Like an itchy zombie bite, Resident Evil 7 has a few things to nitpick about.
Capcom’s Resident Evil 7 is a pretty big success for its publisher and we’re not just talking about the 2.5 million units shipped or more than 7 million demo downloads overall. Critically, the game is a hit with many proclaiming it as a return to what truly made Resident Evil appealing. We played it and loved the heck out of it too, warts and all.
However, no game is perfect and even Resident Evil 7’s issues are worth noting. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a great experience for both fans and horror buffs. Regardless, here are five things that hardcore players hate about Resident Evil 7.
Caution: Spoilers inbound.
Forced Connection with Canon
Throughout Resident Evil 7, you receive hints that things are very, for lack of a better term, Resident Evil-y. None of the Baker family members can be outright killed initially. Jack Baker seems to be infected with some kind of parasite and puzzles make several call-backs to previous games. The overall mood of the game still feels more “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” though and it’s pretty cool. When you get to the end however, it feels like the whole aspect of “Redfield” (who it seems may actually be Chris Redfield) and Umbrella returning feels…forced. Perhaps it’s because we expected the RE connection to be something more significant than “Oh, Umbrella’s back and Chris is working with them. Woohoo.” It doesn’t ruin the story or the characters but the inclusion of Redfield and Umbrella seems rather last-minute, shifting the focus from seemed to be a captivating, mostly original tale.
Eveline’s presence in Resident Evil 7 is terrifying. In flashbacks, she appears as a creepy little girl. Then she’ll sporadically make appearances as Grandma Baker, innocently sitting in her wheelchair in hallways and singing when you’re far away. It’s not long before she’s revealed as the real threat behind the infection, manipulating the Bakers and Mia through mind control. The stage is set for an epic boss battle of sorts but it’s actually more mindless shooting than anything else. Compared to the desperate struggle and relying on your environment against Jack or hiding from Marguerite or even Lucas’s traps, Eveline seems like she’s just a straightforward “shoot it a whole bunch” boss rather than the final big bad. We suppose that the games need some kind of big creature to annihilate with weaponry in the end but considering what Resident Evil 7 did with its other bosses, Eveline feels kind of bland.
Ethan Winters is the one discrepancy among the many memorable characters in Resident Evil 7. Sometimes, he just doesn’t show enough emotion. When he first “killed” Mia, Ethan didn’t really display much by way of grieving before answering Zoe’s phone call. Granted, you could chalk it up to trauma but even Miles Upshur from Outlast or Daniel from Amnesia: The Dark Descent seemed to react more to the various horrors around them. It’s possible that Capcom wanted players to actually project their own emotions onto Ethan given how Resident Evil 7’s first person nature. It’s a delicate balance though and for the most part, Ethan could have done with some more of his own characterization.
Puzzles in the Resident Evil franchise haven’t been overly difficult for a while now. We’ve come a long way since the mind-bogglingly irritating days of Resident Evil 1 and 2. However, the series has been doing difficult but logical puzzles since Resident Evil: Code Veronica to encourage exploration while giving enough impetus to revisit certain locations and progress the story. Resident Evil 7 does the same but makes the puzzles themselves a little too easy. It essentially boils down to “Find this, which is nearby and insert it into this door to advance” or “This happened in the flashback and so you have to solve a similar puzzle like this”. While removing the frustrating aspects of trying to figure out what object has to be used where is good, Resident Evil 7 could have done with some more challenging puzzles.
Forced Tension via Slow Running
In the older Resident Evil titles, moving slowly was a gameplay aspect. If you were injured, you were forced to choose between healing, thus running short of health items for later, or gutting it out but suffering decreased movement speed which made you an easier target for zombies. In Resident Evil 7, Ethan feels kind of slow by default even while sprinting. Faster movement options do open up but that’s only if you finish the game in less than four hours. Furthermore, the Walking Shoes only increase your speed while you’re walking and not actually sprinting, which makes them sort of pointless.
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