50 Best Games of 2017: #46 – Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Resident Evil 7
Resident Evil 7

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC

Our 50 best games of 2017 countdown isn’t in any order, we’re just going through fifty of the finest the year has given us. Find out more here.

You’re tiptoeing down a lengthy, dark corridor. After having just sat down to dinner with the world’s creepiest hillbilly family, you’ve now got a chance to find an exit to this complex house of horrors. SMASH. Suddenly, throwing himself through the wall to your right, is Jack: the family’s domineering patriarch. Guess you’re not going that way.

Anybody who’s played the excellent Resident Evil 7: Biohazard will know exactly which moment this is. It’s one of many terrifying encounters that the survival horror gem throws at you, and is reminiscent of the series’ past yet manages to bring it, kicking and screaming, into the modern age. I had the absolute pleasure of reviewing Resi 7 on release, and this is what I said:

“This is the most impressive return to form I’ve seen in a long time. With heart-pounding scares, clever puzzles, and formidable enemies; Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is one of the best horror titles I’ve ever played.”

I’d still say this is one of the best horror titles you can get right now. Not purely because of what it managed to do to a series that was stumbling at the best of times, but also because it launched players into a dangerous world of violence and terror, unlike many other titles have accomplished.It also packed a narrative which, while campy, was fun to follow along with. The story opens to protagonist Ethan Winters watching a video sent by his supposedly dead wife, Mia. The general gist is that Mia doesn’t want Ethan to track her down, and he cannot do anything but exactly that. So he heads out to the swamps of Louisiana, and comes across the Baker compound; a menacing sprawl of houses and buildings that soon act as more of a prison than a refuge. One thing leads to another, and you’re quickly traversing the place while trying to avoid its murderous inhabitants.

Resident Evil 7 Nightmare

And the sound! As well as boasting some pretty gorgeous visuals (well, as nice as a bloody, mangled corpse can look), Resident Evil 7: Biohazard terrorised all of your senses with some exceptional sound design to fully immerse players into its grisly world. Creaking boards and rustling bushes come as standard with most horror titles, but Resi 7 had an entire plethora of noises to make the Baker compound feel much too real. Headphones are a must.

Hopefully we’ll be seeing another installation in this iconic survival horror franchise soon enough, because the game very quickly recouped its production costs through excellent word-of-mouth. It’s also sitting at 86 on Metacritic – far from a bad total. Basically, if you love horror and haven’t yet checked out Resident Evil 7, you absolutely owe it to yourself to change that.

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