While tallying up which still-to-come games I want to shovel into my mind-hole before 2017 shrivels up and dies, I reckoned the last remaining DLC for Resident Evil 7 would be a surefire thing. Resi 7 pushed my buttons, by which I mean it made me feel almost unbearably anxious, and I hoped the long wait between it and this (presumably) final add-on meant it would seek to recapture the best bits rather than merely remix or just repeat the climactic shooty-bang section.
The bad news is that the upcoming Not A Hero pack, which will be free for anyone who owns Resi 7, sure looks like it repeats the climactic shooty-bang section to me. Which leaves me hanging on for the other final (but paid) DLC, End Of Zoe, which looks altogether a little weirder and returns the theme of creepy people living in the swamps and using the word 'family' like a threat.
Both bits are out on December 12th, as is the Resident Evil 7 Gold Edition which comprises everything to date, but the good news is that Not A Hero, at least, is a freebie for anyone who owns Resi 7. That sweetens the pill slightly, in terms of the mild dismay I felt when this here trailer showed endless scenes of shooting the plant-like not-zombies in tunnels that characterised so much of Resi 7's final act. I was really holding out for another puzzlicious murderhouse, albeit a smaller one, but this looks like a more straightforward stomp.
The good news for not a hero is that surely, surely, Saw-esque villain Lucas Baker is going to get his this time. Resi 7's conclusion was weirdly anti-climatic after a few hours of being vocally tormented by Lucas, but the guy just sneaks away off-camera in the end. Not A Hero is why, and if it really is what it looks like - i.e. mostly a shooter - then I'm glad it wasn't bolted onto the main game, otherwise my happy memories of being pursued around the nightmarish Baker house in the earlier acts would have been more compromised.
Long-term Resi fans will also be holding out for answers about why olden Resi hero Chris Redfield is here and apparently working for the Umbrella Corp, but pfft, lore is for LOSERS. I'm far more interested in whether the strapping young chap pictured atop this post constitutes another great, tricksy, terrifying RE7 boss fight, or will be just one big, spiky bullet sponge. Here's hoping!
If Not A Hero is as superficial as it appears to be, there's perhaps more hope to be had from End Of Zoe, which also launches December 12, but requires that you already own the season pass, or are willing to fork out £11.99/€14.99/ $14.99 just for this DLC, or pickup the whole RE7 Gold edition in one fell swoop. This too picks up a dangling plot thread from the main game, but in this case it's the final fate of the other younger Baker, Zoe. Many questions are raised by this focus, some of which begin to be answered by the coda to slightly older trailer:
Couple of things of note going on there:
1) creepy mystery swampfolk, which is going back to what RE7 did best...
2) ...but this one doesn't appear immediately interested in murdering people, and maybe he'll pick up one of the stronger sub-themes of RE7, which is that the Bakers were originally very nice people who fell victim to something terrible.
I am FAR more intrigued by End Of Zoe, even if it also seems rather bound up in the bio-magic stuff that contributed to RE7's last act being less strong than the rest of it. Perhaps I shall spend Christmas being scared out of my wits after all.