Thank you to Xbox for the code for this game!
"I got to be quiet, like real quiet. I think I'm safe in rooms like this, the 'family' and those other things don't seem to be able to find me here, let alone get in.
This is just so screwed up. She's my wife, missing for three years and then I get a message from her out of the blue and I try and find her. Hell what would you do?
I came here looking for her, and found her, at least I think it's her. Her moods swing from happy to damned right hostile.
She's come after me with an axe and I just avoided being chainsawed to death. I-I hate to say this, but I don't think that that is Mia anymore. She's possessed, or insane, or perhaps both.
Crap. Is that someone in the room below me? I gotta go, but if you are listening to this then I say to you, get the hell out....now...while you still can..."
Hide and Seek has never been so dangerous...
It's been a long time coming. Some may have had fears that the reboot would not happen after the excellent Silent Hills demo lead nowhere, but if you felt that was a huge let down, a disappointment that this did not happen, fear not. Shambling out of the darkness and heading towards you comes Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.
Look this is not just a reboot, it's a reinvention of the series and it's a welcome one. It's no longer a survival action 3rd person shooter, which we first saw with the admittedly great Resident Evil 4. It's a shame that the series took a nose dive with 5, though Revelations parts 1 and 2 gave us some hope.
Resident Evil 6 was a-okay (see my review elsewhere) but it still lacked something. Oh yes, the horror, the survival element and all that made the series so iconic.
When this game was announced, even the most die hard fan may have doubted that this was what they had been crying out or even praying for. Those fears I say have been laid to rest. Oh the purists (and you know some of them out there) who still bemoan that this is not the Res Evil they remember.
I say that's a good thing. Gone are the clunky, hard to control characters, the sometime horrible camera angles, and the sometimes unresponsive response to control input. Now we have a first person adventure,note I said adventure NOT a shooter.
Sure there is gunplay but that's not the main element. The emphasis is once again on survival.
"Welcome to the family, son!"
So here we are controlling a guy who for once, is not a gun toting government agent, or former S.T.A.R.S agent. He is a normal guy who has no clue as to what's going on, who more or less stumbles from one dreadful encounter to the next.
It's a battle of wits, it's a case of softly does it, it's a case of search and locate items to aid you, solve riddles and basically just survive. Good luck with that.
The protagonists are not 'zombies', they are called the moulded but for all intents and purposes they have the same desire as a zombie, to maul, claw and generally eat you.
But the real enemy is the family that sadly the heroes wife is related to.
To say that they need therapy is an understatement!
The Baker family are truly demented, twisted, cannibalistic and bat s**t crazy. And you can't hurt them.
No, you read that right. Best you can do is hide from them and if they find you ward them off.
You will be bludgeoned, potentially chain sawed, or chewed to pieces. This will test your resolve, shred your nerves and yes, churn your stomach.
This is dark, seriously dark. It's in your face and it's relentless.....
Take a pinch of this, take a pinch of that, stir and bring to the boil....
It's a reinvention but it's not entirely original. There can be no doubt in my mind that it's been inspired by other recent games and that's not a bad thing, it doesn't really matter at all. It just cranks the tension up another notch, and then another, and then another....
It may remind you of Alien Isolation, as the Baker clan cannot be hurt. Hide from them and if you engage them, block, ward and back peddle and then, well basically run.
You need to explore almost every nook and cranny. Rummaging through drawers and cupboards and wardrobes, hoping to find anything that can aid you.
This element reminded me of the spook fest that was Layers of Fear (again see my review of that elsewhere) but this is more than 'jump scares' on offer here.
You will breathe a sigh of relief when you find the now iconic herbs for healing, or a box of ammo for the gun that is possibly your best friend. You will find clues as to what's going on because underneath all this dread is a mystery. You may not want to solve it, you may just wish to escape but the mystery urges you on but does so without pulling you by the nose.
If Eli Roth made a video game....
This game is like playing through an interactive version of a modern day horror. There are even elements of a 'found footage' style movie as you will find video tapes that literally draw you in.
This gives you background and clues as to what's going on and a hint of what to do back in the 'here and now'.
And like some modern horrors like the Hostel series, Wolf Creek, or even the Saw movies, this does not hold back.
Believe me if you are squeamish stay away. If you are potentially easily offended, stay away. It's brutal, truly brutal.
But the brutality is not just there for the heck of it. The gore is not just there for shock value, it's all part of the fabric of this dark, masterpiece. And I make no apologies for putting this in block capitals: THIS IS NOT SUITABLE FOR LITTLE KIDS.
Seriously do not buy this for anyone below the recommended age unless you want to traumatise them.
Sound and vision etc
The presentation of this is superb. The screenshots do not do this justice and as for the sound..
Listen to this through a home cinema system and it's going to be atmospheric. For the true experience play it through head phones and don't blame me if the slightest knock, scratch etc etc has you jumping like a jack rabbit.
This is one slickly executed game. Visually impressive yet visceral, atmospheric and genuinely scary this is the Res Evil we have been waiting for for such a long time.
And I do know people who have said, Look I know this is what we've wanted but jeez man, it's O.T.T.! All I can say is be careful what you wish for...
It even has side games now, deadly games of back jack and new DLC ominously called forbidden footage 1 and 2. I haven't seen the DLC, my nerves are still recovering from playing through the main storyline and I admit I have not finished it yet, but I fully intend to.
Resident Evil is back, with a vengeance. Welcome back to the dark side of gaming.