As usual I have to state a few things before I start talking about my experience with the game. First is that this is the first Resident Evil game I have ever played or owned. Second, horror games are incredibly not my favorite genre to play, in fact it is probably my least played video game genre.
So the game begins with this weird message from your wife Mia Winters:
You play as the husband, the recipient of the video message Ethan Winters. Now when I first saw this I was a bit lost and thought that maybe they were past characters and that maybe I should know them, but from my understanding they aren’t. The video recording of the message that your missing wife sent you in my opinion does it’s job very well, which I think it’s supposed to remind you of those horror movies that are shown from a camera recorder perspective.
During the video of your wife speaking, you are shown a shot of the type of location that you will be in for the duration of the game:
Now I have lived down south before and when I saw this quite beautiful shot of the landscape my internal thoughts were
damn, we’re going to a freaking swamp I bet. And ding ding ding I was correct, from my understanding the game takes place in a good ole bayou in Louisiana. I have some family down in New Orleans so let me tell you, if you didn’t have a reason to go to Louisiana other than to emulate swamp life that you get a taste of from the game. You should make it a priority to go to experience the food. There is nothing in life like some good crawfish, po’ boys, and gumbo, amazing for the soul not so much for your heart.
Eventually you pull up to the Baker’s home, where a large portion of the game will be taking place:
Are you people seeing this, when I saw this I was like, omg this atmosphere, they really nailed it. However when you finally get control of the character I realized this game uses a sickening amount of motion blur, which i’m not really sure why since its very good looking without it. But anyway the gate is locked, and of course you have to find a way in that isn’t the most direct option, so your start walking through the nearby woods. The atmosphere of the swamp really brings back memories.
Next you find a way into to the really creepy house, and what I saw next kind of made my stomach sink a little bit:
This shot just feels so lonely, when I saw this, I felt like it was literally me in this huge house. I have experienced something similar in real life that this screenshot depicts before, for example when I was younger I went with my grandmother to a friend of hers home. Her friend I forget his name after all these years had died of what I am guessing is old age, and before his death I was told that he rarely had any visitors. As a matter of fact there was so little traffic in his home you could tell by dust print thickness on the floors where he would hobble along on his last days. The rooms if I am remembering correctly had a thick breathing environment that smelled of moth balls while somehow feeling like the air had literal weight to it, making breathing a bit of a chore. I remember seeing a few family photos that sat on this shelf that had so much caked on dust that when I went to wipe the glass, my fingers were left with what looked like dried mud. Til this day because of that experience I harbor some fear of growing old.
Anyways back to the game, walking through the kitchen really made me appreciate the attention to detail. As a none horror fan this kitchen really put me on edge. As I was checking everything I decided to check the pot on the table thinking there might be some leftovers which the Bakers did in fact leave for me to partake in.
That was not what I was expecting however, I was kind of grossed out. Anyway, as you keep exploring you find Mia in the basement, and you end up getting chased by someone named “daddy.” Then for some reason Mia, your wife, the person you came all this way for attacks you. I instantaneously attack back (I don’t condone domestic violence lol), thinking no your not getting me i’m gonna live, but in the end you are eventually knocked out.
You wake up to a really disturbing scene that shows how the main antagonist are for a great deal of the game.
These are the Baker’s, nice people probably, maybe, ok not really but they did offer some dinner to which I humbly declined. After this scene this is where the real game begins, turns out this really is a horror game.
There are jump scares everywhere, the bleak atmosphere is nerve wracking, like I mean just hearing your own steps as you walk the creaky halls really put me on edge. There are superhuman enemies, and til this day I don’t really understand the intention of the health system. At one point you literally got your hand cut off by a chainsaw and it gets stapled back on and works like it never happened. Also anytime you are injured of any kind you simply pour what I’m guessing is antiseptic wash on your hand and your just all of the sudden not really hurt any more??
As I was playing I start to think, maybe it was due to this being my first real Resident evil experience, but I had a hard time trying to figure out what the developer intention was to proceed to the next segment of the game. At this point I’m learning that I have to let a lot of things go for this game to work, then this happens:
Now this must be one of the dumbest cops ever, why is he all the way out here by HIMSELF?? But I guess it’s fine because as you could probably guess he doesn’t last long, but to be honest the way he died it just didn’t flow right I think, or maybe I was just looking to hard. Your boss fight with Mr. Baker showed me that the enemies in this game just keep coming back, over and over, and over again. This had me completely puzzled, like how was he alive after everything that happened to him.
Communication with a character that helps you primarily happens through a telephone, not a cell phone but a landline telephone. Doors open from doing some kind of light show puppet shadow puzzles. Actually since I’m speaking about it, this game is full of puzzles and resource management something I didn’t know about until I was playing the game. As you progress through the game the old man literally just keeps coming back, like seriously just stay dead. And you get introduced to one of the other types of enemies:
As you can tell this guy, thing, sludge, slime ghost, i’m not sure what it technically is made out of but it hits the living crap out of me. It smacked me so hard all the attitude I had about the fight with the old man is now on the wall behind me.
Now I am not a homeowner but there are a few questionable things or places in the Baker’s home that might make you ask why would they need this. For example why is there a full blown morgue in the basement, what do they even need that for. Also the main character is kind of stoopid, at one point in the game he lets himself get full on spartan kicked, he could probably have drunkenly swayed to the side and avoided it but hey its a video game so you should just let it go I guess.
You have some boss fights which are in my opinion all serviceable, solve a few more puzzles, find some items then you come to the real choice of the game which is to give the serum you created to Zoe( the person over the phone) or Mia (your wife). And from here you enter the last act of the game.
I chose to give it to Zoe. You play as Mia for a bit before being given control of Ethan again, and you proceed to search and fight on the huge ship that sank in a swamp. During this segment you find out what the little girl is about:
Then you head to the salt mines for the final part of the game and a boss fight. This primarily is just combat trials, the puzzle elements to the game are pretty much over at this point.
At the decision where you decided to give the serum to either Mia or Zoe, that it is where the game splits into two different endings, so if you care you have to go back and play a second time to get all of what this game has to offer. I chose the Zoe ending so that is where my thoughts are coming from.
In the end this game to me is not my style of game, I didn’t really enjoy it that much, but there wasn’t really anything that I thought was bad. If I had to give a more detailed reason it would be, I don’t like the feeling of being scared. That high heart rate, the tense sensation during breathing, etc, just aren’t for me. If you are a resident evil fan I definitely think the change of perspective by itself is worth a play. This game really nailed what it was trying to do, but to me you have to let an incredibly large amount of realism go for this game to work at all, even though i’m pretty sure they didn’t care about that anyway. For people who aren’t a Resident Evil fan and just like horror or are looking for something a bit different that is horror, at the current price point, I think this is a pretty good purchase. For people that generally don’t enjoy horror experiences, your not missing much.