Resident Evil 7: Biohazard – Banned Footage DLC

Resident Evil 7 has nearly been out for its first month and surprisingly includes paid downloadable content already.

The two DLC volumes include:

[Volume 1]

Night Terror (a Clancy survival mini game, similar to Call of Duty zombies)

Bedroom (a Clancy puzzle game that channels Stephen King’s Misery)

Ethan Must Die (a ridiculously hardcore Madhouse mode with randomised item crates, bomb trip wires and sentry guns)

[Volume 2]

21 / Survival (a Clancy mini game where you play cards against another hostage under Lucas Baker’s hysterical gaze)

Daughters (the prologue to RE7 – play as Zoe and witness the moment Eveline seizes control of The Baker family)

Jack’s 55th Birthday (play as Mia and gather food for Jack Baker in a comical Donkey Kong 64-style mini game)

Realistically this all should have been free DLC or at least kept the crowd waiting a month or two. 

Particularly ‘Daughters’ which is scene-setting for the plot of the game.

Most modes don’t usually last longer than 10 minutes and ‘Ethan Must Die’ is insanely challenging for the sake of it. 

Current world records are no shorter than 14 minutes the last time I checked.

If you’ve completed the game, you’ll know there will be FREE DLC coming in spring (Not A Hero) with more to follow.

Paid DLC will most likely be on sale at some point so if you’re stingy about full price content – enjoy the spoilers.

I understand cash-grabbing opportunities like this but they still leave a bad taste in the mouth of fans. 

Not me. I went all-in and am pleased to have had the deluxe experience of RE7.

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Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (PS4) – SPOILERS

It took me half a day but I finally completed Resident Evil 7.

I was going to play it through PlayStation VR but unfortunately it was making me sick and I didn’t want to slow down for feeling dizzy so I’ll play it in VR later.

The demo and aesthetic RE7 showcased really got me hooked on this release, and it was a satisfying addition to the series – which wasn’t hard following RE6.

I have a few petty complaints about the new game’s design and story but most importantly the mechanics of this game went back to its roots, mimicking the original Resident Evil.

You get a bag with limited space and a trunk in the save room to store your spare weapons, ammo, herbs and key items. Just like first Resident Evil.

Many of the puzzles are throwbacks to RE, like clocks and animal themed keys.

The first creature design seemed very bulky and sharp. Pretty intimidating for a basic low-level enemy. They introduced a couple of others that were slightly different (one had a big claw and another crawled) but that was all there was.

I was hoping for something crimson or some crazy giant rats or gators. But no, just an army of oily creatures like the ones in Resident Evil 6.

Halfway into the game, you find a lot of bees (which again is something found in the first Resident Evil) but they don’t really pose much of a threat, kind of disappointing.

The boss battles showed depth and dramatic change in character design but they felt very limited and confined within the small space of the Baker house.

You do get to explore more areas beyond the Baker house but then it just goes underground and all over the place. I always wondered how they figure out complex maps but the solution this time seemed to be “they’re on acid.” 

Psychoactive-stimulants? Kinda lame.

Unfortunately, towards the end of the game they went overboard with the strange black oily substance and each boss fight became more and more ridiculous. 

The absolute end left me the most confused – something that actually tied to the previous titles, the appearance of a character named ‘Redfield’ (the credits display Chris Redfield). This ‘Redfield’ resembles nothing of the one from RE5 or RE6.

Possibly the first RE, but if it’s set after RE6 that wouldn’t make any sense, it would be like what Capcom did to Frank West – completely change his age, voice and personality.

Another thing that confused me was his helicopter had ‘Umbrella’ on the side. Chris was last seen in BSAA and quoted as hating Umbrella, so either this is a new Umbrella or this isn’t Chris Redfield.

The game then promises some free DLC entitled “Not A Hero” which will definitely stir up some crazy fan theories. 

Digging around a little myself, I found the mystery character looks more like the old design of HUNK from Resident Evil 2 (similar features, blonde hair etc.) and if he’s using Chris Redfield’s identity, it could develop into an excellent story.

