Resident Evil 7, a game that sticks to the original horror tropes that made it such a legendary franchise and leaves you wanting more. Gone are the days of quick time boulder pushing and magical merchants waiting in caves and while part of me will miss these it was time to shake up the franchise and this was just the game to do that!
By now you have either finished the game or are simply interested in the storyline without any of the jump scares and keeping all of your limbs attached.
You play as Ethan Winters. A man with no military experience and very dapper clothing taste on a search for his wife, Mia, who has been missing for 3 years and magically sent him an email with her current location. So as most people would do in the situation, he tells no one where he is going and takes off alone with no weaponry into the middle of the most messed up bayou I’ve seen in years. Quite frankly if I had been Ethan and pulled up to see that derelict mansion, I would have turned around and left Mia behind, I mean he thought she was dead for 3 years, I’m sure he will be able to move on. But alas because Ethan is the hero of the story (and you’ve paid good money for a game that is more than a video clip drive to a mansion then credits and a bonus scene of Ethan subscribing to a dating site) he must venture onwards into the house that even deliverance would be scared of dressed as Freddie from Scooby Doo. Right about now is when he should kiss goodbye to that hand of his and send someone off to the nearest corner mart to pick up some staples….
Note to self: buy eggs, feed the cat, hire an army to rescue my wife…
Honestly Ethan, there must be some kind of government agency you can call to save your wife without sacrificing (quite literally) life and limb, or maybe you even have a few close friends or family that would be willing to die for your happiness? It’s all about planning. Unfortunately when you enter the guest house you have no idea just what to expect and seeing as Ethan is the first American video game character to not wander into a haunted house with a gun you at a significant disadvantage from the start. Don’t worry it won’t last for long and if anything it just adds to the fear at the beginning of the game, building up tension and truly making you feel unprepared and totally isolated in an alien environment. Gone are the days of Leon round house kicking evil doers to the ground and running past while their heads exploded, now there is just plenty of running and hiding (especially when playing on the madhouse mode for your first play through).
There were four moments in the game that made me pause and make a cup of tea.
- When you first meet the family for a lovely cannibal dinner and good ol’ Granny is just sitting in her wheelchair, judging you for your non serial killer ways, and you see the way the family treats each other. Plus being stabbed in the face in first person view wasn’t so great… I really wanted to play this game in VR but I was glad that I didn’t after that scene!
- Whistling Grandma… No thank you!!
- That moment when Mia first becomes the grudge… I mean, she couldn’t warn us or anything? A quick little “sorry Ethan, I’m the grudge” to much to ask for?
- Clancy’s puzzle room with the cake. If Portal taught us one thing it was to never trust cake and crazy people (read robots). Sure enough that’s true again… I found it particularly disturbing because the puzzles rang a little too close to my own childhood. The creepy clown brought back my childhood fear of clowns and mascots, while the room with balloons reminded me of a party game I had at a couple of my birthday parties where you would enter a room of full of balloons and search for one that had a clue to continue on with the treasure hunt. Plus the fact that they took away my inventory, so I lost the safety of my precious guns and herbs, was upsetting as well. #RIPClancy
It’s not too late for Tinder
I couldn’t believe it when you find Mia within the first few moments of the game, a couple of jumps scares and boom, there she is. Grab some bolt cutters that a very handily right next to the chain and set her free, prepare to regret this life decision in about 5 minutes time. After some ranting and raving by Mia while she leads you to the exit #redflag- if she knows where the exit is, why didn’t she up and leave on her own – she will be “kidnapped” and dragged through a wall. Being the hopeless romantic that Ethan is you chase after her only to discover a locked door prevents you from going any further. That’s fine, I’ll just head back the way that I came, get back in my car, drive to freedom and return with the army but before you can finish this though you are attacked by…. MIA?! What the hell happened to you! She’s going full grudge mode, while you try to work out the controls to defend yourself. Eventually she ends up with a hatchet to the neck and “dies”.
Okay, so that’s game over right…? Wrong!
The phone rings and you head over to answer it because why not? You’ve just murdered your possessed wife and have broken into someone’s house, so let’s just answer their phone too, maybe we’ll get lucky and it will be… Zoe? Who the hell is Zoe? And why is she so southern compared to the rest of the family. Sure let’s just trust her right of the bat, maybe you don’t need Tinder after all Ethan.
