7 Ways Resident Evil 7 Takes After The Original Game
The original Resident Evil game didn’t just coin the term “survival horror,” it defined the genre, garnering a humongous fanbase and spawning several other similar franchises. The series seemed to have lost its way after its sixth major installment, however, with Resident Evil 4 being the last in the series to remain somewhat faithful to its origin. Capcom decided to go the conventional action/adventure route with the major installments that followed, and fans of the original have been calling for the franchise to return to its survival roots ever since. With Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, that is exactly what the studio aimed to achieve, and boy did they deliver.
As I write this, it’s been a little over a week since the latest addition to the series made its worldwide debut, I’ve finished the game twice and still find myself turning tense through certain parts of the game. While it has its shortcomings, there is no doubt in my mind that it marks the best direction for the franchise. It might be hard to tell at first, what with the first-person perspective and the Outlast-esque prelude, but the game does indeed take cues from the original Resident Evil despite being wildly different from it in several ways.
In what follows, we’re going to discuss the seven major similarities between the two, or in other words, seven reasons old fans of the series might not want to miss the newest installment.
Possibly because they make more sense as items that one would find lying around a house, the typewriters that served as save points in the original game returned in Resident Evil 7 in the form of cassette players. Much like the old save points, these can be found in so-called “safe rooms” that, living up to their name, give you much needed breaks from the horrors that lie elsewhere, complete with soothing background music.
In the original game, you couldn’t save at a typewriter unless you had an Ink Ribbon. Resident Evil 7 does away with that requirement so long as you’re playing on Easy or Normal. Coupled with an autosave feature that is fairly frequent, this change makes walking into new places a little less scary. If you opt for the more gruelling Madhouse difficulty, however, autosaves become rare and saving requires Cassette Tapes, which aren’t exactly hard to come by, but the limitation makes you think twice before creating a new save.
Also returning as part of the safe room ensemble are item boxes, which are essentially drop off points for the items you don’t think you’ll need in the immediate future. Like the first game, players will find themselves running back and forth between dropped items and storage boxes to make room in their inventory.
Limited Resources & Inventory Management
While recent additions to the series may have forgotten that a lack of ammo and consumables put the “survival” in “survival horror,” Resident Evil 7 makes it a point to keep the player perpetually starving for resources. Restorative items are few and scattered and ammo is scarce. On the hardest difficulty, the game will have you contemplating completely avoiding certain enemies to conserve bullets.
When you do come across a few herbs, meds or ammo packs, you might find your inventory filled to the brim with quest items, which is why, like with the original Resident Evil, you will constantly need to manage what you carry and what you leave in the storage box.
Basic crafting has always been an essential part of the Resident Evil series, and Resident Evil 7 is no exception. It’s a way to offer players a choice between certain ammo and restorative items, though both the original Resident Evil and the newest one do occasionally employ it for puzzles and weapons, as with the Burner, Broken Shotgun and Broken Handgun in Resident Evil 7.
Themed Keys & Emblem Doors
Resident Evil 7 follows in the footsteps of the original by creating a kind of nonlinear navigation, dividing its areas using themed keys and doors adorned with matching symbols. There are even a couple doorways that require crests or emblems to open.
The Shotgun Puzzle
The weight-based puzzle in the Main Hall that yields one of the best weapons in the game is a clear homage to the shotgun puzzle in the original Resident Evil. This one just traps you instead of trying to kill you, though.
While such similarities might help lure old fans to the game, there’s much more to the game than nostalgia. It is certainly my favorite Resident Evil game of the past decade. The game earns its scares through three distinct bosses, one of which chased you around relentlessly à la the titular final boss of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, realistic environments that excel at making the you uncomfortable, and excellent sound design. The cherry on the cake is a storyline that seems suggestive of a reboot but eventually ties into the series’ continuity in a satisfying way.