the series moving forward. It is a rare occurrence that I sit down to play through the relatively short storylines that survival horror games tend to have and am thoroughly drawn in by the story. Resident Evil 7 kept me constantly on edge and also made me never want to put the controller down as I wanted to find out all there was to know about the mysterious Baker family. Even now after playing through its roughly 8 hour story, I would happily go back and do it all again to get all of the achievements on offer, which I believe is a clear sign of a very good game. My overall experience with this game was thrilling and I can’t wait to sit down and experience it all over again.