With the Resident Evil series continuing its downhill trend with the previous two games, E3 2016’s announcement of a new game in the series, Resident Evil 7, left many players in fear. How far away from the source material would RE7 be? To all our shock…unfortunately not very far. Like-minded fans were stunned when “Beginning hour” was released. This set the tone for the full game and cemented that the game would be nothing like RE6. But when RE7 released, well, there were mixed reviews.
With the game centered in the fictional town of Dulvey Parish, Louisiana, I held high expectations of potential alligators, coyotes, and crazily mutated turtles. But what did we get? Three different molded types and a few bugs. I’ll admit, the molded scared me, but when I see the same three enemies walking around, they lose their scare-ability quick. This is unfortunate because what used to attract people to Resident Evil was the many questions that would fill you with and all the different possibilities that were presented.
In the remake they made zombies have that little bit more of a bite, literally. Zombies would turn into crimson heads which added an extra element to the game of how to eliminate an enemy. Unfortunately with the molded, there is no more interest, so more nuance. No longer do you question: “should I kill this one and risk it coming back later?”, a pivotal question in the remake. Now it’s just a hazy “can I run past it or no?”, that’s it. I wish there was more expansion on the enemy types you encounter other than the Bakers.
Oh yeah, the Bakers. We haven’t touched on them yet, have we? The problem with the Bakers is, well, they’re all white. They are the most prominent enemies throughout the game and it all shows how racist, sexist and patriarchal white people are. Additionally, Jack even kills the only POC character throughout the whole game (which we’ll touch on in a bit), openly abuses many women in the game and shows off the male patriarchy within families, as he’s the strongest boss to repeatedly come back. Marguerite is the doting mother who gets angry that her family is being oppressed. She’s shown to be the weaker link within the family structure and isn’t afraid to openly abuse her daughter, solidifying the idea that it’s ok to treat your daughters like subhuman trash piles. The idea of Marguerite only caring about her family whilst Jack and Lucas just want to kill, kill, kill! adds a layer of submissiveness to women and their place within society, even unable to be deranged killers.
Besides, there is also only one POC character throughout the whole game and you know what happens to him? He’s killed by the racist Jack within five minutes of his character being on screen. Do you even know his name other than “Deputy”? No! Because it’s not even stated in the game until the credits. His name is David Anderson and he gets the most grueling death in the whole game via a shovel thrust through his head. Yes. That’s how he dies. And you know what they do with the body? Throw the head in the fridge for a secret little joke and let you stick your hand down the decapitated body of Anderson to get a key to advance the game. The only POC character and Capcom decided to throw the middle finger at diversity and kill off what could’ve been, should have been an amazing character. The fact you don’t even know his name shows off the lack of care Capcom had when creating the character of Anderson. They probably thought throwing him through the POC blender would be enough.
To add fuel to the fire, they teased Chris Redfield for his DLC at the end! Big red flag seeing as how Chris was shown to be a sexist in Resident Evil 6… why would they even involve him? To get brownie points with the many white sexists who play the game? Do you know who would’ve been better for that spot? Any female character. I just don’t see why they chose Chris! A little fix to this for you Capcom, have Ada as the surprise. Not only is she a very capable Asian woman, but it would be amazing to see her redeemed after her years of being controlled by a white man. But no, you love the white males don’t ya? You love having white men as the focal point of everything.
No surprise the storyline is even worse, a young girl created as a bioweapon to destroy the world being auctioned off to, as far as I can deduce, the richest white person available. Racism, sexism and now human trafficking of a child? Almost a home run of a badly made game, in my honest opinion. The young girl is meant to be the enemy of the game, the one you hate, whilst not letting us forget she just wants a family. Are we meant to sympathize with her or laugh at her for being an orphan before unloading a pile of lead into her mutated skull?!? There are confusing mixed signals of what we should think, and all I can think about is a bunch of men laughing over a young girl being stripped of love and attention.
I don’t know what went off in Capcom’s head when deciding to make a story like this. I know resident evil isn’t the most acclaimed for POC representation, I mean, it should’ve been expected when we saw a POC in Resident Evil that wasn’t a companion, but it’s 2017! They were following a good track on positive female roles but when it came to Mia and Zoe it felt as though the protagonist, a straight, white male had to go in and protect them. Why couldn’t this be an opportunity for a vocal point in female empowerment?