Resident Evil 7: biohazard

Resident Evil 7: biohazard

There’s a staggering irony to Resident Evil 7: biohazard. Despite being arguably the least original mainline entry in its often-ground-breaking series, it may actually be the best of the bunch. It’s all about revival rather than reinvention (to a much deeper level than just reverting the genre), but it does so with significant modernization that makes it compulsively playable while reintroducing horror more intensely than ever. The first-person perspective immediately makes it the best-controlled Resident Evil in existence, and outsourcing the narrative to western writers drains away its usual uncomfortable campiness. The plot is unfortunately full of holes and incomplete threads, which certainly puts a damper on things, but it’s also presented in a variety of clever ways that make it worthwhile.

With the series’ two most common issues ironed out, the game can now focus on what it does best: level design and scaring the shit out of me. The former is like playing Gone Home with traditional gameplay instead of the genre bait-and-switch – a compact but thoroughly detailed environment that greatly assists with narrative immersion. As for the latter, Resident Evil 7 excels at predicting player behaviour, so its jump scares are woven organically and unexpectedly into the gameplay. The audio design also ratchets up the paranoia by always giving a sense that there’s something else nearby even when you’re alone. The voice acting and writing are still fairly mediocre, however.

7/10
7/10

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