Now to play it again in VR…

Dead Rising 4 (Xbox One)

I really enjoyed Dead Rising 3 despite the weird path the game has been on but my first impression of DR4 is not good.

This one seems clunky and lame. 

Like it was intended to be a reboot and someone later decided to tack the project onto the Dead Rising timeline. 

It’s apparently a sequel despite Frank West looks younger, has a new voice actor and is pretty much nothing like himself.

Capcom have done a good job saving Resident Evil but it looks like they’ve lost the wheel with some of the classics. 

Devil May Cry is a mess, Street Fighter have giant heads and giant hands. I’ve got no idea what’s going on.

So now Frank West is a school tutor (for photography?) and one of his students ‘pranks him’ by promising a round of crazy golf, in the middle of the night. 

Then, plot-twist, they’re driving out to Willamette and Frank is triggered.

After having him kill a few hundred of the infected (that she set free) she then develops a heart and ditches him in Willamette with no ride. Cool?

I’d rather have them add another new character or further develop Nick Ramos.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (PS3)

I didn’t play this game the first time around due to a faulty PSP game pad putting me off. 

Only just recently have I completed Peace Walker on PS3. I appreciate the bridges between Snake Eater and Phantom Pain but the story itself seems a little thin. 

It heavily relies on information from Snake Eater (bypassing Portable Ops, the follow up I preferred) but doesn’t develop much of a story itself.

The MSF recruiting feature was good and it was fun building ZEKE but I think a few irritating mechanics let it down.

Inability to pause while choosing recovery items or changing weapons obviously makes sense for online mode.

But it can get annoying when AI mechs stomp you to death for not selecting a ration fast enough.

The Peace Walker boss battle was challenging, which was good, but the music choice for the Metal Gear ZEKE battle ruined its atmosphere.

So you get a female pilot for Metal Gear, for the first time (AI doesn’t count) and instead of something menacing, you’re stuck with J-Pop? 

Didn’t make much sense to me.

Every Time I Die – December 2016 UK Tour

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Every Time I Die play 8 shows in England this year and they never disappoint.

Slam Dunk festival, the rescheduled London takeover and just recently a European tour with ’68.

I was already excited to see them come back so soon but to bring ’68 (another favourite of mine) was overkill.

They played a show 10 minutes from where I live (Southend) and at the weekend, hosted one of their best ever shows at Brooklyn Bowl inside The O2.

I’ve seen ’68 play shows in the UK since their first tour in 2014. It’s nice to see them get the recognition they deserve. 

I heard a lot of good things from a crowd of 900 people having taken a shine to ’68.

The show had no barricades, there were bars, couches and a bowling alley to the right of the venue (with Christmas decoration). It was like being in a movie.

ETID ripped through 20 heavy songs before the crowd begged for one more.

From side-stage I witnessed bodies fly, selfies denied (literally judo chopped an iPhone out of someone’s hand) and security choke slam a loiter into the pit.

2016 was pretty good.

London ComiCon 2016

This year I returned to London Expo to check out the market and do some souvenir-hunting.

There wasn’t really much that jumped out this year but previously I haven’t had the time to look through every table.

So I bought a weekend ticket.

Friday 28th October – I spent most of the day searching for a decent souvenir. 

I found Duncan Gutteridge (the artist behind SEGA Megadrive’s Sonic 2). We had a chat about the history of Sonic on the Megadrive. I found out that the artwork was originally used for a promotional calendar (and a couple of children’s books that I own) but was then carried over to European box art by SEGA. Following the success of Sonic 2, he was then commissioned to create the logo for Sonic 3 and character design of Knuckles.

Saturday 29th October – Saturday’s are always the busiest day and the building was packed as usual. 

I queued up for a photo with Nolan North and Troy Baker, both were extremely polite and humble. Then I wandered around searching for other opportunities and discovered the signing tables featured two guests from Cartoon Network but did not specify. 

Signings for cartoons were free so I went to check it out. It was only a small line so I couldn’t complain. 

