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The Resident Evil (RE) franchise has had a rocky past. In 1996, the original Resident Evil defined the survival horror genre by trapping players in a claustrophobic mansion with tricky puzzles, limited ammo, and awkward camera angles that enhanced the tension. Recent games in the series have eschewed survival horror  in favor of a more action-oriented experience, culminating in 2012’s disappointing Resident Evil 6.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is the franchise at its best: The player is trapped in a bone-chilling environment, this time in first-person. Let’s find out why Resident Evil‘s newest installment is one of the best horror games in years and the first must-play title of 2017 2017 in Gaming: New Releases You Must Know About 2017 in Gaming: New Releases You Must Know About 2017 is going to be a big year for gaming. Here are all the game releases you need to know about! Read More .

What I played: Completed the game on Normal in 10 hours and 45 minutes, collecting almost all the optional items in the process.

Plot and Atmosphere

Aside from the over-the-top action, the recent RE games feature well-equipped protagonists, further defeating the purpose of survival horror. RE 7 fixes this by putting the player into the shoes of Ethan, an ordinary guy whose wife Mia has been missing for three years and is presumed dead. When she contacts him out of the blue, he travels to a remote part of Louisiana to track her down, and is soon captured by the psychotic Baker family hell-bent on killing him.

RE 7 takes place over the course of one night, and you don’t leave the Baker residence. Though this sounds tiny, it works extremely well for this game. Exploring the disgusting house while you keep your distance from the Bakers provides the perfect unsettling atmosphere The Scariest Must-Play Horror Games for Halloween The Scariest Must-Play Horror Games for Halloween In the spirit of Halloween and all things scary, here's our pick of the scariest and most atmospheric horror games of the last few years. Read More that a horror game needs. The plot, while not mind-blowing, urges you to play on to discover what exactly happened in this house.

Is Resident Evil 7 Worth Playing? Resident Evil 7 Outside House

In terms of horror, RE 7 strikes a good balance between tension and pay-off. Having Jack Baker suddenly pop out of a window with an axe and start chasing you is just as satisfying as slowly creeping around the corner, nervous simply because you’re almost out of ammo and might see something wild.

If you explore, finding files and notes hidden around the house reveals more information about its residents and the story behind your wife’s disappearance. You can also inspect some items like vases and boxes that can be opened to reveal helpful items, rewarding exploration. The music ramps up at the right moments, and little touches like seeing guts all over your weapon after killing an enemy up-close show great attention to detail.

Gameplay

You’ll spend about half your time with RE 7 in combat and the other half exploring and solving basic puzzles. Aside from one standout moment that we won’t mention for spoilers, these puzzles aren’t anything complex.

Is Resident Evil 7 Worth Playing? Resident Evil 7 Corridor

Like past RE games, 7 has limited inventory space. This means you have to constantly monitor what you’re carrying and weigh the pros and cons of holding, say, more ammo at the cost of missing out on a healing item. You can find both ready-to-use items like ammo and medicine, and raw ingredients that you can combine into what you need most.

While you’re able to upgrade your carrying capacity a few times, there were a few moments of item management we found tedious. It’s frustrating when you need to pick up a key, but don’t have any slots left. This leaves you to choose either dropping a valuable item to make room, or making the trek all the way back to a safe room to deposit something into a box.

Is Resident Evil 7 Worth Playing? Resident Evil7 Stair Molded

Combat against standard enemies is excellent. Ammo is scarce enough that you can’t waste it, but never so low that you feel powerless. Dealing with the shaky camera while you carefully aim your pistol at a monster’s head is tense, and the weapons feel just right. The shotgun’s powerful kick is a particular highlight.

What’s not so hot are the boss fights. You’ll only encounter a few, but they’re clunky and don’t have the tension of fighting normal enemies. Because the area you’re fighting in doesn’t have much room to run and you have to spend what seems like all your ammo shooting the boss, the fights fall short.

