Opinion

Thoughts on Resident Evil 7 From a Couple of Stubborn Fans

It’s not long now until horror fans welcome the eagerly awaited Resident Evil 7 later this month. From the reveal at E3 2016 to this point, we’ve seen enough gameplay and trailers to gather that Capcom mean business and are set to push the series in a new, dynamic direction compared to the action-packed sequels in recent years.

Jerry and I are both loyal fans who’ve discussed Resident Evil in many articles. Both of us love many games in the series and have had our loyalty tested at the worst of times. I myself wrote a piece that expressed my concern with the new title but have recently decided that this could be the right step for Resident Evil. Jerry and I have some thoughts on what we expect and what we want from Resident Evil 7.

Up close and personal. (Resident Evil 7, Capcom)

First Person vs. Third Person

Patrick

I personally hated this choice at first, but I’m of two minds now. I understand the concept of limiting vision–the confined spaces of the Baker mansion is going to be thrilling and offers a nice nod toward the style of the older games. The restriction of vision while being chased by crazed maniacs does indeed bring the series back to a tension filled experience. But on the other hand, it’s a lazy move to be honest as for the last several years the implementation of the first-person view in horror games has been done time and time again.

It’s an easy fix to the problem Resident Evil 6 created and Capcom have done better and could have done better. Let’s not forget these guys redefined many genres of gaming with Resident Evil 4. But we’ll see.

Jerry

First-person games were the last type of games that I was drawn into, and I can thank Elder Scrolls IV for that. Had that game not been so epic, I may never have gotten into Call of Duty, Bulletstorm, and the like. I grew up during the third-person over-the-shoulder era of the original Resident Evil games, Silent Hill, and Metal Gear Solid. That is what I expected from Resident Evil 7. I was a bit saddened by the first-person demo and hoped that Capcom was going the route of P.T. with the demo and then the reveal of an over-the-shoulder character. That didn’t happen, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the demo–I’m just an old-fashioned type of Resident Evil player. I’m not a huge fan of change since most of the time that change brings failure, and I don’t want Capcom to fail. After I get my chance to play through the game, I hope to eat a lot of crow. I want to be wrong, and I want to love this game, and I hope Capcom gives me the chance to.

The reason I like third person so much is the fact that you rarely miss an item. For instance, I was playing the demo and I missed the all-important basement key because I couldn’t see it. With a third-person view, I can see everything around me and find all the precious herbs and cranks without wasting time. I will welcome Resident Evil 7 with open arms, but if it’s bad, I will carefully glance over its shoulder for the Resident Evil 2 remake.

Putting it together in classic Resi fashion. (Resident Evil 7, Capcom)

Puzzles

Patrick

This is the most intriguing aspect of gameplay I’ve seen so far and love the possibilities of dynamic puzzle designs. From finding keys that unlock extremely gruesome looking doors with brass scorpions covering them to viewing old VHS tapes that reveal clues to your progression, everything seems fantastic. I did find the dummy hand puzzle in the Midnight update a little too obscure but at the same time refreshing and challenging.

I’m eager to see more puzzles that really challenge the player’s lateral side of the brain.  

Jerry

I always enjoyed solving those random puzzles in Resident Evil where you had to push things in the proper order or you would die a most violent death. It was always tough when those were discovered right after a save instead of after about four hours of playtime. There is nothing like having to backtrack through all the twists and turns of the mansion because you wanted to save your ink ribbon and get the best score once you won. However, the coin rewards do interest me, and I wonder if we will get another glance at the Merchant who seemed only to stalk Leon Kennedy. Will those coins be tender for better weapons, upgrades, or items to escape the filthy mansion? We will all find out late in January. I just can’t wait to turn some more of those rusty cranks again, this time in first person.

Welcome to the family, son. (Resident Evil 7, Capcom)

Baker Family

Patrick

I wasn’t a big fan of Resident Evil 3 but loved the Nemesis aspect. This was truly a dynamic feature for the series and horror gaming, and now we get it again with an enemy just as horrid. I like the look of the Baker family and the appeal they offer in the series. They were just a normal family until something horrible happened and now they’re hunting you down.

