The Resident Evil series reclaimed its throne as one of the best in the business when it launched earlier this year to critical praise. Now we have the much expected release that includes all the DLC and extra bits at no additional cost to those who buy this re-release. Does the extra content bring the scares, or will it haunt you that you took the time to play it?
The main game is included in the Gold Edition and affects the overall score, but will be excluded in this review as you can read all about it here. Resident Evil VII biohazard – Gold Edition includes every bit of additional content. There are some hits and misses, but overall it’s a decent package if you’ve never played the game at all. For those who played the main experience it’s perhaps not much to return to, unless you need to tie up some of those plot holes left open at the end of the main game.
SPOILER ALERT – If you’ve not yet completed the main game please don’t read any of the paragraphs that follow. Got that? Good, let’s go.
Some video tapes were missing from the main campaign and in this DLC you can play events that got recorded on VHS. In total there are four new tapes – Nightmare, Bedroom, 21 and Daughters. Nightmare and 21 are the two least exciting of the lot. In each video you will be playing as Clancy Jarvis, the person who was the camera man in the first demo after the game was announced at E3. Nightmare has you fighting off the Molded and other undead as you set traps to survive from midnight until morning in a game of trying to survive, while 21 is a sadistic game of Black Jack where Clancy can lose limbs or get shocked treatment for losing.
There are some heart-stopping moments that will remind you of some of the panicky events with Jack Baker early on in the main game
Bedroom is one big puzzle game. Clancy has been caught and strapped to a bed by Marguerite. It’s up to you to escape, but make any noise and you have to set the room back to its original status or she’ll kill you for trying to escape. It’s probably the best bit of puzzling I experienced in the entire game and will take some thinking to work it all out. Lastly there’s Daughters that follows the tragic story of how the Bakers turned into who you met in the original outing. What was once a kind-hearted little family has an experience of specific events that changes them. You play as Zoe in a normal day when her dad comes through the door with a girl he found passed out. He heads upstairs and asks her to bring this girl new clothes. It’s here where it all turns to crap. There are some heart-stopping moments that will remind you of some of the panicky events with Jack Baker early on in the main game.
Not a Hero
The free DLC is also likely the best extra bit of content available in this collection. Players play as Chris Redfield, who now works for Umbrella, and takes place after events at the end of the main game. Lucas Baker is still on the loose and Chris needs to track him down as well as find three soldiers who have gone missing in their search for him. As with the main game Lucas is an expert at setting traps and puzzles for Chris to solve, though most these puzzles require a mere ‘activate the switch around the corner’ to solve it. Chris, as any Resident Evil game before it, is all about the action and he’ll be shooting his way out of any situation. Be careful though, there is a particular new Molded foe that can’t simply be downed using standard ammunition. It’ll last you just over an hour, but it’s a satisfying experience and ‘free’ never hurt anyone.
End of Zoe
Considering this is paid-for content, if you don’t buy this collection, it’s possibly the most disappointing of the lot. It’s fantastic for filling some plot holes, but that’s about it. These events take place after Zoe is left stranded by Ethan and Mia back at the boathouse midway into the original game. Zoe ventures off in her search to find help when she suddenly turns into a crystallised form of herself. Before long she is surrounded by Umbrella soldiers when a guy walks in and pummels them into submission. It’s her uncle, Joe Baker, who wants to help her cure the E-Type virus in her body. It’s who you will be playing as and he does not do the ‘gun’ thing. Nope, he quite literally punches his way out of any problem. It’s this aspect that makes it a fun experience at first that ultimately wears down very quickly.
Can’t get through that gate? Punch it to pieces. Are the Molded attacking you? Punch them
Can’t get through that gate? Punch it to pieces. Are the Molded attacking you? Punch them. It’s as if you’re playing a game of Punch-Out!!. Should you find scrap metal and a tree branch you can combine it to create a wooden spear when battling Alligators in the water and you’ll find the odd stake bomb, but that’s as diverse as it will get. To regain health Joe can consume critters he finds in the bark of trees or under rocks and should he find a Boxer Effigy it will increase his punching strength by one percent for each effigy he finds. Towards the latter part of the DLC Joe will pick up a particular cool weapon, but it’s best you experience that for yourself.
It’s my party and I’ll eat if I want to
The last two packs of DLC is nothing special, though one has a particular (and typical) Japanese twist to it. Ethan Must Die is basically a case of Ethan re-entering the haunted house and fighting off waves of enemies. He starts off with a knife and smashes boxes that provide him with random weapons. Survive as long as you can, basically. Jack’s 55th Birthday is a little wacky. It’s Jack’s Birthday and the only way to keep him happy is to provide him with food. Search the house for food before time runs out and kill Molded to gain time. Serve Jack his food to fill the gauge and you move on to the next stage.
Other than the free Not a Hero DLC, and two of the banned tapes, the extra content is really nothing worth getting too excited about. If you bought the base game earlier this year then the free DLC is what you should stick to. For those who buy this complete collection there are entertaining bits, but it’s still the main game that’ll fill the survival horror void you’re after.