Hi there, dear steemians! So, I have returned from holiday, which was in a very sunny place (not a vampire, people), and I decided to play something which was the polar opposite of the place I was in. Here comes Resident Evil 7 and it is on sale! Yay!
Now, I did not personally play the original Resident Evil series, I actually started with 5, then went on to 6 and came back to 4, moving on to Resident Evil Revelations 2 and coming back to the first Revelations. Yes, I played them in a really jumbled order, and only the over-the-shoulder ones. Those are mostly action games with puzzle elements, combat being the main focus. I knew Resident Evil 7 was a much slower game, so I came prepared (I also played the demo starring the wonder camera man Clancy Javis). I can attest that the ending of the demo in which Clancy got away from the Baker Estate is not canon, but not gonna say any more about it.
So, I started up the game and the beginning chapter is there to set up the mood. You arrive at the estate as Ethan Winters, a guy searching his wife after she went missing three years ago. He gets a message from her from an isolated part of Louisiana...hey there Silent Hill 2, why are you in my Resident Evil game? Ethan quickly find his wife, but she seems to be infected with some kind of mold, which makes her switch between her normal self and a crazed savage who tries to kill Ethan. Pretty normal stuff in a marriage, I guess. Ethan seemingly kills her with an axe to the neck, but she gets up when our really loving husband is not looking and ambushes him, cutting his left hand off....and he puts it in his pocket afterwards...yeah. Our chopped protagonist tries to escape through the attic, but he is ambushed again by his wife, whom he kills again. Soon after, but is soon after very politely punched in the face and welcomed to the family by Jack Baker. This prologue is just the tip of the iceberg for the crazy crap which will eventually unfold at the Baker Estate, starting with Ethan at the family dinner, his had stapled back on to his body.
So, story is really bonkers, but what about the gameplay? This is an adventure game first, requiring you to solve inventory puzzles to get certain items, backtracking to get key items and optional treasures and running the hell away from enemies, because you are a civilian who can't run fast enough to dodge their attacks and can't aim all that well. You know, shooting a gun is easy, you get the safety off and pull the trigger. Aiming, on the other hand, requires training, and Ethan seems to lack that, as shoguns have immense kickback, hand guns wobble all over the place after shots, and he is not very accurate in general. I was very afraid this would be a game in the vein of Outlast or Amnesia, where you do not have offensive capabilities, but you gain some traction after getting the shotgun, although ammo is very limited. There is also a call back to the merchant from 4, by the form of some bird cages which require antique coins to unlock and get some goodies, like a health upgrade, a reload speed upgrade and a revolver. Your inventory is also quite limited, even when you max out the capacity, so trips to save rooms to use the item boxes are a must in order to always have the required equipment on you. All in all, it is really nice and I hope to see more of it in the next game (I know this is almost the same as the old games).
Graphics are also amazing, everything in the Baker Estate seems old, dirty and rotten, as if the house will soon fall on top of you. The molded enemies are disgusting as all hell, although really weak, the weapons look amazing, and the Bakers look like nice people who were corrupted to hell and back. The devs also play small tricks with the lighting to scare you, and it is pretty neat. The flashlight is reminiscent of Doom 3, meaning it is really weak, but at least you can have both light and weapons active at the same time.
All in all, I like this game, but it would have been much better if they removed the last third of the game, as it claches with the rest of it.