Jack, the dad in the demo, seems to be the most appealing, as we’ve seen more of him than anyone else. He has a crude, dark sense of humor, which could work well to make you laugh and cry at the sight of his sheer brutality. Marguerite looks to possess a mutant-like power that allows control of insects–very Resident Evil indeed. Then there’s Lucas who could be the worst of them all. He’s a bad seed it seems, and we’ve seen little of him. He could be the most dangerous character, or Capcom may not be confident enough in the character to show him in the trailers.

In any case, I’m thrilled to encounter them.

Jerry

What worries me most about the Baker family is the fact that when I encountered them, I thought I was just playing a Texas Chainsaw Massacre game. I really never got the old fashioned Resident Evil feel from the family. I long for the days of Hunters and Wesker chasing after me, and I don’t know how I feel about a plain old family chasing me around their house. The most interesting aspect of the Baker family is that I won’t know what they’re going to throw at me as I try to escape. I’m hoping that Wesker will make an appearance, or even perhaps some T-virus baddies, but I’m really not holding my breath for them.

Welcome home. (Resident Evil 7, Capcom)

Mansion Difference

Patrick

It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed the game world of a horror title. Resident Evil speaks volumes and engrossed players with its simple, yet horrifying confined and decrepit mansion. You don’t get them like that anymore, and the return of a huge mansion environment is perfect.  

An old plantation with hidden doors, buried secrets, and a dark history is just what any player needs to explore in a horror game. Its decayed state is a tell of what happened to those who ventured there and a sign that the Bakers were once just normal people. The atmosphere seems electrifying and the environment is creepy as hell, making for the perfect grand return we hope for in a Resident Evil game.

Jerry

What made the Spencer Mansion so scary was how pristine it was. Not a single item was out of place, and you didn’t find out what terrible experiments were taking place until a few hours after being in the mansion. At the Baker estate, you already know you’re in deep trouble when a farmer family has you tied to a dinner table and wants you to eat something mysterious. This new mansion makes me cringe in different ways, the first being that it’s filthy– if I were in such a situation, I would want a bath right away. I am glad the Capcom has decided to trap you in a world again, as Resident Evil started to go astray when you could traverse the world. Being able to flee the horror and fight it somewhere else, made everything much less horrifying. When you are trapped somewhere trying to fight your way through, it’s much scarier to me. And being trapped in a run-down mansion seems like a great idea.

Where will we go? (Resident Evil 7, Capcom)

Story Surprises

Patrick

Very little is spoken of the story, but we’re told this will link up with the main series in many ways. Will Leon return for an epic finale involving rocket launchers? Will Wesker come back or will giant insects break loose after being infected with a new virus–P-Virus sounds cool. We don’t know. But we’re getting a break from the RE6 family reunion nonsense of having the repeated use of old characters.

The Bakers, I’m sure, have a connection to Umbrella as they seem to be conducting experiments in the basement with devastating results. There’s also the voice on the phone that could indeed be a long lost daughter working for a newly resurrected Umbrella. I’d be happy if this stayed far away from the main story and until the finale where a big twist is revealed. I’d be happy if Barry turned up and fought Jack. That’d be epic!

Jerry

I like the fact that Capcom has kept the story hidden from us gamers. I want to be surprised as all hell when all the reveals take place. Heck, I won’t even read reviews until I’ve played the game! I may scroll down to see what it scores, but I definitely don’t want to read any of the story portions of the game. What really vexed me during the demo was the fact that you learned the story through VHS tapes. I’m pretty sure that a majority of the people who play this game have never seen a VHS tape before. So this gets me thinking, is this the true start to the whole fiasco, or does this take place after Racoon City and the death of Wesker? Those are the questions I want answered. Is the protagonist Billy? Will we finally get to learn how he ends up on the train with Rebecca? Or is Capcom bypassing all the old lore and starting anew?

Here we are, our thoughts on the game that could revive this beloved horror series or simply put it deeper in the ground. Well, I’m sure it’s better than Resident Evil 6 or Umbrella Corps, and we would love to hear what you guys think!

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