Is Resident Evil 7 Worth Playing? Resident Evil 7 Molded Creature

For instance, during one boss fight you pick up a chainsaw and notice that the escape door is barricaded. Because you can’t tell that you’re damaging the boss if you hit it, and since game tells you that the barricaded door will “take something strong to destroy,” I assumed that you were supposed to escape, not fight. In actuality, you have to kill the boss before you leave. The loading menu provides some tips that will help you figure out boss fights eventually, but having to restart several times really breaks the immersion.

On a better note, RE 7 introduces a neat mechanic with its videotapes. A few times throughout the adventure, you’ll find a VHS tape that you can pop into a tape player. These let you play through past moments from another character’s perspective, and provide gameplay hints since the tape covers the area you’re about to enter.

Lasting Value

RE 7 isn’t a long game 5 Games You Can Play For Over 100 Hours – That’s Value! 5 Games You Can Play For Over 100 Hours – That’s Value! One of the many traits unique to video games is the sheer volume of entertainment a game can provide. While a movie is over in two hours on average, and a TV show may offer... Read More . Even with all the fussy inventory management, you can complete it on Normal in 9-11 hours. There’s not much left to do after the credits roll unless you’d like to replay the game with additional constraints. Completing it once unlocks the Madhouse difficulty, which makes items scarcer, enemies smarter, and requires you to find and collect tapes to save your game.

Is Resident Evil 7 Worth Playing? Resident Evil 7 Lets Play

You’ll also receive a few special items that make subsequent playthroughs easier. Completionists can collect a handful of optional items throughout the quest, along with a few tough Trophies 5 Gaming Achievements That Are Close To Impossible 5 Gaming Achievements That Are Close To Impossible That's right, this is a challenge from me to you. I'll bet all my marbles that no one reading this article has (fairly) earned any of the achievements you're about to read into. Read More such as finishing the game using only three healing items.

If you’re playing on PS4, you can experience the whole game using PlayStation VR (our review PlayStation VR Review PlayStation VR Review Sony has finally released their low-cost headset to the world, along with a slew of Playstation games that support the device. Is it worth it? Read More ) if you have it. We weren’t able to test this feature, but it’s certainly a different (and scarier) way to play. It would probably be a bit much to play the entire game like this, though.

Should You Buy It?

Resident Evil 7 is a fantastic game. It makes amazing use of its first-person perspective and induces chilling horror from the setting and mechanics. Aside from some less-than-great boss battles, simple puzzles, and occasionally-tedious item management, RE 7 does everything right. The faint of heart need not apply due to the always-on bloody anxiety, but this is a must-play for horror fans.

However, we don’t recommend buying it at full price now. If you can borrow or rent Resident Evil 7, play it as soon as possible. Otherwise, wait for a price drop. There’s free DLC coming soon, along with a $30 season pass for more content, but $60 is a bit much for a game you can complete in a few days.

Looking for more Resident Evil? Check out it and other geeky movies releasing in 2017 12 Must-See Movies for Geeks Coming in 2017 12 Must-See Movies for Geeks Coming in 2017 2017 is going to be one of the best years ever for geeks who love movies. There are a lot of must-see movies for geeks being released, and these are the absolute best. Read More .

Have you played Resident Evil 7? Let us know what you think of the game or if you’re excited to pick it up down in the comments!

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  1. Alex
    February 21, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    The Resident evil franchise is just awesome as hell when it comes to zombies this review is help full when im deciding to buy with my high school grade money I am a true fan of resident evil 7 so im gonna buy it full price granted I found a version that comes with a controller skin But i understand if its not a long game wait to buy but im only buying it cause im a true Resident Evil Fan and i would play it over and over

  2. JazyD
    February 7, 2017 at 4:47 am

    Buy it now.

  3. JazyD
    February 7, 2017 at 4:46 am

    If you have PSVR, buy it now.