Rising from the dead…
*Since I do not own a PlayStation VR, this review will not cover any virtual reality component of Resident Evil 7.*
The Resident Evil series has been a victim of its own success over the recent years, having struggled with multiple identity crises and fundamentally losing the particular elements that fostered the survival horror genre. Capcom’s latest entry into the series is a bipolar experiment as its perspective and overall tone are a relative far cry from the series’ renowned tendencies; while it rekindles certain gameplay and design elements that are not only reminiscent to the series’ golden age, but seamlessly blends the core fundamentals of the genre and the powerless implementation that has been popularized in modern survival horror game design, ushering a harmonic balance of the new and old. Resident Evil 7 is a resounding renaissance that acts as a true return to form for the series and establishes a new successful era for, what many would’ve considered, a fatigued franchise. It’s an engrossing experience that is exceptionally well-paced, with each key moment and discomforting setting serving a resilient purpose. Resident Evil 7 trades off its recent predecessors’ reliance on redundant action for a methodical approach to horror, rightfully returning the series’ key ability to instill fear through its haunting environment and impeccable sound design. It’s a terrifying ride that will undoubtedly send bracing chills down your spine, arguably attaining the top spot as the best horror game of the current generation. While it never reaches the meteoric heights of the Gamecube remake of the original or the masterful Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil 7: biohazard meets the established gold standard of the series and exceeds most contemporary expectations as it is the best Resident Evil game since the aforementioned fourth entry, and a textbook example on how to properly revitalize a dying franchise.
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Happy Halloween everyone! In celebration of the synonymous date of imaginative malevolence, I thought it would be appropriate to delve into a classic horror title in hopes of developing a state of uncomfortable anxiety, securing my next quick fix of adrenaline pumping intensity. Resident Evil is an astounding experience that appropriately fits the stated criteria; inducing an abundance of atmospherically eerie goodness, boasting brilliantly crafted level design that is arguably unrivalled to this very day, and a surprising emphasis on non-linearity and intricate puzzle implementation that mirror the minutia of the renowned adventure genre. Although Resident Evil arguably fostered the Survival Horror genre, and has never been dethroned in terms of pure structure, Resident Evil is a conspicuous homage to the tried and true fundamentals of the adventure genre, cohering the structural puzzle format of adventure legends such as The Secret of Monkey Island or King’s Quest and the non-linear progression of the Zelda and Metroid series. However, given the true nature of Resident Evil as a horror title and the sheer fact that Halloween is upon us, none of this would be relevant, let alone bare any sort of legacy, if the title that single-handedly pioneered Survival Horror wasn’t able to evoke any form of fear in the modern era of gaming. Resident Evil emits an unsettling nature that is quite difficult to describe; it’s this ineffable nature, however, that sets RE apart from the rest of the herd, as there are many intricate variables within the minutia of Resident Evil, making it fairly difficult to identify the true culprit of your instilled fear. Crimson Heads are downright petrifying as they’re basic instinct and structure are completely alien to the strategies you’ve developed thus far, making their imminent rise all the more terrifying. Familiar locales may alleviate yourself to a point of ease, but RE will take advantage of that comfortability and twist the very paranoia that consumes you, throwing yourself into a state of danger when you least expect it. Brilliant sound design will constantly keep you on your toes as its minimalistic music still evokes an unsettling nature that’ll undoubtedly crank your anxiety up to eleven, while enemy noises will alert you on the imminent danger that lies ahead. Regardless of what you’ll find on your horrific adventure through the Spencer Mansion, there will always be something to fear, and cherish the moments of tranquility as these instances are few and far between.
Continue reading “Classic Corner – Resident Evil”