Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, known in Japan as Biohazard 7: Resident Evil, is the eleventh main entry and the newest main installment in the Resident Evil series of survival horror games, developed and published by Capcom for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game was released worldwide on January 24, 2017 except in Japan where it was released two days later. A port for the Nintendo Switch, known as Biohazard 7: Resident Evil Cloud Version was released in Japan on May 24, 2018. Versions for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S are set for release in late 2022.
The story follows Ethan Winters as he searches for his wife Mia, which leads him to a derelict plantation inhabited by the Baker family. Ethan makes use of weapons and tools in the fight against the Baker family and creatures known as the "Molded". Healing herbs are used in the event of injury and there are puzzles that may be solved to further the story. Instead of being action-oriented like most recent Resident Evil games, the survival horror element present in earlier installments took priority. Thus, it was decided that a first-person perspective be included. It is the first commercially released game developed for Capcom's "RE Engine".
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard was followed by Resident Evil Village.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is the first main installment to be played from a first-person perspective (some of the earlier spin-off games utilized a similar viewpoint). The player controls the protagonist Ethan Winters who, although he is a civilian who offers few combat skills, is able to arm himself with a variety of different weapons including handguns, shotguns, axes, flamethrowers, explosives and chainsaws against enemies including the Baker family, and a newly introduced type of creature known as the "Molded". Additionally, he is able to quickly turn 180 degrees to avoid enemies, as well as block incoming attacks to reduce damage. Various portions of the game are spent being pursued by members of the Baker family, who if engaged in combat, can only be temporarily incapacitated. However, these encounters are entirely avoidable by means of stealth, or simply running away.
Unlike many recent Resident Evil installments, the gameplay emphasizes horror and exploration over action. The inventory uses a grid-based system with an initial capacity of twelve slots, but may be expanded several times over the course of the game. An item can occupy up to two spaces, and four items may be assigned to the D-pad. Item boxes may also be used to manage and store items for later use. Items in the inventory can be used, examined, or combined with other items to increase their usefulness. Many of the game's puzzles require that items be examined under certain conditions in order to reveal secrets. Although the game features an autosave system, tape recorders can be used to manually save the game's progress, which depending on the given difficulty level, may require the use of a cassette tape. Videotapes are scattered for Ethan to find, which place the player in the perspective of a different character, oftentimes revealing plot information or clues needed to solve a puzzle. Certain features such as Quick time events (which has been used since Resident Evil 4) are entirely absent.
The PlayStation 4 version of the game is also playable in VR using the PlayStation VR headset, with the core gameplay mechanics remaining identical. After a year of PSVR exclusivity, compatibility with VR devices for other platforms will be released in 2018.
- Ethan Winters
- Jack Baker
- Marguerite Baker
- Lucas Baker
- Zoe Baker
- Mia Winters
- Peter Walken
- Clancy Jarvis
- Andre Strickland
- David Anderson
- Chris Redfield
- Joe Baker
The game is set four years after the events in Resident Evil 6 in "modern times" (year 2017) and follows Ethan Winters who is drawn to a derelict plantation in Dulvey, Louisiana, by a message from his wife Mia, who has been missing for three years. Exploring a seemingly abandoned house, Ethan finds Mia imprisoned in the basement. During their escape, Mia is possessed by an unknown force and attacks Ethan, forcing him to kill her. After receiving a call from a woman named Zoe offering assistance, Ethan is attacked by a revived Mia, and then subdued by Jack Baker, patriarch of the Baker family. Ethan is held captive by Jack, his wife Marguerite, their son Lucas, and an elderly wheelchair-bound woman. Although Ethan escapes his captors, he is repeatedly confronted by Jack, who demonstrates the ability to regenerate from fatal wounds and dismemberment.