The guests finally arrived. Table #1 was Kent Osbourne – lead writer / storyboard artist for Adventure Time. I got his autograph and a Lemongrab doodle. Pretty cool. Table #2 was Ben Bocquelet – creator of The Amazing World of Gumball and Mic Graves – writer of Gumball. They both sketched Gumball and Darwin for me in silver and bronze Sharpies. I was also given a FREE ComiCon London 2016 T-shirt with Gumball’s family dressed as other popular CN characters.

On the way out, I saw Marvel comic books with blank covers and artists accepting commissions so I quickly ordered one to be collected the following morning.

Sunday 30th October – Final day. Apparently not only me but a few thousand others expected a relaxed day. It was a bigger turn out than Friday.

The Marvel cover that I commissioned was ready for collection. 

I didn’t know what to expect having not seen much of the artist’s work but the price wasn’t too bad. 

I asked for Spider-Man’s Venom but with a slight twist: Eddie Brock is replaced by 2016 presidential candidate and real-life comic villain – Donald J. Trump.

As a comic book artist, I can’t imagine too many are commissioned to draw Trump, let alone in a flattering way that honours his pure villainy. This guy delivered.

I always wanted an original comic cover and aspire to have something drawn by Kevin Eastman someday but the timeless novelty of immortilising Trump as a villain will never cease to make me laugh. 

And now we wait to see if Venom becomes President of the United States…

PlayStation VR

Today I demoed a couple of virtual reality games at a touring PlayStation VR event that stopped in London for a few days, promoting the release of PSVR.

The demos were completely free but you only get a 15-minute session on one game of your choice from several titles.

After buzzing about the two RE7 demos ‘Kitchen’ and ‘Twilight’ of course I chose Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.

I’ve played with 3D tech, EyeToy and other games that use motion sensors but none of that compared to the new VR.

The already ominous atmosphere created by PSVR paired with the cutting edge Resident Evil Engine made for an exciting and surreal experience.

You could easily become lost in VR. 

When I started up RE7’s ‘Lantern’ demo (currently exclusive to PSVR trials) I didn’t know what to expect but I was quickly immersed in another world.

You can stay seated for RE7 in VR and if you don’t feel like twisting your neck to look behind you, just tap the C-stick to jump the camera left or right a bit.

In RE7, I walked across a bridge to an empty mansion with wooden beams and a huge split down the centre of the floor. 

As I approached the split, I noticed I could look down into it and saw a flowing river running through the house that went so far down you could barely see the end.

I went through a door and heard footsteps followed by an old woman cursing, carrying a lantern.

In this demo (named Lantern) you must avoid being seen by the old woman and simultaneously solve the puzzles to escape the house.

It was as difficult as the PS4 demos to find anything around the rooms. You need to search both high and low for objects and examine everything.

I managed to complete the first puzzle by hiding outside and get to the next room. 

While hiding, I noticed there’s so much detail in the sky and jagged tree branches that poke into it. 

This intense level of detail makes the experience scarier in a way that it’s frightening how realistic games are becoming, especially horror.

The experiene was so insane. 

It felt like a roller-coaster nightmare. 

I didn’t have enough time to find everything and finish the demo so I let myself get caught when my time was up.

After RE7, I went off for lunch and came back for Batman. I noticed a little motion sickness under VR when I was hungry.

Batman VR utilises PlayStation Move controllers and a camera, unlike RE7.

You physically stand centre square to enable PlayStation camera to detect your movement before wearing PSVR.

Under VR you arrive at Wayne Manor, where you meet Alfred who guides you to the secret entrance of the Batcave.

The floor opens up and sends you down a glass elevator (with extensive detail to its aquatic surrounding and structure of the underlying cave). 

Alfred then asks you to put on your suit for testing out weapons. You are given the grappling gun and Batarang.

The Batman demo didn’t involve any action and was pretty stationary. 

It literally gears you up for the game itself and then ends.

If you get to a PSVR trial and have a choice of demos – I highly recommend you try Resident Evil 7.

I need to get back in VR…