After Resident Evil 6 took an all-out action approach, Resident Evil 7 brings everything back to what first defined the series: survival horror.
You now explore the world from first-person, and the environments are suitably dark and dingy, recapturing the sense of dread and suspense from the earlier games.
And with Resident Evil 7 releasing this week, reviews have already started rolling in from the international publications; but what do they think of the reinvented scare-veteran?
“By the end of the campaign, I was ready for the game to be over, but that’s okay. RE7 ends just as it starts to outstay its welcome, and after the fact, I felt like I’d survived a truly harrowing journey. The boss fights may be slightly inconsistent and certain sections might drag after a while, but RE7 is still a remarkable success. It has a clear vision and executes it with impressive patience and precision. By returning to horror, Resident Evil has once again become something special.”
“I would have been pleasantly surprised with much less than Resident Evil 7 brings to bear. I would have settled for, been excited for “not bad.” But the Resident Evil series has thrived for over 20 years now in part because of a willingness to change the franchise, to mutate with the times. Resident Evil 7‘s changes — especially the shift to first-person — may be off-putting to some. But it’s an evolution that fits perfectly into the world and source material Capcom has created. It’s hard to know if Resident Evil 7 will stand the test of time as much as classics like the original, or RE4. Taken on its own, however, it’s an excellent game that pushes the series in worthy new directions.”
“Resident Evil 7 grounds itself in elements that made the original great while still indulging in a risky new shift in style that both helps and hurts the beloved formula in equal measure. But it’s also the closest a numbered sequel has come to recapturing Resident Evil’s slow, but thrilling and atmospheric adventure game roots in a while — a welcome return that I truly hope to see more of in the future.”
”2005’s Resident Evil 4 was an astonishing redefinition, not only of its series but also, thanks to the introduction of the ‘over-the-shoulder’ perspective, of third-person action games in general. Resident Evil 7’s impact is more localised, but no less effective. Reinventing older game series’ to fit ever expanding technological boundaries while maintaining their quiddity is one of the great challenges in game design. Indeed, it’s one that Resident Evil’s creators have failed to meet on numerous occasions. Resident Evil 7, by contrast, is a masterclass: breezily new, yet quintessentially in character with its illustrious forbearers.”
“At heart [Resident Evil 7 is] a fairly pedestrian species of bogeyman – a series of peekaboo jolts and serviceable gun battles strewn across a sumptuous, cohesive environment, constructed with no shortage of craft but not a whole lot of real imagination. Those doors may unnerve at first glance, but once you’ve acclimatised to Resident Evil 7’s tactics, it seldom gives you much reason to be afraid of what lurks beyond.”
“Resident Evil 7 is a confident attempt at reinvention. But it’s the way it channels the older games, particularly the first, that really makes it great. It takes an industrial pressure washer to the series, blasting off years of accumulated filth and grime. And you’re left with a lean, polished survival horror that borrows from its legacy, but isn’t afraid to look to modern horror games for inspiration too. It loses something in the final act, and a few of the boss battles feel like a hangover from the bad old days, but otherwise this is comfortably the best Resident Evil in years.”
“Capcom has successfully reinvented Resident Evil in the past, the most notable deviation being the brilliant Resident Evil 4. This new vision doesn’t reach the same heights of spectacle and gameplay innovation as that breakthrough release but is a welcome addition to the series (both in terms of gameplay and lore), and a nice entry point for newcomers.”
“I had hoped to enjoy Resident Evil 7 for what it appeared to be: a strange, Western approach to the series. I didn’t expect it to hark so close to the series’ roots while managing to still bring some action and more intuitive controls. Production-wise, this is the best Capcom’s ever done, with believable performances (wait ’til you see the Baker’s son. Something about him is so freakishly real to me) and wonderfully creepy audio design. With or without VR, Capcom nailed the pulse-pounding atmosphere and I am finally legitimately excited to see what it’s going to do next. Though the enemy design could have been more varied, the bosses more than make up for that. The last hour and boss is slightly underwhelming, but everything up to that is consistently amazing. Resident Evil 7 went beyond my expectations, and I feel we have an instant classic here. I want to jump back in right now, and I have a feeling I’ll be doing so for years to come.”
“This is easily the best Resident Evil game in years. It masterfully blends Eastern and Western horror sensibilities into a truly terrifying package that also harkens back to the series’ roots.”