Resident Evil 7: biohazard Banned Footage Vol. 1 Impressions
I was really excited when I found out that Resident Evil 7: biohazard had extensive DLC plans because there was so many natural ways for it to tie into the story. I was thrilled to learn more about the Baker family through video tapes, and now that I’ve played the first pack, titled Banned Footage Vol. 1, I can’t say it’s really what I expected out of Capcom. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though, it’s just filled with surprises.
Banned Footage Vol. 1 is split into three distinct different offerings: Nightmare, Bedroom, and Ethan Must Die. I’ll start off with the latter mode, as I found it to be the least interesting inclusion. Ethan Must Die is essentially a remixed version of part of the campaign, where the player has to find a key inside the house and then battle Marguerite in the greenhouse. It’s heavily randomized, as traps and item locations change each time it’s attempted, and made very difficult as it starts Ethan out with only a knife.
“Each standalone mode feels very different from everything else that the game has to offer, and has a unique appeal to it.”
In theory, I think Ethan Must Die is pretty cool. After all, it’s an infinitely replayable slice of Resident Evil 7. Sadly, I didn’t find it all that much fun to play. It really just reinforced that the scares and story of RE7 drove me to enjoy it, not battling molded and searching for items. It’s a cool extra, but really not what I wanted.
Nightmare is also an action-oriented mode, as it puts players in the shoes of Clancy (who starred in the campaign’s “Birthday” video) as he battles waves of enemies. Thankfully, it’s more than just fighting dozens of Molded, as it adds a revamped crafting system into the mix that has the player creating guns with scraps and buying perks to help him survive. The currency can also be used to set up various traps, and it gives this standalone mode a very different feel from the rest of the game. I’m still not crazy about so much of the DLC focusing on combat, but at least this offered up some unique ideas to make it stand out more.
The best of the three modes is definitely Bedroom, which once again stars Clancy. This time the protagonist doesn’t have anything to fight with, and is locked in the Baker’s bedroom while he’s supposed to be eating his disgusting supper that was prepared by Marguerite. It essentially becomes an escape-the-room scenario, but with the caveat that the matriarch of the family will periodically return to the bedroom. That means the player has to solve various puzzles while she’s gone, then make sure everything is back where it belongs before she returns.
This gameplay loop of trying to figure out what to do while also not making a mess of the environment is absolutely nerve wracking. It’s game over if Marguerite comes back while the player is messing with the room, so it creates a tense atmosphere that doesn’t leave the air until the mode is finished. It also ends up being by far the best puzzle in the entire game, and I really wish the actual game played around with the ideas in this DLC.
“If there is one major disappointment in Banned Footage Vol. 1, it’s that there wasn’t much in terms of story advancement.”
If there is one major disappointment in Banned Footage Vol. 1, it’s that there wasn’t much in terms of story advancement. Clancy is a boring character to be playing as and there isn’t any big story reveals in either of his sections. I wanted to learn more about the Baker family, and if that’s why you’re buying the DLC then you can safely skip this pack.
That said, it’s really great to see Capcom trying very different things with its first pack. Each standalone mode feels very different from everything else that the game has to offer, and has a unique appeal to it. The action modes weren’t really up my alley, but I can see other players enjoying it a lot more than I did. Overall, it’s an impressive, and very surprising, effort that provides some fun new ways to interact with Resident Evil 7: biohazard.
***A PS4 Season Pass was provided by the publisher***