The horror genre is often praised within the gaming community for its high intensity jump scares, pulse racing moments and sheer immersion. Never before has a genre made grown men scream during their live streams; making this genre one of the most entertaining to watch on YouTube and Twitch. Resident Evil VII: Biohazard completely changed the foundations of the Resident Evil franchise with not one single zombie appearing in the game. Let us not forget the Virtual Reality mode too. Resident Evil 7 was reportedly made for VR mode. I have not played it in VR mode but I can understand the immense appeal for some gamers. Did Capcom make that right move in changing the direction of the franchise? Sure we had a mansion and plenty of puzzles to taint the way and let’s not forget the twisted folded beings of the basement! Resident Evil VII: Biohazard was a bold move indeed. Here’s why it worked.
The P.T Effect
Nobody will forget the P.T demo on the PS4. The creepy hallways, the bloodstained bathroom and that phone! The Silent Hills game that never got as far as the P.T demo. Thanks Konami! I wonder how many people out there still believe Capcom copied the vibe of Hideo Kojima’s masterful demo with Resident Evil VII Biohazard? Do you believe it? Both RE7’s producer and director confirmed that the likeness was a pure coincidence. Resident Evil 7 was in development long before the P.T demo surfaced on PSN.
"When PT surfaced we were already into development and we were surprised to see it," Kawata said. "I'm worried about how my jokes come across but I hear Brits like black humour. So, out of everyone, we were the most relieved when PT didn't come out."
Resident Evil VII has a clear likeness to P.T and we know it was not planned that way. Personally I believe RE7’s new and Zombieless direction is fresh and I’m excited to see what’s to come from the franchise.
Now here we have ourselves something interesting! At a first glimpse of Resident Evil VII it is easy to mistake the Bakers as the cause of the all of the madness in the mansion. I started off loathing them and hoping to pick them off one by one but as the story evolved the emotions shifted. I started to feel bad for the Bakers. I felt sorry for them and actually wanted to help them as opposed to slain them.
The two current instalments of DLC offer a further glimpse in to the Bakers past life. The timing of the release of the dlc was perfect. Unlike many developers Capcom released Resident Evil VII dlc really quickly post release of the game. I believe in striking whilst the iron is hot and in this case this is exactly what Capcom did. Both Banned Footage vol.1 and Banned Footage vol. 2 kept gamers emotionally involved with the game. Sometimes I lose interest in a game when dlc comes out six months later. Aside from the dlc being really short we learnt that the Bakers rescued Eveline from a storm only to be later consumed by her demonic presence; with Marguerite being the first victim.
At various points in the mansion each family member springs up to create either a boss battle (Jack on more than one occasion) or a general obstacle. I loved the way in which Ethan stumbled across discreet glimpses in to the Bakers past. In the main hallway of the mansion near the kitchen there’s a picture of the Baker parents seemingly enjoying one of Jack;s birthday’s. It’s these subtle inserts that connected with me to suggest the Bakers were a thriving family that cared very much abut each other. The same can be said when I fought Mutated Jack as he can be heard moaning Marguerite’s name over and over. Sometimes the smallest details can have the largest impacts on a story. Resident Evil VII: Biohazard is beautifully written and for me it’s got to be up there with one of the best titles of 2017 this far.
Thirsty horror fans
Recently I was streaming Outlast on YouTube on the PS4 and two people mentioned how they would like more horror and jump scare games. I agree. We do. There’s something about the level of intensity that playing a horror game brings. Whether you’re in a giant mansion feelings alone and isolated or locked in some sewer somewhere trying to escape horror games really elevate the pulse in a way no other gaming genre does. Resident Evil VII: Biohazard taps right in to that part of being a gamer. For me it’s the ultimate escape from reality. Whether your running away from an enemy wielding a meat cleaver in The Evil Within or creeping through the corridor’s of the Baker mansion it is hard to shy away from the pulling power of a good ol’ hour game. Oh have I mentioned the excitement that brews for Outlast 2?
Haters are everywhere. That means that some souls out there will have a strong dislike for Resident Evil VII right? Of course they will. Reviews are pretty positive on the whole but the beauty is the difference in everyone's individual journey's throughout the Baker mansion. I love the subtle references to the past lives of the Bakers, the jump scares, the VR mode; albeit not for everybody and the amazing story. All in all we love Resident Evil VII. Long may the series live.
Blog post by Gemma @ Juicy Game Reviews / TheGebs24
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