Resident Evil 7 is dropping in January next year, and is looking to be a massive departure from its previous action-oriented directory and back to the horror-centric roots of the franchise.
The game itself has been shrouded in a lot of mystery since its announcement, with only a few short “tapes” or gameplay videos being shown to the public. However, a number of international game journos have had the chance to play the game for a couple hours; and here’s what they have to say about Capcom’s survival rejuvenation:
“So if there’s no Chris, no Jill, no Wesker, no Umbrella, no glowing orange weak spots and no arsenal of weapons, what is there? Genuinely the best Resident Evil experience I’ve had in a long time, one where I was scared and challenged, surprised by what I uncovered and intrigued to find out more.
“It might look different on the surface, but everything that made classic Resident Evil so great, for me, is present in Resident Evil 7 – uniquely weird puzzles, a foreboding atmosphere, a memorable locale and genuinely intimidating enemies. It isn’t action horror or horror entertainment – it’s real, classic survival horror.”
“What I’ve played so far has been encouragingly strong, to the point where this could easily stand alone without the Resident Evil name as a great horror game. The fact that it still can with that name attached (and its connotations of a melon-biceped Chris Redfield fighting bone dinosaurs) probably says more. The four or five hours I’ve seen has actually been one of the best things I’ve played this year, riffing the series’ familiar values off the uncertainty of its newer ideas to create something unpredictable and, above all else, interesting.”
“This is the confident re-imagining we should’ve got two sequels ago. All that matters is that it’s here now and it’s terrifying. If the remaining hours are as consistent as the five I got to play, few games in 2017 will come close to touching it, horror or otherwise.”
“Resident Evil 7 displays both confidence and humility – a tricky blend to achieve. It hasn’t stubbornly ignored successful trends that have fuelled modern horror games – like the widespread shift to first-person – nor has it simply mind its own reservoir of images and characters to create new terrors. For the first time in years, the series has looked outside of itself and this has resulted in a meaningful evolution of the series. But this isn’t a departure, far from it; this is a homecoming. Resident Evil 7 breaks its recent traditions in order to better serve the original design. Once again, you’re alone in a sprawling gothic house, surrounded by terrible things, and you have to survive. It feels at once both old and new, familiar and unknown, and – for the first time in years – like the most interesting and exciting horror game around.”
“Resident Evil VII, based on my time with it, already feels bolder and more confident than recent franchise installments. It feels content to let the level design and atmosphere drive the pacing forward. There were no quick-time events during my demo, and explosions were few and far between.
I can’t speak to the quality of the entire game. But as someone who has been waiting for the series to find its way back to its horror roots for years now, I’m excited. It feels as if Capcom might finally remember what made the series great to begin with, and finally knows how to mine that legacy without using it as a crutch.”
“Although the discomfort in VR is disappointing, I’m delighted at how good Resident Evil 7 is. There’s so much more I wish I could tell you, but to do so would spoil the experience. Capcom has done a superb job of bringing the series back to its roots in an incredible way. The most apt description I can think of is: “The original Resident Evil in first-person.” And if that doesn’t get you excited, you’re probably a zombie.
This is the scariest, most entertaining survival horror game I’ve played, and if it can maintain this level of performance at launch, it has the potential to surpass Resi 4 as the series’ greatest.”
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