At a glance, RE7 is unfamiliar from previous Resident Evil titles. The obvious change is from first to third person. Although this breaks from tradition of the Resident Evil series, it maybe refreshing compared to gameplay in previous titles. We can all remember the awkward third person view in Resident Evil one through three. Arguably, a more accurate description would be fixed camera angle gameplay. Very old school to say the least but it worked very well at the time with its series defining scare/horror tactics. You wouldn’t be able to see what was around the corner or at the other end of the hallway without progressing farther.
This helped build on the fear that the Resident Evil series came to be known for. However, this fear began to diminish with the later additions to the series in Resident Evil four through six. The later series moved to a modern, true third person view that was no doubt refreshing from the fixed camera angles. This helped improve the gameplay; focusing more on combat, gun mechanics, and overall player interaction with the environment. Resident Evil 4 is arguably the best one yet and changed the gameplay mechanics of the Resident Evil series to the one we know today.
This diminished the fear/horror tactics that Resident Evil was known for, that established the RE series as a classic. It seems like RE4 was the last great resident evil game. RE6 was laughable at best. Enemies didn’t seem dangerous and this affected overall gameplay. As a long time RE consumer, I felt like 6 was a bad tale of what was to come from future titles. I know I am not the only one that felt this way. Its been voiced by the Resident evil community and they have listened to you! The move to a first person design has brought back the horror roots of where Resident Evil began. Some would argue too much so. And you all know damn well you were scared playing the demo too.
To give back to its loyal Resident Evil community and restore its ground roots, RE7 is going to have a “madhouse” difficulty setting. This is no doubt homage to the painfully difficult classic Resident Evil games. The one thing I hated after I went back and played the remastered RE1 was the saving of a game. Yet it reminded of the late nights spent on Ps1, struggling with low health and low ammo, to find a typewriter and ink ribbon so I could save my progress. In the classic Resident evil games enemies always felt dangerous.
Items and ammo were low and hard to find, enemies absorbed most bullets. Often, you would find yourself attempting to get around enemies to try and find the save point because you knew that you couldn’t last. It was a classic love/hate relationship. The madhouse setting makes enemies deadlier, no checkpoints, no health regeneration, and your favorite, classic save style mechanics! Instead of searching for a typewriter, players need to find special cassette tapes to utilize the save points.
In this way even though RE7 is different from all its predecessors, it’s bringing back familiarity that made the game famous in the first place. This mode will definitely give hardcore gamers and RE fans a run for their money. The Resident Evil series is making a strong and promising return to the spotlight.