The long awaited Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, has finally released to the world and it's finally safe to drop my point of view. I have completed the game 3 times since I got my copy on Saturday, and I have mixed feelings about the overall game. Of the play throughs, I enjoyed the first the most. Mainly because I wasn't aware of what would happen next. Playing through the third time, I am satisfied enough to put game down until some dlc releases next week.
So, that being said, let's get down to the nitty gritty of my take on the game.
As far as scary games go, Resident Evil VII dishes out some seriously tense moments that will get a rise out of many.
It's mysterious and spooky and when combined with Virtual Reality, you'll find that VR really ups the ante. It's no secret that I'm a big fan of VR, but it's also no secret that we have been lacking good games for the headset. RE7 is a nice addition to VR support. It is immersive and really lets you get lost inside this creepy old mansion.
If you have no interest in VR, not to worry, the game doesn't really cater more to one than the other. Playing on a tv screen is just as great, and I would be satisfied playing with it without the VR component.
The game comes with (what I consider), an excellent storyline. Different gamers get hung up on different things, but I have always found a good story to be just as important as game mechanics and in this day and age, graphics as well. While the setting can be (and is by many), compared to movie titles such as The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, the story stands out and raises the hair on the back of my neck.
The combat is not bad, but for the most part, you encounter the same enemy minions over a large mix of different characters. It falls flat in those regards. While the main villains of the game (The Baker Family) are excellent characters, I felt there weren't enough characters to fill the game. I will say, what almost makes up for the lack of characters, is the lack of survival options. Once upon a time, you could run into another room and escape and or even hide somewhere until the threat passes. Here, the threat will follow you into other rooms and on occasion, even safe rooms aren't safe. You really can't hide and you need to scavenge as much as you can to get through the game. Lack of resources make things tense, but you won't find yourself wondering what you need to do next.
The game is fairly obvious in pointing out what you need to be doing and the puzzles are kind of easy. There aren't as many puzzles as I was expecting (or hoping?), and I honestly found the beginning hour demo, to be a bit more challenging than the full game itself. While I wasn't unhappy that the demo wasn't actually part of the game, it did lead me to believe this game would have more of a challenge. It's a fairly easy game that can be completed in about 6-7 hours on the first run, if you aren't checking every nook and cranny.
Of course, despite the play through being relatively short, the game has high replay value. I haven't been able to complete the game in under 4 hours yet (I'm trying to unlock a trophy) and I have noticed more and more as I play through, that I missed initially, but as I said before, after the first play trough, it becomes a lot less scary as the mystery has depleted quite a bit. If you can you play in both VR and HDTV, I would recommend playing both, but I would say play the VR version first, if you really want to give yourself a good scare.
If you're a longtime fan of the series, you'll notice a lot of Easter eggs, paying homage to the older titles. RE7 is a good game, but it's not a great game. This isn't the game that everyone has been waiting for, it's just another horror title that is up to par with most current titles. Obviously taking cues from the PT Demo aka Silent Hills, Resident Evil VII: Biohazard, is a great way to fill the void, while we wait for something that releases and sets a new bar for horror titles. All in all, RE7 scores a 7.0 out of 10, which seems fitting in more ways than one. If you want to play, but aren't hell bent on it, I would say wait for a sale or even rent it at Red Box or Gamefly. What would you score Biohazard?