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

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

Post by Alex79uk » July 10th, 2018, 1:38 pm

Despite not being able to play the demo because I was too scared, I inexplicably bought Resident Evil 7 the other day. I am hoping to play and finish it before the podcast, but have a few questions if anyone wouldn't mind answering them?

How scary is it, really? I've played all the Resident Evil games up to 5 and loved them. I played the first Silent Hill, also.

Is there a lot of hiding and sneaking about?

Is there much getting chased? I can't deal with running away from things in first person games!

Hmm I think that's all! Thanks :)

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

Post by Alex79uk » July 10th, 2018, 1:40 pm

ThirdDrawing wrote:
March 31st, 2018, 8:02 pm
I have no interest in bad Rob Zombie movie knockoffs, so I didn't play this game.
Unsure of who you're slating here? Rob Zombie as in his films are knockoffs of classic horror movies? Or Resident Evil because the setting is a knockoff of The Devils Rejects? Maybe both? Either way its an odd stance, as I think you could level the same criticism at many games, really. As in they're just rip offs of existing tropes and settings.

FWIW, I loved House Of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects. Not seen his other movies.

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

Post by KSubzero1000 » July 10th, 2018, 1:59 pm

Alex79uk wrote:
July 10th, 2018, 1:38 pm
How scary is it, really?

Is there a lot of hiding and sneaking about?

Is there much getting chased? I can't deal with running away from things in first person games!
It is fairly scary. The atmosphere is definitely closer to the terror of Alien: Isolation than to the melancholy of REmake.

A little. But most of the sneaking sections are heavily scripted, there aren't really any genuine stealth mechanics or anything.

Several of the set pieces in the first half of the game are based on evasion and running away, I'm afraid.


For what it's worth, I found the demo to be significantly more atmospheric and oppressive than the main game, but your mileage may vary. There is one significant "horror" section in the middle of the game that stands out among the rest. Hope this helps!

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

Post by Simonsloth » July 10th, 2018, 9:41 pm

When playing this game the main question I asked myself throughout was can I really judge this as a resident evil game?

It is a huge departure for the series and although carries the moniker it bares little resemblance. This is much more acutely noticeable given the entire series has had the cain and rinse treatment over the last year meaning the previous iterations are far more fresh in my mind.

I’ll let other people talk about the game’s narrative, mechanics(or lack of) and comparisons to the rest of the series. I’d like to talk about my experiences playing the game in VR.

If judged as an advert for VR it is hands down the most impressive game I have played. It’s not a gimmicky tech demo or experience but a fully fledged VR survival horror game.

There are a few issues with making a game in VR which affect a lot of players to varying degrees such as motion sickness and VR fatigue which I am fortunate enough to not suffer too frequently. However given this is not a short sharp burst of fun the likelihood of these being an issue increases severalfold. The game has a nice tutorial which demonstrates how to play it and defaults to the mildest setting. The camera jumps rather than moves smoothly as this is designed to reduce the chance of motion sickness. It does make the game less fluid and slightly jarring to players and observers so I turned it off and switched all the safeguards off. This on the one hand creates far more immersion, heightens the experience and cranks up the intensity but on the other hand is physically draining. in order to play the game in VR I needed the perfect environment. If I was tired, had a headache, had just eaten etc there would be a good chance within half an hour I’d be feeling the effects. Also having children one can’t put on a VR headset and block the world out unless the house is empty. So this was a game which took me almost a year to complete; not through lack of trying but purely due to circumstance. I can’t even begin to comprehend how long Skyrim would take me to finish.

In those precious moments I did play I found myself absolutely blown away. The game is dripping with atmosphere and a level of craftsmanship which I haven’t seen in a VR game as yet. Every single room I encountered was a delicious new space to rummage around in and chores like item hunting were anything but tiresome. It is well and truly a visual feast. The ooze laden, slime filled and filthy environments were satisfyingly disgusting.

This is a resident evil game by name only and I would separate it from the others in the series not just because it is different but also because for large parts I think it is better.

Unfortunately from the cruise ship onwards the game becomes far more gung ho to its detriment and the final boss fight is barely passable. It’s almost like a QTE in terms of its simplicity and brevity.

If the themes the game introduced in the first two thirds were extended to its entire running time it would be pitching it’s tent on my “epic shelf” (thanks Leon). As it is it’ll have to settle for the next shelf down gazing up at what might have been.

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

Post by Suits » July 11th, 2018, 9:59 am

Alex79uk wrote:
July 10th, 2018, 1:40 pm
FWIW, I loved House Of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects. Not seen his other movies.
Man, those films are great.

I also very much enjoyed this game. Overall.


Reading other people’s comments, I feel that I may very well have been victim of the right game at the right time scenario.

