Warning: Minor Spoilers
I’m at a stalemate in my first RE7 playthrough,and I’m not 100% sure why.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m enjoying myself. I’m not one of the RE purists that hates the new direction that Capcom has taken. To the contrary. I commend it.
So why oh WHY am I not on my fifth playthrough?
I know what the number one culprit is. The release date. Had RE come out in the fall, when I’m marathoning my horror movie collection, I would already be in the mindset of “scary good”. In January, the only things I find truly terrifying is the idea that I have to go outside into the cold, and my credit card bill from Christmas. So after a long day (because you only play scary games at night, with the lights off). I still have to amp up to do myself a frighten. Sigh. Maybe I’ll just see who’s playing Borderlands instead.
The other issue specifically THIS year, is the abundance of really good titles that have been released post holiday. I didn’t actually get to RE until late February, and it started competing with Horizon Zero Dawn the moment that monster came out. Sometimes I’m the perfect customer for the gaming industry. I want almost all the games, and I seem to have the attention span of a goldfish. Good for my local game retailer. Bad for my wallet, relationship, and completed games list.
But what’s wrong with the game? Nothing really. The graphics are great. The sound design is top notch. There is an atmosphere that I haven’t felt in an RE game in ages ( in a totally good way ).
I think that maybe one of the design choices that works so well, and looks good on paper, even to me, is part of what has put me off so far – the tention that comes from the game never letting you breathe, or feel safe. I know, I know. “Stop whining. It’s a survival horror game!”.
With the switch to first person perspective, I’m just programmed to want to explore. And with a house of horrors and puzzles I can’t help but want to check under every cobweb covered detail for that next clue. But it’s borderline impossible to do with Mr Baker, the unkillable super mutant after you. Stalking you everywhere you go. I had just ran him over with a car a few dozen times, set him on fire, and blew some stuff up in his half a face. I got it pretty early on that he’s not going to be easy to kill, but I would have liked more than two rooms worth of peace and quiet before he showed back up ready to fillet my face.
I understand that the tention they are using is based on me never getting a chance to feel comfortable. The knowledge that there is someone stalking you no matter where you are. Doors won’t save you. Neither will walls in some cases. In theory, I love this. I guess my frustration stems from feeling like there’s a whole game to be played, but I can’t for fear of having my leg removed with a shovel if I stop to check what that VHS tape is all about.
Maybe I’m just being a big baby.
Maybe I need to keep pushing on.
I like what I’ve played so far. I don’t want to play another horror themed walking simulator. I just need to know that I’m not going to spend the next 10 or more hours getting the shit beaten out of me by a bunch of mutant yokels and that’s that.
Maybe I’ll throw it back in after a few more missions in Horizon.
What do you think?
(Keep the spoilers minimal please)