Resident Evil 7 Header Image

The header image for this post was created Capcom, and used as a promotional image for Resident Evil VII: Biohazard

What happens when your wfie, who has been missing for 3 years, suddenly sends you an email with a message begging you not to come find her? And what about when she emails again, a short while later, begging you to come and find her?

mixed messages much?

You get into your car and drive over to a creepy house and find her, of course.

Djstump: I’d call the A Team

I recently played through Resident Evil VII: Biohazard with the help of Djstump.

he really is the Resident Evil master

But Jay, you guys have already covered Resident Evil VII, what gives?

Good memory. In fact, that post was the first one we published

well, the first post we published was more of a welcome message

But, that was written shortly before RE:VII came out, and was all about how Djstump’s thoughts on the Resident Evil franchise attempting to re-enter the FPS genre.

The whole point of this post is for me to put together my thoughts on this game. It’s not a review, and probably wont be as detailed or interesting to read as Djstump’s post on it

if we can convince him to write one

but it will list my thoughts on the things which make up the game (atmosphere, design, etc.).

Anyway…

The Game

Resident Evil VII: Biohazard (known as “Biohazard 7: Resident Evil” in Japan) is a Playstation 4 game developed and published by Capcom in 2017. It was also released on Microsoft Windows and Xbox One in the same year.

This Game is Beautiful

Seriously, as soon as I was able to control Ethan, I was blown away by how pretty this game is.

Djstump: he may have been drooling and dry humping the controller

Resident Evil VII Forest, Day
This is the view you’re presented with when you start the game

As soon as Ethan steps out of his car (at the beginning of the game), I made him look around and was blown away by how gorgeous this game really is.

I don’t want to start a flame war or anything, but I played it on Xbox One

Moving from a third person action game to a first person survival horror shooter has enabled the development team to reduce the number of things rendered to the screen

which has also allowed them to create a minimalist UI, too

This has increased the graphical fidelity and throughput for the game. Meaning that you can get up close and personal with foliage and even see a realistic shadow as Ethan wanters about on his quest to find his wife and figure out what is going on.

Another thing that I place on my FPS quality check list is the ability to look down and see the body of the character you’re playing as.

I’ve started using this since Tresspasser came out; Tresspasser used a unique mechanic of allowing the player to look down at the main character’s chest. Tattoo’d on one of the characters breasts

it was a 90’s FPS, after all

was the player’s health meter:

Tresspasser health meter
Forgive the gratuitous cleavage shot. The health meter is the heart-shaped tattoo in this screen shot

Djstump: holy cack, you could ski down that cleavage!

As the player took damage, the colour in the tattoo would fade and drain away.

In RE:VII it is entirely possible to look down and see Ethan’s body. It’s a really tiny thing, but since this game is meant to be one of the VR killer apps, it makes sense that the player can see Ethan’s body. Otherwise it would break the immersion, I guess.

and you can tell that Capcom want RE:VII to be the VR killer app just by the number of jump scares in the game

This Game is Full-On Horror

Resident Evil hasn’t been survival horror for a long time

in my opinion, anyway.

but RE:VII is a return to the good stuff.

Sure there are plenty of jump scares, but most of the horror comes from either the atmosphere or the feeling of being constantly chased by members of the Baker family.

Clancy
Clancy provides one of the first jump scares in the game

My favourite section of the game was when I was being chased by Marguerite through an old house. Marguerite walks really slowly through the old house, looking for both Mia (as part of a flashback) and Ethan. She really does stalk the player, and you can only tell where she is by paying full attention to the sounds and lighting.

She makes her way through the old house at a speed which would make Jason Voorhees complain that she needed to pick up the pace. Sure she takes a pre-set route, but she turns around and goes back the same way she came at random points, just to keep you on your toes.

Combine all that with the fact that your running speed isn’t that much faster than your walking speed don’t be surprised if you have more panic attacks that Stressed Eric and Courage the Cowardly Dog combined.

thanks to Djstump for that last joke

There’s still a lot of the creepy stuff that players of the recent Resident Evil games have come to know and love. It isn’t on the same level as the attempt of creepiness that Resident Evil 4D Executer had though – which is a good thing.

the whole thing is available on YouTube, if you really want to watch it

The moulded are a perfect example of the level of creepiness that I like in survival horror games.

image of moulded

Similarly with William Birkin’s final form from Resident Evil 2: I didn’t think this was too far on the creepiness/ridiculous scale.

William Birkin's Final Form
Source: https://www.giantbomb.com/william-birkin/3005-3332/

Birkin’s design in this final stage makes sense, because the player is locked in a train carriage and is meant to take up as much space as possible.

But I do feel like the final boss from RE:VII was a little over the top.

warning: the following paragraphs may contain spoilers

Eveline’s final form

Eveline is the antagonist, yo

reminds me of when Dirty Rotten Applehead breaks through the cabin door at the end of Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn.

Evil Dead 2 Dirty Rotten Applehead
Source: http://www.deadites.net/the-evil-dead-films/evil-dead-2-dead-by-dawn/evil-dead-2-dead-by-dawn-characters/

Except that Eveline’s head is connected to a tree-like structure which explodes from the Baker household.

Eveline's Final Form
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2Vk8RhEPts

Djstump: forget L’Oréal, we need a flamethrower – because we need it

You could see this an an homage to Evil Dead 2, or it could possibly be taken as a natural progression of character design.

or perhaps designing yourself into a corner

Tie-In Stuff

Anyone who knows me will know that I’ma big fan of L’Arc~en~Ciel, who are a Japanese rock band. Well, they teamed up with Capcom to produce a VR music video to their song Don’t be Afraid and released it on the PSN for anyone who has the Playstation VR headset.

I don’t have the Playsation VR headset. I don’t even

currently

have a PS4. But what I do have is access to The Internet.

Once I knew that the music video for Don’t be Afraid was going to be a VR title, I started looking around for people who had recorded it. I’ll leave a YouTube embed here, for those who might want to watch it, but be aware the the camera work is often janky because it’s people moving their heads around.

It seems to be set in the Resident Evil 2/3 time frame – the inclusion of both Nemesis and Lean Kennedy, along an exploding truck at the end, kind of prove this.

It’s a good song (in my opinion) and the graphics look cool. If this is a preview of things to come with the upcoming Resident Evil 2 remake…


What did you think of Resident Evil VII? If you haven’t played it, what has put you off of playing it?

Did you watch the Don’t Be Afraid music video? What did you think? And what do you think about the impending Resident Evil 2 remake?

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Jamie is one of the Waffling Taylors. He spends a lot of time blogging about things sometimes related to programming and sometimes not.