There is no denying that Resident Evil 7 and 8 are two amazing games. Played from a first-person perspective, each has its definitive strengths and the ability to leave a lasting impression on your mind hours after you complete the narrative. But the debate of RE7 vs RE8 has divided fans of the iconic franchise for a long time now. To support my argument in favor of RE7, I’ll analyze the two across three dimensions. Keep in mind though that there are spoilers ahead!
RE7 Is Way Scarier – And That’s a Good Thing
It’s a well-known fact that Biohazard is the most terrifying one in the series and among the scariest games ever made. So it’s understandable why many people could not handle the stress and raised heartbeats experienced while playing the game.
I, for one, thoroughly enjoy the excitement that a good scare fest brings. The fear that one feels from not knowing what’s around the next corner is both anxiety-inducing and exhilarating. For me, horror games never exceed a point that I would call overwhelming, and it’s undoubtedly my favorite genre due to the level of immersion it provides. For this reason, I was really disappointed to learn that Capcom had significantly dialed down on the horror in Resident Evil Village to account for the people not playing RE7 due to the above reason. While Village had its moments, it felt more like a survival game heavily reliant on combat rather than the horror one its predecessor was, and for me, this diminished what made Biohazard stand out from the rest.
I agree that RE7 was terrifying, but it’s precisely why Capcom managed to save itself from collapsing. Its success led to the remake of RE2 and RE3 and allowed Capcom to work on a direct sequel. Would this have been possible without making RE7 as scary as it was in a market that was, at that point, screaming out for survival horror? I’m not so sure.
Biohazard Has the Better Villains
While RE8 has some excellent villains such as Mother Miranda and the Dimitrescu family of vampires, I felt the ones in Biohazard have a better backstory. When you first meet the Baker family in Louisiana, you think these are bloodthirsty lunatics who have kidnapped your wife and want nothing more than to cut you apart in the most gruesome manner imaginable. It’s only near the end that you learn that they are possessed by some sort of bioweapon and that before all this tragedy, they were loving, caring people whose simple act of kindness for a helpless little girl trapped them in a terrible fate. The story truly comes full circle, especially if you play the DLC End of Zoe. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the people who had been trying to kill me for over half the game once I learned the truth.
It was much easier to hate the villains in Village. Unlike in Biohazard, I did not feel much grief for them because they were conscious of their terrible deeds and deserved what they eventually got. Thus the quality of villains makes a huge difference for me in the RE7 vs RE8 debate.
RE7 Has the More Immersive Map
Capcom chose excellent locations for both these games, but I felt Village’s map was a bit too large. While Village has some great locations such as Castle Dimitrescu, there were large segments of the game that just involved walking monotonously from point A to point B, spawning a few monsters here and there to shoot down with Ethan’s arsenal of weapons. Compare this to the relatively enclosed spaces of Baker Estate in Biohazard, which resulted in a far more immersive and unpredictable experience by triggering our inner claustrophobia. Old House was my favorite location due to its combination of multiple fears, such as closed spaces, creepy bugs, terrifying creatures, and crumbling walls. Village lost this charm due to the overwhelming size of the map.
All in all, I’d like to sum up my opinion on the RE7 vs RE8 debate with a simple statement. Resident Evil Biohazard is compared to all-time greats of the horror genre, such as Outlast and Silent Hill, while the success of Village is judged by comparing it to Biohazard. Both are amongst the best Resident Evil games though, taking us through powerful narratives in the shoes of Ethan Winters. Let me know what you guys think in the comments below.