Dismembering Resident Evil 7: Part One

Resident Evil is a name any gamer from the last twenty years knows. It’s looked to as a grandparent in the survival horror genre of video games. And though the first game might not have aged well, it nevertheless introduced a new way to experience nightmares. Nothing had come out like it, even with Alone in the Dark being four years its senior. Resident Evil though, was setting the stage for what horror games would become. The genre has, of course, adapted to the times – for better or worse. The horror genre is passionate, so the virtual interpretation to come from said genre is a mix of emotions that can encompass the intense feelings that embody a part of our own psyche that is as old as we are.

Which brings us to Resident Evil 7. Welcome home. The Bakers will take good care of any guest. This house is well worth the stay, even if one might not make it out alive. So, let’s linger a while and enjoy our time with the Bakers, they are oh-so hospitable, after all. The food may look bad, but trust me, it’s not terrible, once you get to know them. Marguerite’s cooking is few-n-far between, ain’t nothing like it. And Jack, well… just don’t make him angry. Oh, and if anything should happen to ya, the Bakers will fix you right up – right as rain.

Dinner by candlelight.

The Body

This will be a short collection of work, looking at different aspects of Resident Evil 7 in a format that is easy to digest, even if disgusting. A playful way to peel back the many layers to a game that is an outstanding representation of horror in modern times. Resident Evil 7 is a conversation about what it means to be a person and the evil that can radiate from our own psyches with the potential of becoming an out-of-control blaze, burning everything to the ground. We can most certainly be, our own worst enemies.

Resident Evil is of course a AAA game, and after the last two games, fans were let down, to say the least. Luckily, Capcom had already realized it was time to change direction, time to put the player in the shoes of the protagonist. When the player is confronted by whatever horror awaits, with their own eyes, it evokes a certain sense that other horror games can’t pull off. Give Resident Evil 7 the bonus of being a VR experience and you’ve got a cocktail of a game that will grip you tightly with firm hands not letting go. Which is why staying with the Baker family is such a delight. They represent perfectly the attitude and feel of just what made Resident Evil so worthy of praise. Resident Evil 7 is also able to bring itself up to speed with modern times and the things we might most be afraid of. What’s scarier than your unknown neighbor?

Just that creepy neighbor that’s across the street.

The solitude of single home off the beaten path can either be calming — for getting away from the noise of society — or uneasy, because who knows who lives out in the middle of nowhere. Our imaginations have a wonderful way of getting the best of us. Resident Evil 7 uses this feeling of isolation fully, and the more time spent in the Baker home the more one wants to get the hell away. On the flip-side of the coin, it can’t be helped but to be deeply curious about the situation and just what happened to this family. Once inside what’s to stop one from exploring the entire house; Ethan is already trespassing after all and his situation is horrific.

Resident Evil 7 presents themes of, home, family and relationship. Nailing each aspect in its own way, showing the audience things familiar. Often times, our worst nightmares and the things we fear are the things that are close. The Baker family is like the satanic family we never had, but how many, probably imagine their families, at say, a holiday dinner. They show off the worst sides of what people can become, while also maintaining a symbolism of the ties that bind us. Blood is thicker than water, eh? By looking at these different aspects in Resident Evil 7, this will be an opportunity to see the things that one can be most afraid off, and why it’s so successful at evoking such feelings.