It wouldn't be an understatement to say the the Resident Evil franchise has not really shone since its fourth installement. The 2 Revelations games were nice, Resident Evil 5 was a bit fun to play co-op, but really, the series does not provoke that much hype and anticipation anymore. When Resident Evil 7 biohazard was announced, a lot of people complained about the choice of the first person view to sort of start anew. Some even claimed it was just a mere copy of P.T, which was never a game in the first place - and never will be. Apparently, Kojima invented the first person horror genre and we were never told. Anyway, time to finally see if the game deserved the criticisms it's had to endure, so follow us inside to discover our final verdict. As usual, the full review is available only in French.
Against all odds, Resident Evil 7 biohazard has made us want to believe in the franchise again, which was not a given after the poorly-executed (though generous) Resident Evil 6. The series had lost itself over the years and it's back, with the very same DNA we loved in the original game back in 1996. It might look like a reboot at first glance, but it's not, as it is still very well rooted in the series' mythology. The main story is more intimist than before, less over the top too, but that what makes it appealing and engaging in our opinion. Ethan Winters' quest to find his wife Mia and the key to understanding what is going on turned out to be much more interesting than we thought it'd be - though the ending is probably not what we were hoping for. This new episode is undeniably stressful, scary too at times, especially of your stomach can take VR, and it plays well, which is a nice change. Come to think of it, the first person view was probably what the franchise needed to rise from its ashes, but don't be fooled, it does not make it a mere copy of Outlast, Condemned or even Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corner of the Earth. We are now truly eager to see what the future of RE will be like, something we would not have bet on a few weeks ago.
On the plus side
+ Stress and tension like in the old days
+ The dirty art style
+ More polished writing than in the past
+ A more intimist adventure
+ Survival and exploration are back
+ The bosses, the arsenal, the safe rooms, the manual saves
+ Some scenes can unfold differently depending on what you do
+ Can be played in 2 different ways (TV and VR)
+ 12 hours and a half to complete isn't bad for the genre
+ The ending credits and the song which plays
+ Looking forward to the sequel (and the DLC) !
On the downside
- The tribute to the 32 bits era pushed too far
- Loading times can be very long
- There could have been more varied monsters
- Too few playable video tapes (more coming as DLC...)
- The ending left us a bit perplexed
- Risk of motion sickness in VR
- We miss the good old zombies a tad