Mutated zombies, incessant gore, non-stop action, and Umbrella Corporation are what comes to my mind when I think of Resident Evil. I’m a fan of the movies because of my love of anything zombie-ish. Resident Evil incorporated the idea that zombies were created by a mega company that was planning on making a profit off of selling the antidote after releasing the zombie virus. I don’t know about you, but that’s quite a difference from the usual concept of the ‘we don’t know why zombies exist’ story. I love the concept, but for some reason the video games never attracted my attention. I love rpgs and story-telling, so the hyper-action packed, hack and slash theme of the Resident Evil games were never interesting to me. Then I watched Markiplier play Resident Evil 7.
At first the game wasn’t on my radar, but some of my friends were talking about how great it was. Naturally, I had to check it out. I was expecting something akin to the past Resident Evil games, but what I watched was entirely different. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard turned out to be a thrilling survival horror game complete with a full fledged story and ever shifting environment. I won’t spoil anything, so those of you who haven’t played or watched someone play the game won’t be upset. The opening scene sets the tone perfectly: you play as Ethan, a man who goes in search of his wife who has been missing for three years. He receives an email from her asking him to come get her, and the audience sees a video clip that foreshadows that rescue mission going very, very wrong. The game does an amazing job of keeping the player in the dark, and placing tidbits of information throughout the whole game. Each section of the game brought about a situation or a new environment that would continually change the game. The main mechanics of the game never changed- you hid, fought, and searched for supplies and clues. However, the environment would shift in ways that were noticeable and purposefully heightened our sense of danger. The stakes felt like they were getting higher and higher as the game went on.
Soon after I began watching, I got my roommates to view the play through with me because it’s more fun to be scared with other people. And were we scared! The game employed jump scares, suspense, amazingly intense fighting mechanics, and creepy characters (voice actors- be praised). Resident Evil 7 kept us guessing the entire time. We found ourselves debating over what was happening within the game even when we weren’t watching it. Now, we’ve created a joke, “You’re doing better than Ethan,” when we’re having stressful days. The story and gameplay were not only scary in the sense that it made us jump, but it also freaked us out in a way that stayed with you even after you turned off the TV. It was creepy ad thought-provoking.
All in all, I’m excited about where this franchise is going. Many avenues have been opened for the continuation of Resident Evil. The 7th game ended with some questions answered, and many more to hopefully be fleshed out in the next installment. I’m surprised to say that I am eagerly waiting for Resident Evil 8 to come out. I’m in suspense, which is exactly what Biohazard capitalized on.
-Sabrina Arnold (iwouldliketonerd)