Resident Evil 7 is a new start for the franchise that coined the term survival horror. As a "back to basics" approach for the series, the game works rather well, even with the shift to first-person mode.
Part of what makes Resident Evil 7 work is the atmosphere and tension, combined with some damned memorable moments. Everyone remembers the "master of unlocking", running from Nemesis, or Chris Redfield punching a boulder. Here's some of the Resident Evil 7's best moments, the scenes that may end up joining the series' best and worst.
If you haven't figured it out yet, there will be spoilers in this article.
Give The Man A Hand
Ethan Winters is either the most hardcore average dude alive, or the dumbest. His missing wife has been gone for three years. He receives a cryptic email from her telling him to come to the Baker residence in Dulvey, Louisiana and Ethan goes there sight unseen. At best, he calls a friend to let them know where he's going.
Once he's there, Ethan crawls underneath a effigy of meat and buzzsaws just to get to the house. He wades through a basement full of water and finds a corpse. He finds files of multiple missing persons in house and still doesn't turn around! I don't think I love anyone that much.
For either his trouble or unending stupidity, Ethan finds his wife, who promptly goes evil, stabs him with a knife, and chops off his goddamn hand with a chainsaw. And here we see another illustration of how either badass or dumb Ethan is. He picks up his severed hand and gets back to business. Jesus, Ethan.
Take Your Medicine
Ethan gets his hand back, as it's stapled back on his body. It still works too! What?
But wait, there's more! In Resident Evil 7, the magical Green Herb returns. If processed with a Chem Fluid, it turns into a First Aid potion that Ethan pours on himself to heal all wounds. That doesn't make much sense in-universe, unless you screw up running from Jack Baker the first time.
Doing so sees Jack take off Ethan's foot with a shovel. As Ethan is rolling from the pain of having another stump within a few hours, Jack puts one of the First Aid potions on the ground and tells Ethan to take his medicine. Ethan crawls to the stuff, pushes his severed foot onto the stump, and pours the medicine on. In a few seconds, the foot is reattached and working again. So yeah, Green Herb all the way.
A Father Teaches a Son How To Drive
In your second encounter with Jack Baker, the family patriarch tries to kill you again in the garage. Jack is a special kind of lunacy, treating the entire murder attempt as a father trying to set his son on the right path.
Ethan's car has been moved into the garage. If you find the keys, you can get in and use the vehicle to ram Jack. At some point, he stops getting back up. You think everything is good, until Jack tears the top off the car, grabs the wheel, and decides to show his new son how to really drive. And by "drive", I mean he attempts to impale them both by slamming the car into some i-beams.
But he says, "I'm gonna take you for a ride", referencing the menu jingle from Marvel vs. Capcom 2, so all is forgiven.
Up until this point in the game, you've only been dealing with the Baker clan. Then you find a room covered wall-to-wall in a black mold. Not cool, but not anymore dangerous than anything else you've run up against, right? Then the wall of mold births a bipedal abomination intent on your death.
These are the Molded, humans who have been too mutated by the mold itself. They're essentially the game's version of zombies and like the first Resident Evil, meeting your first one of them is a memorable moment of horror.
Chainsaw Death Match
It's Ethan vs. Jack again, but this time Jack has left the shovel behind for a set of chainsaw scissors. Trapped in the house's morgue, Ethan has to fight Jack's chainsaw scissors with his own chainsaw. Yeah, if that sentence doesn't get your blood moving, you're already dead inside. For a series whose roots are in B-horror flicks, this fight is as grindhouse as it gets.
She's Hiding In The Walls
After you finish Marguerite Baker off the first time, she's tunnels away like a giant mole. You follow her, because Ethan's heart is a thing of stone and he's tired of waiting for the Bakers to come back and kill him. You chase her into the Greenhouse, where you and Marguerite have a game of cat-and-mouse. Human-and-skittering-insect-mom, I guess? This is one of the more tense fights in the game, as Marguerite will take damage and then crawl away into the walls of the house. You have to hunt her down, because if you don't, she'll spawn insects that want you dead.
Kids Are Just Damned Creepy
Up until now, everything you've dealt with has been scary, but grounded. The Bakers and Molded are infected and mutated. There's nothing supernatural about what's going on, because hey, this is Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. This is until you head upstairs in the Old House to recover the desiccated body part you need to craft a serum to cure your wife.
You walk into an abandoned child's bedroom at the end of the floor. There's a secret door and behind the door, there's shrine to the dead. Once you retrieve the body part you're looking for, you go back to the bedroom.
Resident Evil 7 is a game that's mostly without music. When you're wandering around the Baker residence, Capcom generally wants you listening to to the sounds of the house to determine if there are enemies nearby. Once you leave this hidden shrine though, eerie music begins to pick up, letting you know something is going to happen.
You leave the room to find the once clean walls are now covered in crayon scrawl. Where did that come from? The music is at a fever pitch. You know something going to happen, but the moment of terror is from not knowing what. This is the first time anything remotely supernatural has happened. Are you on a new train ride? (They explain it later.)
Welcome to the Escape Room
Later in Resident Evil 7, you find out that the infection is responsible for the actions of your wife Mia and the Bakers. Except for Lucas Baker. In diary entries and other notes, you find out that Lucas was always a sociopath and isn't affected by the mental component of the mold at all.
Lucas puts Ethan in a elaborate, trap-filled escape room scenario, without his weapons to help. What Lucas doesn't know is Ethan has already seen the solution to the trap, having watched a videotape of Resident Evil 7 demo protagonist Clancy trying and failing to escape.
The escape room itself is memorable and cool addition to the Resident Evil series, but Lucas' reaction to Ethan not dying like Clancy? So damned satisfying.
Your Wife is a Badass Too
Later in the game, when they get to the part of Resident Evil 7 where they explain what the hell is going on, you find out that Ethan's wife Mia is a part of the entire situation. Mia is a special agent and she went missing during her mission to ferry the infection vector to a new place. You lose control of Ethan and step into Mia's shoes, first as she hunts through a derelict ship for her husband and then again as she relives the events that started this horrible situation.
While Ethan is flying blind with his knife, pistol, and shotgun, Mia is armed and prepared. In her memories of the outbreak, she rolls hard with a machine gun and remote bombs, simply shredding anything that gets in her way. Eventually, you're dragged back to the current day, where you lose that firepower, but for a moment, you're a one woman army.
There's one more moment that will stand as being memorable for Resident Evil fans, but I'll leave that to those that play the game. Suffice it to say, it's one of the more shocking moments in the franchise and will hopefully be explained in the free downloadable content related to the reveal.