THOUGHTS: Resident Evil 7 Demo

I disappeared for a while. Real life got a bit too real. I’m hoping to be back now for at least a while.

Considering last week was E3, I feel in the post-convention depression I should talk about at least one of the games we got something out of. This won’t be so much a review as it will be just a discussion of my thoughts on it.

Anyway! The basics of the complete game are:

Title: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Genre: Survival horror
Release Date: 24th January 2017 (supposedly)
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom

The gameplay demo for RE7 was released just after or during Sony’s press conference at E3 and PlayStation Plus players could play it immediately. I’m going to stop here to have a disclaimer: I have not played the demo but have watched a fair few YouTubers play it, for different endings and different play styles.

Let’s get the elephant out of the room here and acknowledge that this demo was clearly inspired by PT. Heavily inspired. Capcom saw how well it did and sat around a table and said, “Why don’t we do this but…with weapons?!” and they all clapped and cheered over how great the idea was.

I’m not saying that that’s bad. A lot of horror creators have taken inspiration from PT because if we’re all honest with ourselves: it was scary. You didn’t want to go through the next door because even though you knew it was going to be the same, you didn’t want to risk it being different. The voices and writings appearing at random intervals, Lisa slamming the bathroom door, an aborted fetus in the sink. All of these things were little details that made that demo scary.

But I’m sorry to say that Resident Evil 7’s demo is not scary. There is no fear factor wandering around that house.

The people I watched playing it, yes, had certain moments of breathlessness but not outright fear. There was nobody sat in the chair saying “I do not want to go through that door” or “I don’t want to go up that staircase“. They all continued moving through the house and most wanted to continue exploring.

I mean there had to be a reason for that dummy finger… Right?

One video I watched, the player ignored the moaning/grumbling from behind the TV room door and just talked over it. Moments that should have been chilling just weren’t.

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Source: ign.com

Maybe this is psychological and it’s because as a series Resident Evil went downhill very quickly, and after the abomination of a game that was Resident Evil 6, fans aren’t frightened of this series anymore. It’s like a small child dressing up as a zombie and telling “BOO!”, you might jump or have a small step backwards but underneath the make up you know that they’re just another third person shooter trying to play horror.

I’m glad that Capcom have finally decided to go back to the horror basics but they can’t be too disappointed that fans are sceptical especially when their demo idea has already been done…in the past year.

Moving on as I don’t want to dwell on the not scary thing.

Gameplay looks solid. The inventory system looks similar to that of older RE games, especially the briefcase from RE4. I liked the addition of assigning items to buttons as nothing was worse (to me) than in older RE games when you were fighting an enemy and you might as well have said to them “hang on I just have to rearrange my pockets because I’m out of ammo!“.

The first person perspective is obviously very new to main-game Resident Evil and maybe it will be a nice change. Though there is a nagging sense in the back of my mind that Capcom have only decided on first person so that they can take advantage of VR.

That then begs the question of: is the HUD going to look similar to that of Umbrella and Darkside Chronicles or will they have an entirely different appearance ready for us?

Overall, I liked the demo.

There are a lot of questions that I want to ask but in time they will be answered: Are the enemies zombies? Is Umbrella coming back and not a knock-off company? Why is none of the demo content or characters going to be in the main game? Are they relevant? Will we see any old faces? How is the VR going to work? And what is the deal with that creepy girl who pops up at every corner of the demo?

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Source: gamerant.com

As a long-term fan of Resident Evil I’m excited and nervous to see where this new road takes us but Capcom seem confident that this won’t be a repeat of 6. And hey! No quick-time events either!

I say, roll on January 24th. Let’s make Resident Evil great again.

Just please don’t make us jump out of the way of any trains again…

 

REVIEW: Uncharted 4

Another week, another review. Monday’s seem a good day to upload so maybe I’ll stick to that schedule for a while… Maybe.

So as you can see from the title and the massive image, I will be reviewing “Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End“. I am going to be honest, this is a very close-to-home review to write. I loved this series and I’m very sad to see it go but I guess the hard truth is: Nathan Drake’s story was over; there was nothing left to tell.

Anyway, basics!
Title: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Genre: Action-adventure, third-person shooter
Release Date: May 10th 2016
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Naughty Dog

I have played the original trilogy of Uncharted more than once and it is one of my favourite video game series. Not my favourite, but it is definitely in my Top 5. I’m going to start by making a bold statement right now: Uncharted 4 is my game of the year (so far).

Get it… I put the text in bold. Never mind.

Like any other Uncharted game you play as adventurer/treasure-hunter/thief (does he even have a job title?) Nathan Drake on his quest to find some form of old and lost treasure left behind by people that have far more to their stories than what history tells us. In this case: pirate captain Henry Avery. Only this time you are joined by his, believe-to-be-dead, brother Sam and Nate has long-since retired his fortune seeking ways. Along the way you have to deal with psychopath and wealthy treasure-hunter Rafe Adler and his pal Nadine’s army of grunts also looking for this treasure.
Now again, I want to keep this relatively spoiler-free because who knows maybe you’ve not played this incredible finale of a game series? I may be slightly bias.

