Resident Evil 7 (Opening Review) – PC

I haven’t finished Resident Evil 7. I don’t want it to end. I’m going slowly — not because I am bad at video games, though I am. It’s because the home and family is such a beautiful change of pace from my own life and situation that hanging around the antagonists and central setting actually seems like a vacation.

INFOBOX:
I played it on “Easy” for the IBM PC/PCjr and my 100% compatible. You can remaps the keys and it has both auto saves and a save system where a cassette recorder is in certain rooms and that acts as your save game proxy.

What video game would be OK with being trapped in? If you’re thankfully still reading this site in 2017, it’s safe to suggest “Leisure Suit Larry.” Maybe NHL ’93, or ’94 if you don’t like fighting, or ’95 if you’re Travis Roy and did like walking. You’re going to read a lot of ink at other sites on what a terrible group of people the Baker family is in RE7, but don’t believe a word of it. I’m rather enjoying my time with them. They’re not really bad people once you get to know them.

I’ll give them credit for this: they certainly don’t talk politics at the supper table. They might ultimately take umbrage with you, forcing you to sprint around their home wielding a switchblade like Lady Macbeth in a high school play, but at least it was for the way you looked and not the content of your character or the slant of your political opinions. That’s a refreshingly shallow hate. This family seems to be the last one in America without FWD: FWD: FWD: pro or anti-Trump mealtime infighting. Sign me the fuck up! What’s this, boiled cockroach? Blackened pig intestine? And at no point did a dander-heavy housecat jump on the table? The family that chews on a plate of pickeled mancock together is the last family in America that still gets along. I’d give a kidney to any one of them.

Not that the Baker family isn’t trying to take my kidneys anyway. I give Resident Evil 7 a ton of credit: I have been dying for a game that starts off depicting a problem that we want to solve for a likable player character. This is the way to get people hooked, and nobody does it any more. It takes two seconds to establish an emotional connection with another person (note to Commander Tansin A. Darcos of the Caltrops forum: or a lifetime) and we have connection in this game from the videotape of Mia, who was abducted, that’s sent to Ethan, the guy who we get to “be” for the most part. It’s as if an entire industry drove out anyone who can write through shitty wages and mandatory crunch. The opening to RE7 is a modern day unicorn, I loved it. Let’s help this couple get back together!

So what’s the gameplay like? Initially, exactly like Outlast but slightly less green in color: you come up against a fence, it’s locked, so you go around and enter the first dwelling. The Bakers live in a haunted house. There’s puzzles, there’s video game logic, there’s a perfectly constructed Adventure Construction Set adventure for you to pick through, and as soon as you least expect it, one of these vicious (yet welcoming: I can’t overstate how they specifically brought out a chair for the player character for dinner, and knowing how many hoops you need to jump through to navigate their home, it could have taken them hours to fetch it) psychopaths gives you a jumpscare. I love jumpscares! … in video games. I live with somebody who enjoys pulling pranks, if I got a VR helmet my life would be one giant jumpscare, so I don’t like that aspect of it. But I like them in RE7, or Resi7 as the kids today say.

RE7 has a few “boss fights” and… well, imagine my glasses coming off as I massage the bridge of my nose for this. I want to ding them on one hand and praise them on the other. But not equally. The hand with praise should be, like, worth more than the other hand because there’s definitely more good than bad here. So imagine that the person telling you this is Jason Pierre-Paul. Resident Evil 7 has “changed the rules” on me for certain fights and I’m only 4 hours in. And these are the slowplay hours of an idiot. That’s the bad. However, when I do die, the game recognizes what happens and gives me a hint on the loading screen. The hint has got me through each time. It’s debatable as to whether or not I should have known it initially, but Christ, at least I don’t have to play it six or seven times before I go to GameFAQs. So big props there.

The Baker house is kind of the star of the show so far. At some point you’d sort of hope that they would abduct a maid and let her (or him: checkmake, GamerGate) run around for an hour, but I’ve lived in worse. Considering the office is “my” spot in the house, I’m living in worse right now as I type this. Whatever weird shit Jack Baker is into, it’s evidently not sunflower seeds and the corresponding cracked shells that missed the wastebasket laying on his floor, so he’s got that over me. There may inexplicably be zombies coming out of his vents, but at least when Jack gets home there isn’t the bottom half of a dead mouse on his kitchen floor because the dogs or the cats ate the first half. If you got to the morgue scene, you know what I’m getting at. His varmints are filed away and organized.

I’ve heard it’s a short game. It debuted at $60, though it wasn’t available at sixty bucks everywhere, ha ha ha. It’s up to you to decide how quickly you play games and whether or not that cost to gameplay ratio works, but for me, the experience of being around a family that actually wants me around and isn’t trying to make me agree with them that the latest person to make the news is either a neo-Nazi or rioting libtard is worth ten times the purchase price. I’m hoping the Bakers are all on Facebook, at least I wouldn’t have to install a Chrome extension that scrubs any article with the word “Trump” in it to follow them.

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