At the time I was on Gardening leave and had very little to do around to the house. To pass the time and bring some structure to my day, I’d go to the local Starbucks and have a coffee and read the news etc… while I was there contemplating things, I realised that RE7 was released that day and I popped over the road to Argos and picked it up – took it home and played it straight for hours until my wife came home and repeated the routine each day until I’d finished it.

With no expectation or personal hype surrounding it, I found myself drawn in and totally immersed, although I do have some points I think I feel I want to say about it.

Firstly, this doesn’t feel, nor does it play (obviously) like a Resident Evil game to me – not an ideal start to things.

I found it dragged at later points in the game and could have done with ending perhaps a few hours early.

I felt that it captured the creepy house with keys and puzzles very well, I agree it's hardly a challenging game but not everything has to be taxing to be enjoyable I suppose.

I didn't care much for the story, or the characters, or the aesthetic but I did enjoy the moment to moment game play and enjoyed how the game progressed from chapter to chapter.

The VHS sections I found very jarring and misplaced although I loved the party room and thought that was an original idea pulled off very well.

I found the opening hour or so rather different to how the rest of the game played out, in terms pacing, puzzles and gameplay – to a degree a little misleading perhaps.

I have a friend who is a RE fan, who I recommended this too and he reluctantly played it, he too enjoyed it similar to me not as a RE game but as a game in general.

Overall it was a good game, good solid experience pulled off very well. I went in quick and unexpecting, which I think did me a favour, as if I’d build up any RE excitement for this, in a way that I wanted, I would have been disappointed.

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

Post by Stanshall » July 11th, 2018, 10:12 am

Without being sycophantic, the quality of insight on this forum is far better than anywhere else I've seen online and I'm regularly inspired by these little critical gold nuggets.

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

Post by ThirdDrawing » July 13th, 2018, 5:25 pm

Alex79uk wrote:
July 10th, 2018, 1:40 pm
ThirdDrawing wrote:
March 31st, 2018, 8:02 pm
I have no interest in bad Rob Zombie movie knockoffs, so I didn't play this game.
Unsure of who you're slating here? Rob Zombie as in his films are knockoffs of classic horror movies? Or Resident Evil because the setting is a knockoff of The Devils Rejects? Maybe both? Either way its an odd stance, as I think you could level the same criticism at many games, really. As in they're just rip offs of existing tropes and settings.

FWIW, I loved House Of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects. Not seen his other movies.
I was implying RE7 is a knockoff of films like Devil's Rejects.

I find his style incredibly cheesy and not scary at all.

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

Post by Alex79uk » July 14th, 2018, 8:46 am

Oh yeah I agree entirely, but I think that's the point of his films. They're direct pastiches of 60's/70's horror exploitation movies I guess. Along the same lines as Planet Terror and Death Proof etc. I don't think they're meant to be scary as such.

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

Post by ThirdDrawing » July 14th, 2018, 6:11 pm

And that's my entire problem with the game - why would you make a horror game that's not scary?

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

Post by Alex79uk » July 14th, 2018, 8:43 pm

Well, at the risk of derailing the thread I'll ask whether you considered the original Resident Evil games scary? I mean they weren't really, were they. And I guess horror is as subjective as comedy, or taste in music. I found the demo at least of Resi7 to be scary enough. I'm certainly not trying to change your mind, but I just wanted to dig a little to find out your reasoning behind what you said.

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

Post by ratsoalbion » July 14th, 2018, 10:55 pm

I’m saving my play-through for the podcast know a number of people who found RE7 plenty scary, and, in VR, actually too scary to continue playing.

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

Post by ThirdDrawing » July 15th, 2018, 2:50 am

Alex79uk wrote:
July 14th, 2018, 8:43 pm
Well, at the risk of derailing the thread I'll ask whether you considered the original Resident Evil games scary? I mean they weren't really, were they. And I guess horror is as subjective as comedy, or taste in music. I found the demo at least of Resi7 to be scary enough. I'm certainly not trying to change your mind, but I just wanted to dig a little to find out your reasoning behind what you said.
I just don't find the serial klller/Texas Chainsaw Massacre/Rob Zombie style of horror scary at all.

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

Post by Alex79uk » July 19th, 2018, 3:03 pm

Ok, I started this last night. It's so weird. I hated it. I mean it wasn't bad. I just hated playing it. Creeping round in the dark, feeling sick and anxious, it was horrible. I've barely got very far, I've literally just escaped the chair and ran from Mr Baker down a hatch before saving and turning it off. It was not fun.

But all day I've been thinking about how I want to go back to the house. I must be mental. It's just not enjoyable, but I have to go back. Also, I feel like I've missed out finding a gun but am too scared to go back above the floorboards :(

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