I never thought this game would be on this list. I’ve never been a huge Resident Evil fan. RE4 is one of my favorite games of all time, and I think RE0 is a woefully underrated game, but the rest of the series left me mostly feeling nothing at all. I didn’t even get to RE5 or 6 because I just wasn’t interested anymore. And yet despite all of that, as well as the fact this game came out all the way back in January, I still think about this game regularly. It got under my skin in ways few games ever have before.
Resident Evil 7 is a complete reboot of the series, but it’s a robots without creating a new canon or anything. Instead, they mixed up the gameplay into something unlike anything before in the series. The shift to first person is significant, but the real change comes from the renewed focus on terror. I was physically uncomfortable for much of my time playing this game. While recent entries in the series had turned Resident Evil into a shooter with gross elements, but little actual horror, Resident Evil 7 is all about making your skin crawl. The shooting and melee elements of this game are good, but they’re not “fun.” This game doesn’t make you feel like a superhero, it makes you feel like a regular person, and your character just does his best to get by. You feel it as the player, and it’s delicious.
What’s not delicious are the environments you will explore in this game. I will not give much away, as the discovery is part of the joy of this game, but the Baker residence is a dirty, ugly, and downright disgusting place to be. There is a dinner scene at one point that had my both recoiling and laughing at just how disgusting this game was willing to be.
Finally, Resident Evil 7 makes you care more about these characters than anyone else in the series’ history. Again without spoiling anything, there is a moment about 2/3 into the game that made me actually yell “no!” out loud because I didn’t want to have to make the call. Just writing about it again here makes me a little uncomfortable all over again.
This game will stick with you long after the credits roll and I highly, highly recommend it to anyone looking to get creeped out.
See my 5th favorite game of the year.