Analysis of Game Design: Resident Evil 7

Resident Evil 7

Resident Evil 7 is a recently released title. With the hardware that is currently available, Resident Evil 7 was released on many platforms, including PC, PS4, and Xbox 1, and because of the current PS4 hardware, there is also a PS VR port available. This is the main reason why I want to talk about this game, because the VR port has significant changes and differences visually to the normal port. Because of the PS VR hardware, the game wouldn’t play the same with the handheld components, so Capcom made the mechanical choice of changing the fixed arm positions from the normal port, to separated models of arms that move wherever you move the respective controllers.

Resident Evil 7 is a survival horror game that is definitely aimed at late teens to adults. The demo that Capcom released really put across that this game was going to be scary and gory from the get go, and the poster and released images showed a scary picture of a girl’s silhouette in front of the destroyed house, which is also targeted to an older audience. The actual gameplay of this game has gone back to the original RE roots, after the series becoming a more run-and-gun orientated series, the series went back to it’s survival horror roots, and is currently a highly regarded scary game that is terrifying even to adults, and definitely not aimed at children, although edgy teens will also find appeal in this game for the scares and the thrill.

The overall games design of RE7 goes back to the survival horror roots with a bang. The game starts of with no weapons or defense, and you slowly build and find more weapons and ammunition as the game goes on. If you don’t look in the right places, you can miss weapons entirely, such as the shotgun and the magnum handgun. The gameplay is also more puzzle based, with puzzle pieces to find, and rotating sculptures to make the silhouette fit a shape. Fighting also requires more strategic thinking, and you need to use more environmental factors to assist in fighting, which mechanically makes the game more fun. Visually, the game well reflects the horror aspects of the game. The house is broken down, and the biohazard monsters climb out of moss on the walls, which for unaware players is terrifying when caught off guard. The house has a spooky and eerie air to it, and it has some uncanny valley to it, because the main house just looks like a normal functioning family house, however individual details like the broken stairs or vile post it notes in the fridge make traversing the house scary. The slapstick arms in the VR port do take the edge off the horror from an outside perspective, and this makes the game seem funnier to a viewer, however I haven’t played this VR port first hand, so maybe it looks better first person. The dlc for this game also takes the scary edge off, with games like Jack’s birthday party, Ethan must die, and 21 which all have funny minigame aspects to them like funny point score animation, funny voice acting and lighthearted arcade aspects, however the daughters dlc is a scary story heavy chapter that I personally would argue is scarier than the main game itself, which shows the family’s transformation into what they are in the main story. The game itself runs smoothly with the current hardware that we have in 2017, with next to no lag or slowness.

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