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01-23-2017

Resident Evil 7

Resident Evil's been a roller coaster of quality for twenty years now. The first handful of games terrified players by making them exceedingly vulnerable in a world where a biological weapon turned living beings into various nasties that wanted nothing more than to kill you in horrendous ways. Stagnancy raised its head eventually, and Capcom knew that it needed to inject the series' ol' corpse with some much-needed life, and we received Resident Evil 4. Depending on your perspective, that game was either a great reboot that transmuted the series into something more akin to an action horror shooter, or the death knell of the fear that Resident Evil was once associated with.

Though 5 and 6 had a few redeeming qualities, stagnancy was flooding in once again. These games were Resident Evil 4 but bigger, less focused on horror, and you could play them with a friend. The spirit of creativity that Capcom had shown in the past was fading. With the surprise announcement and subsequent demo release for Resident Evil 7, Capcom has been coy about what we should expect. Slower, fearful encounters would make a return, as would a more intimate setting, but it would be seen from a new first-person perspective, and PlayStation VR would be a major component.

I was hesitant to see if Capcom could make Resident Evil a series worth anticipating again. At best, I expected an enjoyable horror shooter with small references to past, fondly-remembered games, and at worst, a slog through a cliché-ridden hillbilly cannibal story. Instead, we have the best Resident Evil game in ten years.

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