You hear the locked door slam closed and head down only to see a blood pool and your hatchet where Mia’s dead body once was. Grab the hatchet, it will make you feel a little bit better about life (but not for long). After a bit of gameplay you’re about to head to the attic (because that will obviously be safe) when Mia jumps out, taking about 5 years off my life. Damn jump scares!! She seems fine and totally understands why you felt the need to bury an axe in the side of her neck and leave her to die. As Mia is talking she starts to back up and you can see her shadow and that one of her hands is behind her back… Before you can say “Scooby Doo where are you?” Grudge Mia grabs your hand, puts it up against the wall and stabs a screwdriver through it. Now if you thought that was upsetting you head best close your eyes and kiss goodbye to that hand because she has a chainsaw and axe to grind (haha, puns). Now you are running around the house with your warm hand in your inventory wondering what you did to deserve this before Mia cuts the attic window in half with her chainsaw and jumps through, chasing you about and getting all Ashy-Slashy. Eventually you will “kill” her again and she will make a few grunts before collapsing. Little did I realise until my second play-through when I had the subtitles on that she says “I love you” which totally changed my opinion of her character.
So now it’s definitely over, I hear you ask… Wrong again!
That was only the first 30-ish minutes of the game and by far the most terrifying. Now you will start to meet the Baker family and more specifically Jack Baker, who you meet when he drags you into the mansion (it’s not a Resident Evil game without one) unconscious. You awaken to see Jack cutting of his sons arm for back chatting him, he then tries to force you to eat a piece of brain and when you refuse he stabs you in the face and then he starts screaming at his psycho wife before they all leave you in the room with only their wheelchair bound grandma that you just know is up to something from day 1. After rocking yourself free from the chair restrains you are free to have a wander around a couple of the rooms for a hot minute (all while watching grandma for sudden movements) before you hear heavy set footsteps and a door creak open. What’s that.. you wish you had a gun… not just yet, I hope you have your running shoes on! Jack will be “slightly” displeased that you have escaped his fool proof chair restraints and will start smashing through walls like a demolitions expert. Thus begins the tone for the next chunk of the game. Sneaking, running and hiding. As you start to unravel the mystery that is the Baker family you will have many questions and quite a few of these will remain unanswered. Most of them are based around Lucas, with any questions you had about Zoe being mainly answered in the Daughters DLC.
Now once you have fought through to the end half of the game, solving all of the very strange puzzles that the Bakers have installed in their property long before they were infected and surviving Lucas’s puzzle room you will have to face a pick you own horror choice- save Zoe, the girl that has tried to “help” without really helping. She could have perhaps mentioned that her family were insane and bullets didn’t do too much to them. Or you can save Mia, the whole reason you got into the mess to start with. Now I was all up for popping back into the mansion and picking up the ingredients to make another batch of cure so everyone could go home relatively happy. But alas you must choose. I chose to save Mia, after all this why not. And that turned out to be the right decision. If you cure Zoe she dies a few moments later and Mia won’t help you later in the game. You will float down the river with the girl you chose to save until Eveline attacks and either kills Zoe or washes Mia overboard. You wake up on the shores of a tanker ship that has been washed into the bayou by a hurricane as Mia and so begins flashback city as Mia starts to remember who she is and what happened to her all while trying to save Ethan. This is when the game starts to feel like a Resident Evil game of old and Mia has no time for the moulded’s shenanigans. Machine guns at the ready. Eventually you will catch up to Eveline and Ethan, Mia sacrifices herself to save Ethan, pushing him through a door before grudging out and attacking Eveline. Eventually you will end up in a mine shaft system (because don’t forget, at the end of the day, it’s still a RE game) and will stumble across a tonne of documents that attempt to explain everything and allow you to make the magical kill Eveline serum. Now you have everything to take on Eveline- prepare yourself for disappointment- she turns out to be the creepy Grandma and after a quicktime final boss fight you will end up on a helicopter with Mia flying into the sunset as the credits roll.
DLC- Otherwise known as content that should be included in the game.
The DLC for RE7 is quite pricey at over $40- and after downloading it I can safely say it’s not worth that price tag, especially given it was released just over a week after the main game. You play as Clancy for the most of the Banned Tapes, escaping puzzle rooms, surviving nightmares and keeping all of your fingers in high stakes blackjack. None of which really expand on the main story of the game and can be completed very quickly, especially the puzzle room which I finished in under 30 minutes. The last banned tape is titled Daughters and explores the night the Baker family found Eveline. While I enjoyed looking around the house before it was run down and using the staircase for the first time, it was over in once again less than 30 minutes, and while it can be played twice as there are two endings it still doesn’t feel like $40- of value. You also get 2 extra game modes, both of which don’t really add anything to the story. Here’s hoping that the free DLC will explain some of the plot holes in the story!