Zoe again contacts Ethan, revealing she is the Bakers' daughter. Zoe informs Ethan that she, her family, and Mia are all infected with the same ailment, but can be cured with a special serum. Ethan makes his way to an old house to retrieve the serum ingredients, where he is forced to kill Marguerite. After recovering the ingredients, Ethan begins experiencing visions of an unknown young girl. Lucas captures Zoe and Mia before Ethan's return, and forces him to navigate a booby-trapped barn to find them. Ethan outwits Lucas, causing him to flee, and frees Zoe and Mia. Zoe then develops two serum doses, but Jack, now heavily mutated, attacks the group and Ethan uses one dose to permanently kill him. Ethan must then choose to cure either Mia or Zoe. Choosing Zoe leaves Mia heartbroken, despite Ethan's promise to send help. As he and Zoe escape on a boat, Zoe reveals that the Bakers were infected after Mia arrived with a young girl named Eveline when the wreck of a tanker ship washed ashore. To prevent their escape, Eveline psychically kills Zoe, and Ethan is knocked from the boat by a creature. If Ethan chooses Mia, Zoe gives a bitter farewell to him and Mia. As he and Mia escape on a boat, they come across the crashed tanker where they are attacked by the creature and knocked from the boat.
Regardless of the player's choice, Mia ends up on the wrecked ship and searches for Ethan while experiencing visions of Eveline, who refers to Mia as her mother. Eventually, Mia's memory is restored, revealing that she was a covert operative for an unnamed corporation that developed Eveline as a bioweapon. Mia was escorting Eveline as she was being transported aboard the tanker when Eveline escaped containment and sank the ship. She then infected Mia in an effort to force her to be her mother. After finding Ethan, Mia gives him a vial of Eveline's genetic material. If Ethan cured Zoe, Mia succumbs to Eveline's control and attacks Ethan, forcing him to kill her. If Ethan cured Mia, she resists her control long enough to seal Ethan out of the ship to save him.
After leaving the shipwreck, Ethan discovers a hidden laboratory inside an abandoned salt mine. There, he learns that Eveline is an E-Series bioweapon capable of infecting people with a psychotropic mold that gives her control over her victims' minds, resulting in their insanity, superhuman regenerative abilities, and various mutations. Eveline grew up obsessed with having a family, influencing her to infect Mia and the Bakers, and lure Ethan to the Bakers' home. Lucas is also revealed to have been immunized against Eveline's control by the organization in exchange for providing observations on her. Using the lab equipment and Eveline's genetic material, Ethan synthesizes a toxin to kill her, and then proceeds through a series of tunnels that lead back to the Baker house. Eveline assaults Ethan with hallucinations, but he overcomes them and injects Eveline with the toxin, ending her facade and revealing her as the elderly woman in a wheelchair, who has been rapidly aging since her escape. Eveline mutates into a large monster but, aided by the arrival of a military squad, Ethan is able to defeat her. With the threat over, the squad and their leader, who identifies himself as "Redfield", extract Ethan by helicopter. If Ethan did not cure Mia, he throws his phone containing her last message to him from the helicopter, saying "goodbye". If Mia was cured, she is found alive aboard Redfield's helicopter. As the helicopter flies away, it is shown to be branded with a variation of the Umbrella Corporation logo.
Beginning Hour (standalone demo)
Beginning Hour begins in a dilapidated abandoned house where the unnamed male player character is given the goal to escape. The player can explore, interact with objects in the environment and also pick up some objects and put them in the inventory. The player can find a picture of a helicopter that sports the Umbrella Corporation logo. By exploring, the player finds a S-VHS tape containing a video recording dated June 30, 2017. The recording was made by a cameraman named Clancy Javis who along with the producer and the host of a paranormal television show enter the same abandoned house the player character is in, to capture footage for their show.
Player control then switches to Clancy. The producer explains that the house belonged to the Baker family who disappeared three years ago. He also says there were bad rumors about their son, Lucas. When the producer goes missing, Clancy goes looking after him but he is startled to find his bloodied corpse hanging by a hook on the wall and falls to the ground. As an unknown party begins stepping closer to Clancy, the tape recording ends. Control then resumes to the present where the main character continues his attempt to find a way to exit the house, until he gets attacked by a person, whose picture appears on the walls of the house, telling him "Welcome to the family, son!".
The ending's details vary slightly depending on the order the player explores the house and interacts with objects. The playable part of the demo is book-ended by scenes from the KITCHEN demo, which reveal what happened to the host and Clancy. The host is first stabbed to death by a monstrous looking woman carrying a knife before she starts ominously approaching Clancy, implying suffers the same fate (in the full KITCHEN demo, Clancy indeed dies).
