Back to its Roots: Review of Resident Evil 7

“Resident Evil 7: Biohazard” is the newest installment in the Resident Evil game series. It is a first-person survival game filled with horror that developers hoped would save a failing series. The developers return to the series’ roots, switching from third-person point of view to first-person point of view. This may seem like a small change; however, it worked in favor by increasing gamer immersion for the player, making the jump scares even more real and terrifying. Players start the game as Ethan, a man searching for his wife, Mia, who has been missing for three years. Mia is trapped in a run-down farmhouse owned by the Baker family, located in the middle of nowhere, as usual for most horror settings.

The best part of the game is how immersive and well-done the audio design is for the game. There is plenty of time spent hiding behind pieces of furniture or standing on the other side of a wall, simply listening for the footsteps of Jack Baker and trying to decide if there is enough time to sprint to the next room before he sees you and tries to bash your skull in with a shovel. Besides the clear footsteps, there are always pipes or floorboards creaking, things banging against walls, and of course the constant scary piano and violin music in the background. Developers use the music to build suspense very well and are great at keeping a sense of fear throughout the entire game, even when there are no enemies around.

Managing inventory is essential, as it is very limited on space for most of the game even though a good deal of time is spent looting throughout the game in order to stay alive. The game requires players to search for better weapons as well as items to craft healing potions and ammo, and other items that are needed randomly throughout the game. The healing mechanics in the game are a bit questionable, as at one point the game tells players that if they lose a limb all they have to do is sew it back on before losing too much blood. To heal themselves, players simply dump  healing liquid onto their hands. While most games have simple healing mechanics, the use of bandages or med kits would have been a bit more appropriate in this game scenario.

The overall storyline is very interesting and the game has a great mixture of different types of scare tactics. There are also puzzles to solve and different choices players can make throughout the game, with  witty voice lines thrown in here and there. For anyone who is a fan of horror games, I would highly suggest giving this game a play.

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