Over the past few years, horror games have taken a completely different route. Gone are the days of find the key with the specific emblem. Horror games today tend to concentrate on making a good atmosphere with very scary monsters, but end up creating a huge game of hide and seek. Before anybody gets mad, a lot of these hide and seek horror games are very good and the best example of that is Alien: Isolation or even Outlast. These two games have excellent atmosphere, smooth gameplay and good scares. Question here is, how many more of these games can we play?
This past E3 Capcom revealed Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. The trailer looked amazing, but there was one issue that left many fans horrified. Resident Evil was now in first person. To many this was outrageous, because Capcom keeps saying that they plan to go back to their roots and then do the complete opposite. On the same day they announced the game, Capcom also released Beginning Hour, which wasn’t part of the main game story wise but had all the main gameplay points. The demo seemed quite simple, but the developers put just enough for gamers all over the world to sit and theorize. For weeks people were coming up with conspiracy theories trying to figure out what the now famous dummy finger meant. As time went on, fans began to notice something odd.
Capcom seemed serious about going back to series roots. Explosions and high zombie counts were replaced with eerie silence, a horrifying atmosphere and a series favourite puzzles. Things that were all present in the very first Resident Evil. Even though people were loving the return of the OG gameplay features, fans were still hesitant due to the first person, to the point where many coined it an outlast clone. In the end Capcom delivered.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard did exactly what it said it would. Capcom finally delivered the product they promised years ago. Puzzles are back, though not as hard as the classic ones but good nonetheless. Limited ammunition pushes the gamer to the edge of anxiety and the horrifying atmosphere creates a unique sense of dread. The thing that makes the modern horror games scary is the lack of weapons, but Biohazard deals with it in the best possible way. I cannot stress enough, weapons do not take away from the horror due to the limited backpack space and limited ammo. So now I guess it is time to address the elephant in the room. How is the first person change? My answer to that is that it is perfect and much needed. The camera angles in the old school games really aided the horror, because of your lack of vision. Now with first person, the players vision is limited again. Anxiety sky rockets through the roof when you are walking through a pitch black hallway. The player is nervous about what is going to pop out in the front of them, but paranoia continues to infect the player as he/she thinks about what might be following him. You never feel safe in this game, even when you have your back to the wall so you can see everything. To anyone who enjoyed Resi 4, 5 and 6, this game might not be for you. Space to move has been taken away from us and we were given tight hallways instead. I don’t think I have to explain why that would be scary. Sadly, zombies are not back, but the moulded and the baker family works perfectly well for the environment and game theme.
After years of trying to make the Resident Evil games a little more mainstream, Capcom decided at the right time to try something new while bringing back a lot of the old stuff. These days they might not be the company they used to be, but with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard they show proof of a revival. Not only does this game feel like a revival of old school horror, but it can inspire other companies to use the old formula again. The ladies and gentlemen at Capcom made the first step in the revival and prove that they also want to lead it. Welcome back Capcom! What took you so long?