Not A Hero
BSAA agent Chris Redfield teams up with the now reformed Umbrella Corporation in order to apprehend Lucas Baker and uncover evidence on the mysterious group that created Eveline, called "The Connections". After rescuing Ethan Winters and sending him away on a helicopter, Chris proceeds into Lucas' lab in the salt mine, where he accidentally runs into one of Lucas' traps and has a bomb attached to his left wrist. Undeterred, Chris continues his pursuit. He tries to rescue several captured Umbrella soldiers, but they are killed by Lucas' traps. Eventually, Lucas decides to activate a timer on Chris' bomb. Chris is forced to freeze the bomb in liquid nitrogen, disabling it long enough for him to remove it.
With the bomb removed, Chris battles his way through more of Lucas' Molded and traps. He then finds his way into a secret Connections research lab, where Lucas had killed all of the Connections researchers and plans to betray the organization. Chris manages to corner and shoot Lucas, which triggers a mutation in his body. Chris battles and eventually kills the mutated Lucas, and also stops him from transferring all of his data on Eveline to the Connections. With his mission done and Eveline's infection contained, Chris returns to the Umbrella base camp for an urgent call.
End of Zoe
Following the path where Ethan cures Mia instead of Zoe, Zoe wanders into the swamp where she is apparently killed by Eveline. However, a pair of Umbrella soldiers find her body and discover she is still alive when they are ambushed by Joe Baker, Jack Baker's brother and Zoe's uncle. Joe initially believes Umbrella is responsible for Zoe's condition, but the captured Umbrella soldier claims that they have a cure for Zoe stored in a nearby shack, so Joe goes to retrieve it. However, he only finds a partial dose of the cure and the Umbrella prisoner is killed by a Molded before he can lead Joe back to Umbrella's base. Joe flees with Zoe on a boat until his progress is stopped by a massive perimeter wall, forcing him to search for the base on foot. Along the way, he is pursued by a particularly powerful Molded called the "Swamp Man" that keeps returning every time Joe defeats it.
Joe finds the base abandoned, but learns that the cure has been moved to a nearby paddle boat. He boards the paddle boat and recovers a full dose of the cure, defeating Swamp Man again in the process. Joe returns to Zoe, but she is kidnapped by Swamp Man before he can administer the cure. Joe gives chase into a heavily infected portion of the swamp, finding Zoe in an abandoned church. However, Joe is once again ambushed by the Swamp Man, who, much to Joe's shock, is revealed to be Jack. After the battle, Joe is knocked out and thrown into the water to die.
Joe eventually washes up near the Baker mansion where he finds himself in the midst of a battle between the Molded and Umbrella forces. He recovers a high tech Umbrella power gauntlet and enters the mansion, where he faces Jack again. Joe defeats and kills Jack for good and administers the cure to Zoe just as Umbrella reinforcements arrive. Chris assures Joe and Zoe that they are here to help, and Zoe is eventually fully cured of her infection. She then receives a phone call from Ethan, and she thanks him for keeping his promise to send help for her.
Following the release of Resident Evil 6, Capcom conducted internal discussions regarding the direction of the next installment. A preliminary version of the game, developed in 2013, featured a more action-oriented gameplay, similar to that of Resident Evil 6. Taking inspiration from the 1981 film The Evil Dead, the developers figured scaling back the game to one location and using a first-person perspective to immerse players would be the best way to return the series to its roots of survival horror. Development began around February 2014. The game is built on a new engine, named "RE Engine", which includes virtual reality (VR) development tools. The decision to make the game first-person was made well before VR was considered; VR development started in October 2015, for which a separate team was created. The introduction of VR demanded that textures be more detailed, discarding flat textures and inaccurate object sizes that had previously been used. A year before the game's announcement, Capcom presented to attendants of E3 2015 a first-person horror-themed VR demo called KITCHEN, which ran on the same engine. While Resident Evil 7 had been in development long before KITCHEN, the latter was seen as an opportunity to evaluate how the RE Engine and its VR capabilities would be received by the public. As a hint to the demo's relation to, at the time unannounced, Resident Evil 7, the logo of KITCHEN had the letter "T" designed so that it resembled a "7", but it went largely unnoticed. In the company's Integrated Report of 2015, the Resident Evil development division of Capcom was stated to focus on creating experiences for the VR market, which included the new VR engine and games for the eighth generation of consoles.