So, what was good?

Uncharted 4, to me, had the strongest plot of the entire franchise because at this point, if you had played the others, you already have a strong connection to these characters. Yes, the actual story is predictable as all hell but we all came along for this ride to see how Nathan, Elena and Sully’s journey ended. In my opinion this entire game was about Nate’s growth as a person and what truly matters to him. The flashbacks are wonderful for finally wrapping up the question of “who is Nathan Drake?” and, now delving in to spoiler territory, the scene with Elena and the jeep was the equivalent of the giraffe scene in “The Last of Us“.

If you’ve never played either, it is basically a moment away from the action where the characters are finding peace within themselves and making personal choices in their own heads and it is all expressed through scenery and music. It was a love letter to fans of the series and it tugged at my own heart strings; it was the first point in the game I wanted to cry and the realisation of “this is over” hit me.

Speaking of the scenery; the graphics in this game are incredible. Every country you visit, every forest or cave you enter is beautiful. I enjoyed seeing Panama’s design again from Drake’s Fortune but from a completely different view. One of my favourite things to look at was the water. The amount of detail put in to getting the droplets just right on the character’s faces after swimming or rain was so realistic. Even in caves, the water was so clear you could see little details of seaweed or rocks from above it.

Although there was an area where you can look down in to a canyon and the wildebeest below look like they came from a slightly higher rendered Super Mario 64 and stuck out against the rest of the view… But I’ll give Naughty Dog the benefit for the doubt for that one.

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Source: Polygon

This game was so pretty to look at and they really went all out on trying to prove it by having all sorts of weather conditions from snow to tropical storms. Even the characters’ sweat patches looked good.

As far as gameplay is concerned, it is standard third-person shooting. I’m slightly disappointed that the grenade-throwback option appears to have disappeared but I guess realistically you can’t throw lit dynamite back at people without losing a finger or 10.

I will admit that although they’re very similar to every other piece of action/adventure content, the action sequences are some of the coolest parts of this game and give the feeling of an action-movie come to life especially the vehicle chases. It’s an excellent contrast against the quieter, puzzle elements; which I felt were easier in this one than in previous games. Or was that just me? (And the climbing is as “Assassin’s Creed“-y as always, thanks for asking. Although I guess there’s only so many ways one actor can climb).

What’s to hate?

I’m going to be a little bias here: not a lot.

A lot of the gameplay was re-hashed from the previous trilogy and sometimes it felt like there were too many enemies or over-powered enemies. Not in an “I can’t fight this many people” way but in a “Wolfenstein: The New Order” way of “this is just unrealistic” but I can look past that because I’d rather be shooting guy after guy than climbing for 4 HOURS. The game even gives you statistics of how long you have spent on both the ground and climbing and I’m still not sure if Naughty Dog was trying to troll us on that one. But would Uncharted be Uncharted without those features?

I’m also probably going to be one of the few who feels this way but… I did not like Sam. Without going too in-depth for fear of spoiling things, I just did not trust him throughout the whole game. Whether I was meant to feel that way or no, I certainly did to the point his actions became annoying. Maybe it’s because I can see all the faults in him that Nathan had in previous games. I felt his addition as a brother, for most of the game, was just about as relevant as if he had been a long-lost friend or cousin. My mind slowly changed the further I proceeded in the game but I still felt some of the games story was based around the phrase “he’s my brother”. Good actor though, good casting. Maybe I was supposed to feel this way and this means Naughty Dog has amazing story-telling, but I still didn’t like him.

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Source: Playstation Lifestyle

Would it be nit-picky if I were to talk about the fact that every character we love in this game is a complete and utter psychopath because they kill people mercilessly and have done on multiple occasions and then continue on with their lives as if nothing happened with no consequences for their actions? Probably. I should probably remember it is also just a video game.

For some reason this did bother me and this really set in for me after one of the big cinematic chases where Nathan and Sam end up in the middle of a construction/dockyard-type place as they look on at a burning truck and NOBODY says anything. Not one person thinks to call the police or even be concerned. But again…it’s a video game. I know.

Finally, yes, I am just upset this series is over. That’s it. That’s what I hate.

Final thoughts?

I loved this game. It was an excellent finale to an amazing series. The cinema tics were incredible and beautiful to watch. The characters were wonderfully cast. The story was perfect. I’m sad to see it go but like I said in my last review: one of the best feelings a gamer can get upon finishing one is bittersweet.

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Source: dorkshelf.com

Side note (spoiler): I really liked that there were no monsters or supernatural elements in this one. Even after the pirate ghosts joke. The real monsters were those with this obsession of treasure and wealth. Everyone who goes after those treasures gets what they deserve.

Is this game worth £45 ($65)? 100%, absolutely, no second-thoughts, a big fat YES. 15 hours of fun. Even if you’ve only just heard of this game or don’t own a PS4, this series is a reason to get one. One of the best exclusives I have ever played. Plus, you can play “Crash Bandicoot” in two sections of this game so nostalgia factors give it an extra 10 points.

Farewell Nathan Drake. It’s been one hell of a journey.

I give this game: 5/5

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