If you read the review of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard for PlayStation 4, at this point you will have made more of an idea of what are the key elements of the adventure, and in general on what are, in the mechanical level and not only, strengths and weaknesses of the expected return of the series.
Therefore it's clear that that article is precisely the point of reference for all those who want to eventually expand on aspects of the game in terms of gameplay and longevity, because in that sense, if we exclude some technical features such as support to the PlayStation VR viewer, the two versions are identical. In this review, then, in addition to offering a second perspective on the game, we will focus on those that are then unique aspects in Xbox One edition.
THE ROOTS OF FEAR: THE OLD AND NEW WHO MEET
A few years since the last appearance as the main series, Resident Evil has changed a lot. What we have experienced in many hours of play is indeed a different experience than the one to which we had become accustomed to the saga, although in some ways, as we will see shortly, it is ideally similar to that of its historical chapters.
From a stylistic point of view it is undeniable that Resident Evil 7 Biohazard seems almost a reboot, not only because it diverts part of themes and stories told from the traditional (but do not worry, there are ties), but also because, while maintaining a conceptual level several of the classic elements of the series gameplay, radically changes the setting, passing by the typical view of an adventure in the third person to that at first, to realize an experience where the person view, but also the set design, equipped with a certain evocative power, they have at least equal importance compared to the careful planning of their movements from a dark corner of the house to another, or to solve puzzles.
The scenario of Louisiana, with its extensive wetlands and the giant maze of canals that transform hazy areas, isolated areas where reality seems suspended in time and space, it is in such perfect sense for the purpose, and seems to come out of one of the black fairy tales of the brothers Grimm. Resident Evil 7 Biohazard has indeed a dark and gloomy setting, made of dense forests of palm and cypress trees inhabited by unhealthy creatures and deformed monsters instead of the traditional figures of wolves, witches and trolls, and domestic areas that experience terrible killings.
The perfect setting to stage a story that sees the protagonist a common man, Ethan Winters, who in search of the missing wife finds himself pulled into a waking nightmare, forced to fight step by step to try to survive in a scenario which pays homage to films such as the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Wrong Turn and, in a couple of ideas, to American Horror Story: Roanoke. A story perhaps not very original, then, and that for this uses some of the typical cliches of dozens of genre films, but that works to the gameplay service and commissioning of each scene that can return an atmosphere and a involvement as few.
The gamer finds himself in a desperate situation, and with no way of escape, forced to approach each in a different phase, even hiding and running away when needed, given the presence of enemies that can not always be felled , at least in a conventional manner. With more a heavy feeling of extreme and constant danger loneliness excellently amplified even from details such as the few curative items, the scarcity of the projectiles and the need to optimize the resources in its possession to survive.
What then, if you think about it a moment, are just some of the aspects that characterized at the concept level, as we have written before, the first chapters of the saga.
Down when Shinji Mikami invented the first Resident Evil set out from these assumptions as we told you in an old article on the subject, the game designers gave shape to a learner's personal world of terror, where fear was always around the dark corner of a corridor or the dirty glass of the windows of a room, and the gameplay would put some emphasis on the concept of survival via game elements such as the limited means with which to defend themselves from enemies, inventory by limited space to manage, puzzles to be solved or the use of notes scattered as ingredient Appointment to the canonical narrative that was done via dialogue or cutscenes.
All of which, incidentally, they are present in this Resident Evil 7 Biohazard and making it equal to the first chapters despite its "diversity". A further confirmation of what we have just described, there is also the return of an old element of the series, the trunk, which brings in its wake a strategic management of resources and objects to carry around, with the need to making multiple trips if you are at odds with the available spaces. And that of the predetermined checkpoint save system, but this time exploitable through the use of recorders in place of traditional typewriters.
Resident Evil 7 Biohazard has 37 goals for a total of 1000 points. To get them you have to complete certain challenges, such as complete the game in the three levels of difficulty provided, or by collecting a specific object or resisting the attacks of a family member.
IN THE SWAMPS OF LOUISIANA
To adequately support all that we have described so far is the RE engine and, consequently, a technical well-made segment, which rests its foundation on a sound department worthy of a film and on a well-defined graphics. From this point of view, Resident Evil Biohazard 7 on Xbox One should adopt a dynamic resolution depending on the complexity of the scene or not, would change on the fly in fact the resolution up to a maximum of 1080p.
Particular that, in fact, we can not confirm 100% since we have not been able to "measure" and that is not known to the naked eye, and therefore we report only as additional information. However, the frame rate is fairly stable at 60 and the boots are close to zero. We write "pretty" because in a couple of circumstances, in fact, we have noticed a slight decrease in performance. Minor stuff and, we repeat, sporadic, which point out for the record, and therefore may have been random, with the title that is absolutely enjoyable and nice quality.
The effects of light and the shadows are in fact the best we have seen in recent months, with a number of light/dark games that go to make it more credible and thus terrifying scenarios in which the user is forced more often than not moving, being careful not to make too much noise and not to attract unwanted attention of some threat.
The various environments, both domestic and external, are cared for in every detail, and details such as the dirty dishes not clear what, the consummate and rotten wood of the furniture, mold, filth in every corner, even outdoors, contribute greatly to instill a sense of uneasiness and overwhelming disgust. Maybe some texture close up view betrays a certain simplicity in its underlying structure, but if on the one hand they do not show a particularly high detail, on the other hand are appreciated for a great variety, and thus on balance there is nothing which may affect much the general quality from the aesthetic point of view.
Among other well they integrated into everything the various particle effects that handle dust and other elements such as the typical mist of wetlands and marshes, who perform their job well dampening the underlying stagnation and making it even more "special" the atmosphere. Also good modeling of the characters, at least for those "human" by a significant effort in the facial acting, and the quality of the animation, as well as the overall physical, able to leave open-mouthed for the way it handles realistically even the cuts on the meat, of gunshot wounds and so dynamically.
The only flaw in our opinion the absence of at least some of the classic enemies of the series, which in our opinion would be a welcome addition to every point of view. To close the technical aspect is obviously the audio. The game is all spoken in Italian with a recitation dubbing rather apt, like the music, they are no different, given that blend well with the surrounding environment and narrative of the game and help to increase the degree of involvement with some tracks that are activated in the most dramatic and horrific situations.
Similarly the environmental effects adequately perform their task, accompanying the player in the exploratory stages with a series of ad hoc sounds, which sometimes do not fail to arouse some anxiety : in fact, just the creak of a door that is opened, or thud of a fallen object in the room next to the tension grow even without the subsequent appearance of some enemy.
Let's be honest. Our initial approach with Resident Evil 7 Biohazard was not the most happy, because we started to play with a little skeptical attitude, worried by the idea of being disappointed by a title that we waited a long, long time, but from what we saw it looked very different from the classic episodes of the series. Fortunately, however, fears have vanished in a flash, giving way to the pleasure of playing with a scary game, built ideally classical scaffolding of the first Resident Evil, but reinterpreted to adapt to the times.
In fact, the product gives a nod to the founder of the series, mixing old and new elements to satisfy both those fans that required a return to a level of atmospheres origins, both those who wanted a more modern kind of experience, such as that related to securities such as Alien: Isolation and Outlast. Resident Evil 7 Biohazard is therefore less different compared to its early predecessors than it seems at first glance.