The game was directed by Koshi Nakanishi, who previously helmed Resident Evil: Revelations, leading a development team numbering at about 120 staff. Masachika Kawata and Tsuyoshi Kanda served as producers, Hajime Horiuchi and Keisuke Yamakawa as designers, Yosuke Noro and Tomofumi Ishida as programmers, and Tomonori Takano, Toshihiko Tsuda and Hiroyuki Chi as artists.
For the first time in the series, the narrative designer was a westerner—Richard Pearsey, writer of the two expansion packs of F.E.A.R. and one of the narrative designers of Spec Ops: The Line. At the time of the game's reveal, development was around 65% complete. Some of the creature models in Resident Evil 7 were first created in physical form – a number of them from actual meat – by make-up artists, to then be scanned through the employment of photogrammetry. This technology developed over half of the general assets of the game, but posed a problem in researching the setting of Louisiana because its considerable demand for equipment made it unviable for transport, which required Capcom to model by hand. The game's original score was composed primarily by Capcom's Akiyuki Morimoto, Miwako Chinone, and Satoshi Hori, with additional contributions from Brian D'Oliveira and Cris Velasco. Its theme song, an arranged version of the traditional American folk song "Go Tell Aunt Rhody", was written by Michael A. Levine and performed by Jordan Reyne. Levine's step-daughter Mariana Barreto was the original choice, but ended up doing the background vocals. The song went through about 20 versions until completion. A soundtrack was released digitally by Sumthing Else Music Works alongside the game on January 24.
A cloud version for the Nintendo Switch, titled Biohazard 7: Resident Evil Cloud Version, was released in Japan on May 24, 2018. As the subtitle suggest, this is a cloud version of the game, which is streamed from a server to the console. Players can play the first 15 minutes of the game free, and continue playing the game afterwards by purchasing a pass that allows them unlimited play for 180 days.
In October 2016, Capcom launched a 10 part video series called The World of Resident Evil 7, teasing pieces of the game's contents. A cross-save feature between Microsoft Windows and the Xbox One was confirmed in November 2016. If bought on either PC through the Windows Store or on the Xbox One digitally, it is playable on both platforms through the Xbox Play Anywhere program, making it the first game published by a third-party to be a part of the program.
Versions for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S were announced on March 2, 2022, set for release later in 2022 alongside upgrades for Resident Evil 2 (2019) and Resident Evil 3 (2020). These versions will include visual enhancements including ray-tracing and high-framerate modes, and the PlayStation 5 version will support haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. Owners of the game on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will be able to upgrade for free, and a free upgrade patch for the Windows version will also be released simultaneously. Save data and some DLC will carry over from PS4 and Xbox One to their respective upgraded versions.
The internal marketing team at Capcom collaborated with creative agency iam8bit to produce an escape room called Resident Evil Escape Room Experience, in which groups of six are guided through a series of rooms by Umbrella Corporation employees. It was held at a gallery space in Echo Park, Los Angeles. In London, a similar event was hosted in concurrence with the release.
Purchase of a GameStop-exclusive Collector's Edition included an eight-inch model of the Baker mansion, which when opened functions as a music box playing the main theme rendition of "Go Tell Aunt Rhody", a mannequin finger-shaped 4 GB USB flash drive contained within a VHS tape box, a SteelBook Case containing the game, a lithograph of the Baker family, and a note. The UK version added the Survival Pack: Action Set DLC, a 20th anniversary artbook and a seven-inch replica of the mansion, but did not feature the music box. U.S. pre-orders on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One came with a code for a free digital download of Resident Evil: Retribution. A 4D candle with the scent of the Baker House Mansion was made to enhance the virtual reality experience. The Gold Edition, released on December 12, 2017, includes previously released downloadable content (DLC) as well as the End of Zoe DLC.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in North America and Europe on January 24, 2017, and in Japan on January 26. For the first 12 months of its release, the virtual reality format is exclusive to PlayStation VR. Over 2,000,000 players accumulated worldwide, with over 200,000 of them being VR users. The PC version was tamper-protected by anti-piracy software Denuvo, which was hacked within five days of release.
Shortly after the game's reveal, a playable teaser named Resident Evil 7 Teaser: Beginning Hour was released on the PlayStation Store. The demo takes place in a dilapidated house, which the unnamed male player character needs to escape. Depending on the actions taken by the player, the teaser may have three different outcomes. Capcom later revealed that the teaser was a standalone experience and not a segment of the game, which has more variety in its environments, and additional mechanics, such as combat. By July 2016, the demo had been downloaded over 2 million times. An update called the "Twilight Version" was released on September 15, 2016, and gave access to new rooms and items to find. Along with the new version, Capcom also released a trailer for the game. Another update called the "Midnight Version" was released on December 3, which unlocked additional areas of the house, along with several new items to find and a puzzle concerning a riddle in the Twilight Version. The demo was released for Xbox One on December 9 and for PC on December 19.
