This is the start of a piece I’ll be updating throughout the year or at least as long as it’s relevant: after finishing the game twice and currently embarking on a tour of “Madhouse” difficulty I’ve had time to ruminate on what I saw the first time around in Resident Evil 7, as well as some new things that have had an impact on my views as a whole. My opinion as stated in my review, that it’s a good game with a weak last act, stands, but this may well affect whether or not it makes my top five list at the end of the year.
Firstly, Jack Baker cut my leg off. It wasn’t a scripted thing, I actually completely missed it first time, but on my second playthrough after being attacked one time too many Jack cut my leg off with a shovel. What’s interesting is what happened next: he walked away from me, placed a strong health med on the floor, knelt down and mockingly told me I could fix my leg. So I picked up my leg, crawled over and poured health med on my foot and stump until it reattached. Things like this are what stand out far more than the actual story for me. As I saw in Jim Sterling’s video and as attested to by a friend of mine to whom it also happened; during the garage fight Jack can pull Ethan out of the car and use it as a weapon instead of you, driving around the garage trying to clobber you. It has to be seen for the full effect; this wonderful, camp dark humour of a homocidal swamp rat who was just slicing you up for not eating raw intestines and is now driving around a garage in a car with no roof, cackling to himself and happy as a bloodthirsty clam.
Okay so the crux of the matter; Madhouse mode. I haven’t made it too far, but I’ve seen enough to be getting on with. Firstly and least interestingly it is, as the name implies, bastard hard. The first encounter with Jack in which you have to dodge him in a hallway and get a key killed me upwards of five times. My normal tactics of dodging and blocking resulted in being battered, and it was made worse by the fact that Jack now sprints after you. So I had to hide, which turned it into Outlast briefly. More importantly are the gameplay changes: new bird houses with new items, the scorpion key is now locked in one, but inside the main house. Ammo is scarce, enemies appear in different places at different times, and certain items have been moved around. The biggest change is the save system though, and that it now requires a one use item of which there is a finite number in the game, like a real classic Resi game. I really like this mode so far, but personally I wish you could have all the changes but pick a difficulty, because it really is bloody hard.
Right so that’s it for now, I’ll update this with more on Madhouse mode as I play it, and first impressions on the DLC before potentially reviewing it.
Update 1: When I ask for rope, I expect to get rope
I’ve bought the game’s two DLC packs; Banned Footage Volume 1 and 2, and played three of the new offerings so far. They are Bedroom; an excellent escape-the-room puzzle in which Clancy Javis from the “Happy Birthday” VHS must escape from the main bedroom of the main house, stopping and ensuring everything he moved his back in place when Marguerite returns to check on him. Jack’s 55th birthday; a jokey mini game in which Mia has to run around grabbing food for Jack and shooting Molded for time bonuses, and Daughters, which is rather disappointing, and the only piece of definite story DLC I’ve played. I’ll be writing a full review of the DLC soon, but for now I’ll say that it’s about the Baker family’s last night as normal human beings, it can be beaten in about five minutes if you know what you’re doing, and apart from a few great lines (this update’s title being one of them) it’s a wasted opportunity. So for now Bedroom is ace, Jack’s birthday is decent and Daughters is pretty weak . Next update will be the rest of the DLC.
By James Lambert