Resident Evil 7 Gold Edition
So it probably seems like a long time since we saw the highly anticipated release of Resident Evil 7, which was way back in January of this year. It was the first major AAA title for the New Year and after seeing some of the teasers for this game, I thought this will be a big year for Capcom by reigniting their infamous franchise. Resident Evil 7 is what I consider to be an inspired return to the survival horror roots, that had definitely been lacking through the last two numbered sequels, despite a new first person perspective the game still manages to retain everything that made the original games great.
In this review I will give a brief description of the main game as I’m sure by now we have all played it to some extent, if you haven’t, you definitely should. Then I will give a brief description of the DLC that comes along with the Gold Edition.
RESIDENT EVIL 7
In terms of story, you play as unknown Ethan Winters, who receives a mysterious Email from his “supposedly” missing wife Mia. This leads him to what can only be described as a creepy looking mansion in Louisiana. Rescuing Mia seemed surprisingly easy, or at least that’s what it seemed until you meet the rest of the family. As we all know with Resident Evil games, the story starts off implausible and downright ridiculous, but still they give us more of an attempt to portray the leads as real characters. Still we are given plenty of shock and gore with much less sci-fi silliness than we are used to. We find ourselves creeping around deserted corridors, worrying that every creek or ominous sounding noise is our impending doom. Also with the first person view, trying to avoid family members makes it almost like a stealth game. Boss fights are more interesting as well. Instead of pointing at flashy weak spots, the enemies make good use of the environment and their abilities. For instance, they will dodge flames instead of just walking through them; they will crash through walls to get in front of you. Unexpectedly, the puzzles are slightly more challenging than the older games, with one memorable flashback requiring a surprising amount of brain power to solve.
BANNED FOOTAGE VOL 1 & 2
Although the two video tape missions are part of the overall story, they are accessed from the main menu and not from within the game, the way the video tapes work in the main story. During these, we are put in control of someone other than the main character. In this case it is one of the sorry TV crew that we see at the start of the game. Clancy has been caught by the Bakers and have him locked away in a room. This whole DLC essentially becomes an escape room puzzle as you need to figure out how to get into the next room and work out how to unlock the key. This may sound a bit tedious but its actually quite enjoyable and fun.
NOT A HERO
So this is the free DLC that Capcom had originally slated for a summer release but was delayed until December. Capcom had implied that their original idea was to make this more of an action story but I can only assume due to the failure of Resi 6, this idea was scrapped and what we are treated to, is something more similar to the main game. Our main character is Chris Redfield, which feels like a spoiler except that Capcom have been perfectly content with promoting his appearance without it seeming to much of a big deal. Not only that but this was met with a lot of fan theories that maybe this wasn’t the real Chris Redfield as he does look slightly different to the other incarnations of him.
All that though is explained within the first few lines of starting the game up. Chris is trying to track down Lucas Baker, where it is revealed Baker, has a secret base in the mines. What follows is what I can only describe as a Resident Evil miniature as Chris sets about finding Lucas and the soldiers he has kidnapped. The mines are a visually interesting part of the main game, as are all the areas, but here we explore new parts of the mines which seem organised into what feels like a simplified structure. There, we need to acquire upgrades for our gas mask as we cannot progress through certain areas without choking on toxins or areas being to dark. There is also some new variations of enemies, albeit they are minor variations.
The story zips along quite quick and excitingly as you are dealing with new fixed machine guns, new bullet types and we also have a bunch of collectibles to upgrade your abilities. This part of the DLC, as a whole, took me just over 3 hours to complete and I must say it was worth the wait. I found it thoroughly enjoyable and refreshing, even if in the end it does come across slightly inconsequential.
END OF ZOE
In the other piece of DLC, it’s certainly not what I had expected it to be in terms of plot. Now we assume this is about Zoe Baker, who I think was treated poorly by the rest of the game and DLC as she is not really in it. Instead her body is found by her uncle Joe, a new character, who takes it upon himself to find a cure for Zoe’s calcified body. Joe’s horrendous accent gives us a big hint of the cheesiness to follow as he favours his fists to solve all problems. On my run through I never fired a shot, I pummelled monsters with Joe’s bare fists (yes this is as absurd as it sounds).
Before any of that though you need to learn how to put your fists up in first person, as the left and right shoulder buttons work as their respective fists and if you can time it right to block, you get a chance to counter. It is very easy to lose sight of where your enemy is, but when you do connect there is an enjoyable thud to your punches. There is also a minor stealth element in the game, which gives you the chance to throw spears at alligators and other four legged fiends, but mostly it is about punching your foes square in the face.
End of Zoe takes place what seems like a little after Not a Hero and in the final chapter for Resident Evil 7. I can safely say this is not the way I thought it would end but the fact that after so many titles in this franchise they can still throw surprises at us, is one of the best things about this game and all the DLC with it.
DIAGNOSIS – INPATIENT CARE
Resident Evil 7 grounds itself in the elements that made the original few games great. With the risky new shift in style, that both helps and hurts the formula of the game, it’s still the closest a numbered sequel has come to recapturing the slow, atmospheric adventure game. Along with the four parts of the DLC, this extends your stay with the Baker family and I am usually not a lover of DLC but to me, this was money well spent. I enjoyed all parts of it and didn’t feel that it was trying to tell multiple stories, just trying to bring them altogether. So all in all, this is a welcome return that I hope we see a lot more of in the future.