The tagline on the box of Resident Evil 7 reads “fear comes home” and what an apt bit of marketing that is. The Baker residence (the setting of this game) is as much a character as the protagonist or the crazed hillbillies who inhabit it.
The protagonist in question is a man named Ethan, who finds himself trapped in a massive estate while looking for his wife, an estate filled with all manner of death traps, possessed southerners and supernatural creatures.
The developers at capcom have made a pretty conscious effort to move the series back towards its roots, and it shows in the quality of this game.
RE7 is all about atmosphere, enemy evasion, puzzle solving and resource management. It is an almost perfect masterclass in all these things. The Baker family is filled with personality, striking a balance between being a major threat and a joy to watch. The AI behind these characters isn’t loaded with smarts, but the game makes up for it with an overdose of character.
The gameplay compliments the design of the Bakers and the house extremely well, sequestering each member of the family into their own section of the estate that has its own unique feel.
Ultimately the game’s level design, story and gameplay come together to make one of the most rewarding survival horror games in years. A nearly perfect experience, that’s hampered only by a weak final act and the occasional AI issue.