I just want to preface this with the following: This game contains a literal hive vagina. My first thought was of Free Jinger (after I stopped gagging and crossing my legs).
I know this is very much not the place to make a rant about video games, but I need to get this out and it's the only blog I have. My fiance and my friends can only hear me whinge so many times.
I am a gamer. A casual gamer to be sure, but I love games.
In particular, I love a genre called 'survival horror'. Now, there are some atrocious survival horror games. There are also some outstanding games, and outstanding series.
Perhaps the best example of survival horror, in my opinion, is the Silent Hill series as made by Team Silent. That encompasses games 1-4. Silent Hill 2 in particular is an incredible piece of art. It is art. It tells a heart-wrenching story of love, hate, guilt, grief and loss. The ending of the game feels like a gut punch.
Resident Evil is another survival horror series. It predates Silent Hill by a couple of years. Although certainly atmospheric and creepy, it's much more of an action-based series. The puzzles are simplistic. Where Silent Hill demands you to sift through lengthy poems to deduce their meaning, RE asks you to find keys and solve basic visual puzzles. There are zombies - oh so many zombies - in place of Silent Hill's unique enemies, who are all conjured by the mind of the protagonist or other inhabitants of the titular town. Silent Hill has some narmy dialogue, but Resident Evil is straight up cheese, such as the infamous line "You were almost a Jill sandwich!"
They are very different, and I expect completely different things from them.
Silent Hill is grounded. It explores adult fears. It's highly psychological. It's far more concerned with story and atmosphere than combat. Its protagonists are every day people with no special skills. You play Silent Hill for the story and the journey.
Resident Evil is fantastical. It's about zombies and biological warfare. The story takes a backseat to action. The dialogue is hammy and protagonists give pithy one-liners. It has moments of fantastic atmosphere, but there are plenty of guns and the protagonists are generally elite special forces officers with army backgrounds.
They have always been two very distinct things.
Now Resident Evil 7 has come out, and the lines have been hopelessly blurred.
One of the main developers of RE7 came straight out of the most recent Silent Hill effort, Silent Hills. It was cancelled and they wound up on board Resident Evil 7.
And it shows. Oh, does it show.
The game feels more Silent Hill - specifically PT, the playable teaser for Silent Hills - than Resident Evil.
Gone are the things that made the series distinctive - the trained protagonist, the insane arsenal, the narmy charm and the one liners.
You still explore the halls of a mansion, but instead of hunting down its warped inhabitants, YOU are the prey. You run and hide from antagonists you cannot fight. In that way it feels more like Outlast than Resident Evil.
The puzzles retain that Resident Evil feel - they're very much in keeping with the series - but nothing else is. The save room music sounds like Silent Hill music. It's as if the game went out of its way to be as similar to Silent Hills as possible, right down to its first-person perspective and suspiciously-similar ghost girl. There's barely any hint of a connection to the wider universe of Resident Evil - it is there if you look, but I expect mostly it's hidden in the downloadable content episodes.
The worst part is the plot, because the plot has literally been taken from a Silent Hill game.
The plot of Silent Hill 2 is as follows: A man named James has received a letter from his wife, Mary, begging him to come to her in 'their special place'. The problem is that Mary has been dead for 3 years... or has she?
The plot of Resident Evil 7 is as follows: A man named Ethan has received a video tape from his wife, Mia, begging him to come to Louisiana and save her. The problem is, Mia has been dead for three years... or has she?
See the issue?
Resident Evil 7 has been met with tremendous acclaim. Much like when Resident Evil 4 was released it has revitalised the series, and for that I'm glad.
I just miss my Resident Evil. They finally listened to the fans who have been begging for a return to its horror roots, only they sacrificed everything that made Resident Evil itself to do so.
And I just can't get behind it.