Capcom Co. Ltd.’s Resident Evil 7 for Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 4, Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox One, and the PC remolds survival horror with a new first-person perspective, photorealistic graphics and terrifying new enemies.
In Resident Evil 7, Ethan Winters travels to a desolate plantation mansion to find his missing wife Mia. He soon discovers a disturbed family, the Bakers, inhabit the property, and must fight for his life to escape the mansion.
The title combines a first-person perspective with traditional Resident Evil gameplay. The first-person view offers a gritty, close-quarters perspective that can unnerve the user with its limited scope and true-to-life immersion. In addition, encounters are heightened when enemies reach, grab, and pummel in realistic fashion.
Trademark Resident Evil gameplay, including shooting, puzzles, and inventory management remain. Users are required to find keys, combine items, and search the environment for clues to unlock the next area. New items include Psychostimulants to heighten item discovery and Chemical Fluid to enhance basic items like herbs and gunpowder.
Controls are tight with intuitive analog movement, accurate aiming, and quick access to four weapons and medicine. Enemy AI is clever with quick dodges, speedy attacks, and high difficulty.
The Baker family, can lay claim as the most vicious Resident Evil enemies to date. They can stalk, surprise, and shock Ethan with new and inventive behavior. Jack Baker, in particular, is reminiscent of the Nemesis from Resident Evil 3, and intimidates at each violent turn.
The proprietary in-house RE Engine, which includes Playstation VR functionality, is a photorealistic marvel at a solid 60 frames-per-second. Each part of the game, from elaborate décor to enemies, are rendered with accurate definition and a subdued color palette to reflect a real life environment. Not since the original mansion in the Arklay Mountains has the franchise constructed a sprawling estate full of desolate intrigue.
The sound engine is superb, with creaks, bumps, and foul-mouthed family members that antagonize Ethan at every step.
Resident Evil 7 brings survival horror back home with a stellar new perspective, scary enemies, and trademark gameplay that tosses the old formula out the door and invites a brand new unease in. To quote Jack Baker, “Welcome to the family, son”.