I give the main game 4/5 meows, it could have gotten 5 meows if it had explained itself at the end and the main boss hadn’t been a quick time event. If this is amended with the free DLC I might upgrade the rating.
I give the DLC 2/5 meows, this would be the most I had paid for DLC and it was not worth it at all. I would have been better of watching it on Youtube to settle my curiosity. The only reason that it got 2 meows was because I love puzzles, so the puzzle room was its saving grace.
Overall Resident Evil 7- Biohazard gets 3/5 meows.
Feel free to keep reading below as I have some points that I’m hoping are true and if you have any points you would like to discuss feel free to get in touch using the contact box at the end of this post. Thanks for reading!
Ethan who..? I hear you ask
No one is too sure just what Ethan has to do with the Resident Evil universe. There is speculation that he is the one of the Umbrella scientists on an Albert Wesker kill list in the fifth game. This list simply has Ethan W listed as deceased but could it be this Ethan? Then there is my own theory that I’m really hoping is true, that Ethan is actually a clone of Albert Wesker, after his death at the hands of Chris Redfield in the fifth game. Now clones are no new feature to the universe, so why not bring back the ultimate big bad of the games and make you defend him through the horrible happenings of the seventh game. You have to admit that the face Capcom released as Ethan doesn’t look anything like the character stills that people have been generating from the flashback fight scene with Mia towards the end of the game. He looks a lot more like Wesker. The effort that the game designers went to to hide his face started off as humorous but eventually began to do my head in! I just wanted to know who he was! This raises another question. If you are Wesker then that definitely couldn’t have been Chris Redfield that descended from the helicopter at the end of the game. He would have been less “let me help you” and more “didn’t I kill you in a volcano?” followed by many explosions. So many questions that will hopefully be answered in DLC. Perhaps when we play from “Chris’s” point of view and we will finally see Ethan’s face. One can only hope.
Is Ethan infected? And just how infected was Zoë?
Surely Ethan also has to be infected, the question is now with Evelyn dead how will this affect him? She never truly took complete control of Ethan, with him retaining his free will throughout the game but surely that doesn’t mean that the infection will simply leave his system magically. Could he be the new Evelyn? Could this be why the new calming blue version of Umbrella decided to help him? Or did Ethan already know these people, he does seem to be a little bit familiar with the rescue squad by the tone of his voice. Instead of being thankful for the assistance he instead asks “where the hell were you guys?” ask if they should have known to be there much sooner. Who does he ring at the start of the game? That’s the only person that he told about what he was doing. Could it have been someone at the blue Umbrella or perhaps even Redfield? If Ethan does/did work for Umbrella surely someone would have done a background check on Mia and discovered that she worked for the their rival company. Was Mia only with Ethan for information? That would make the whole life saving heroics feel a little empty… but would be a good twist I suppose. And where does he get the apple watch from? It’s the exact same as Mia’s and seeing as she isn’t wearing one anymore one would assume it is the same one (something tells me that the Baker’s wouldn’t be able to make them…) which would mean that the watch would be made by the rival company, so how is Umbrella able to call Ethan through it? And who gives him the watch? One would assume it was Zoë, the “helpful” woman that reattaches your hand with a staple gun because clearly there was no needle and thread around. This raises the question of how did she get it? Evelyn never seemed to take to Zoë as she constantly fought back against her control but how did she not get infected for nearly 3 years while the rest of her family went completely bonkers? She was only living in a caravan outside the house the entire time, it’s not like she was on a world tour and just made it back to find her family in mass murdering shambles. Was she always under Evelyn’s control and being made to lure Ethan into difficult places in an attempt to kill him. If you chose to cure Zoë instead of Mia, she dies before you get to the large ship while begging Evelyn to stop and slowly turning into a plaster cast mould of herself before the small boat you are on is capsized. Does this mean she was infected for the same amount of time as the rest of the family? Jack and Margarite both die in a similar plaster cast fashion and files found around the place do explain that the cure will only work for people that haven’t been completely infected yet. Also seeing as Zoë is in the dream vision Ethan has with Jack would make you think she is indeed just as infected. That raises another question. Where is Margarite in the dream vision? It makes sense that Lucas wouldn’t be there as he is partially cured by blue Umbrella and he’s also the only family member that is still alive at that point in the game, but you would think that Margarite would have something to say for herself. I know that I would like to chase her around with house with a tin of bug spray, that’s for sure!!
So many questions!!