349: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Biohazard 7: Resident Evil)

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JaySevenZero
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349: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Biohazard 7: Resident Evil)

Post by JaySevenZero » December 31st, 2017, 3:22 pm

Here's where you can leave your thoughts regarding Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Biohazard 7: Resident Evil) for possible inclusion in the podcast when it's recorded.

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stvnorman
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Re: 349: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Biohazard 7: Resident Evil)

Post by stvnorman » February 24th, 2018, 4:51 pm

I’d have loved it if this didn’t have the word “Biohazard” in the title and been able to maintain the feeling of Texas Chainsaw inspired anxiousness that built up in the first few hours before the ooze started appearing. I’d also have appreciated it being a few hours shorter. But all the same it takes the series back to its horror roots, even including a nice nod to the dogs jumping through the windows in the original. It’s a lovely looking game, great attention to detail with surprisingly varied settings, and happily the puzzles aren’t too obscure, the inventory system isn’t too restrictive, and the save points aren’t too far apart.
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And please visit my retro gaming blog, retroarcadia.blog!

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KSubzero1000
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Re: 349: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Biohazard 7: Resident Evil)

Post by KSubzero1000 » March 4th, 2018, 4:35 pm

All right, let's do this.

The classic games in the series were eventually lambasted for overstaying their welcome and their lack of innovation, despite being based on a delightfully structured and mentally demanding design philosophy that was quite unique among AAA titles. And when it came out, Resident Evil 6 was rightfully criticized for its complete lack of polish and kitchen sink design style, despite having one of the most substantial and rewarding combat system in the industry. How sad that Capcom's idea of addressing these issues was to create a game with impeccable polish and a minimalist design style but no mechanical substance or mental challenge whatsoever.

Shortlist of grievances: The puzzles are solving themselves, the combat manages to be both insultingly shallow and tedious, the enemy variety is... somewhat "lacking", the map spoils your destination and objectives so as to deflate any need for orientation and mental planning, there is hardly any music, the bosses are pure setpieces and the item management is borderline non-existent. Last but not least, the constant first-person presentation robs the series of its signature visual language and introduces unskippable first-person cutscenes, which are quite possibly my least favourite storytelling technique in video games. RE7 has almost no direction to speak of, because it tries to bluntly emulate the kind of sensorial experience that the old RE games knew how to imply without sacrificing mechanical interaction in the process.

Horror, much like comedy, benefits from subtlety and restraint. The classic RE games work as horror for the same reason Portal does as comedy: because they're carefully constructed action/puzzle hybrids within a genre-themed setting. The horror elements are merely the delicious sauce that adds flavor to the experience, they aren't the entirety of the meal. That's why RE7 is so shallow. It's all spice and no fiber. It's all "Boo!" and no "Eureka!".

Perhaps it's just me struggling to get with the times - most consumers nowadays seem to prefer shallow games with standardized control schemes that don't require much mental effort. They want their games to serve up all their easily digestible contents on a silver platter so that they can move onto the next big thing as quickly as possible. Long-term engagement has been relegated to achievement and trophy hunting. And so it makes perfect sense that publishers and developers would give them what they want, considering how little money there is to be made from replay value, after all (!)

In any case, as a massive fan of the franchise I can only consider this game to be an enormous disappointment and a complete bastardization of the series' roots. The classic Resident Evil games are absolute masters in the art of achieving a lot with very little thanks to their fantastic direction and crystal-clear dichotomy between gameplay and presentation, whereas Resident Evil: Other M is all about doing less with more due to its uninspired presentation style and over-reliance on insipid scripted sequences. This game has a lot going for it, especially in the technological department, but it does unfortunately suffer from the sort of fundamental design choices that I can only describe as "unpatchable". What a complete and utter waste.

Like most other true classics of the medium, the mainline Resident Evil titles have always excelled at something, even at their worst. Resident Evil 7 on the other hand is serviceable in pretty much every aspect but excels at nothing, like the vast majority of modern games. It doesn't seem to be driven by any particular artistic vision and over-relies instead on popular tropes and design by committee. When judged on its own merit, RE7 is a perfectly adequate experience, albeit one that is artistically uninspired and rewards neither thought nor mastery. But when compared to the giants in whose footsteps it purports to walk, it fails in every aspect.

The movie Casablanca (1942) ends with Rick bidding farewell to his beloved Ilsa due to the harsh realities of life keeping them apart, gently consoling her with the legendary quote "We'll always have Paris.". This is pretty much where I am with Resident Evil at this point, if this game is anything to go by.

"We'll always have RE2, REmake & RE4, now go entertain your new audience because I sure as hell can't follow.".


Three Word Review: Vapid, Overbearing, Treasonous.

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Michiel K
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Re: 349: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Biohazard 7: Resident Evil)

Post by Michiel K » March 5th, 2018, 6:07 pm

What a sharp critique, bravo! I shall now attempt to cleanse what you wrote from my mind, so I can attempt to start this game with an open mind, when I'll eventually get around to playing it.
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Simonsloth
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Re: 349: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Biohazard 7: Resident Evil)

Post by Simonsloth » March 5th, 2018, 6:19 pm

Very interesting. Ksub you’ve just reeled off my favourites in the series so I’m a bit worried I’ll feel the same!!

Just out of interest did you play it in VR?

Also if it wasn’t called resident evil 7 would you feel the same? (Pointless question because it is but I’d be interested to know)

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KSubzero1000
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Re: 349: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Biohazard 7: Resident Evil)

Post by KSubzero1000 » March 5th, 2018, 6:33 pm

Simonsloth wrote:
March 5th, 2018, 6:19 pm
Just out of interest did you play it in VR?

Also if it wasn’t called resident evil 7 would you feel the same? (Pointless question because it is but I’d be interested to know)
I did not play it in VR. If the game wasn't a mainline RE game, I would probably find it just as bland, but I also would not be tempted to compare it so heavily to the other games in the franchise.

If you're interested in reading my more detailed thoughts on the subject of RE7, I strongly recommend checking out the discussion that I've been having with a few other members in the RE thread, especially these four posts:

Number 1
Number 2
Number 3
Number 4

What I wrote here is very much a heavily condensed version of what I wrote there. I'll happily address any feedback you may have! RE is serious business, after all. :P

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Re: 349: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Biohazard 7: Resident Evil)

Post by ThirdDrawing » March 31st, 2018, 8:02 pm

I have no interest in bad Rob Zombie movie knockoffs, so I didn't play this game.

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