A playable demo called Lantern was made available for attendees at Gamescom 2016, as part of revealing the first Resident Evil 7 story trailer. It makes use of found footage and first-person narrative as it tells the story of a young woman by the name of Mia hiding from an agitated old lady holding a lantern. The old lady is Marguerite Baker, who was first mentioned in Beginning Hour.
The first downloadable content package for the game, titled Banned Footage Vol. 1, was released for the PlayStation 4 on January 31, 2017. Banned Footage Vol. 1 includes two scenarios, called "Nightmare" and "Bedroom", and a new game mode, titled "Ethan Must Die". On February 14, Banned Footage Vol. 2 was released for the PlayStation 4, which includes two additional scenarios, called "21" and "Daughters", and a new game mode, titled "Jack's 55th Birthday". Banned Footage Vol. 1 and Banned Footage Vol. 2 were released for the Xbox One and PC on February 21. Not a Hero – a story chapter where players control Chris Redfield, which was delayed from its Q2 2017 release date, was released for free, on December 12, 2017, along with a new DLC called End of Zoe, that came out the same day. While End of Zoe was developed by Capcom, development duties for Not a Hero were outsourced to HexaDrive.
Resident Evil 7 received generally favorable reviews, which praised the gameplay, graphics, design and the particular change from action-oriented combat and effects to an approach more grounded in horror. PlayStation VR was hailed for increasing player involvement. However, it was also subject to complaint, with decreased resolution and physical discomfort cited as its chief offenses. Further criticism was directed at the game's boss battles and the final chapter of the game. It had the third-best sales debut in the series and has shipped over three million copies.
Capcom's pre-release sales projection for the game's launch window, through the end of March 2017, was 4 million copies. The game had shipped over 2.5 million units worldwide days after the release, while the demo exceeded 7.15 million downloads. The modest shipment figure had an effect on Capcom's stock price, which fell more than three percent following the Tokyo Stock Exchange. It was the best-selling video game in the UK during its week of release according to Chart-Track, amounting to the third-best debut in Resident Evil history behind 5 (7.1 mill) and 6 (6.6 mill). 200,000 copies had also been sold through Steam during that time. It ranked first in the Japanese charts for the week ending January 29; the PS4 sales totalled 187,306 copies, 58.9 percent of its initial shipment. In the month of January in the United States, Resident Evil 7 sold the most out of any video game. On February 1, Capcom communicated to its investors that the game had recouped its budget. It remained at the top of the UK sales chart in its second week. February saw Resident Evil 7 ranked the second best-selling video game in the United States, behind For Honor. By April 2017, Resident Evil 7 had sold 3.5 million copies worldwide, short of Capcom's expectation of 4 million. In May 2017, Capcom gave the game a lifetime sales forecast of 10 million units, citing favorable reviews, marketing and downloadable content as contributing factors. From July to November, it went from 3.7 million to 4.1 million copies. As of October 2021, the game had sold 10 million units.
- This main installment marks the first time the series' Japanese name (Biohazard) and its Western name (Resident Evil) are both included in the title.
- The horror game's first-person presentation has drawn comparisons to Konami's canceled Silent Hills title and its P.T. teaser demo. In respone, Capcom stated that Resident Evil 7 was in development long before the reveal of P.T., and has dispelled any rumors about staff of P.T. having been hired to work on Resident Evil 7.
- Additionally, the standalone demo, Beginning Hour, has been noted for its similarities with Sweet Home, Capcom's 1989 licensed horror game that inspired the original Resident Evil. These similarities to Sweet Home include the plot of a film crew going to an abandoned house, a paranormal female presence in the house, and a tragic tale involving a family that once lived there. The elements of survival horror in the game's Lantern demo was considered reminiscent of Alien: Isolation.
- The title of the DLC new game mode, "Ethan Must Die", is most likely a nod to the high difficulty mode "Dante Must Die" in the Devil May Cry games, also developed by Capcom.