Capcom has always designed Resident Evil with replayability in mind. The original Resident Evil was defined by the fact Chris and Jill had slightly different campaigns with their own gameplay quirks, while Resident Evil 2’s Zapping system completely redefined the extent of replay value in a game – ostensibly turning the original Resident Evil 2 into two games in one.
As the franchise has evolved, this emphasis on replayability has only increased. The original Resident Evil 3 on PlayStation notably allowed audiences to keep replaying their main files – unlocking new ending stills up to 10 playthroughs. By Resident Evil 4, the series fully embraced the benefits of replay value. In particular New Game Plus.
With Resident Evil 8 inching closer towards release, there’s never been a better time to revisit Resident Evil 7. Anyone who’s already finished the game once before can immediately jump into New Game Plus – which is triggered as simply as reaching the first Item Box in any subsequent playthrough where the main story has already been cleared. Resident Evil 7’s New Game Plus fundamentally changes the game and makes new playthroughs all the more engaging. And horrifying.
The meat of Resident Evil 7’s New Game Plus lies in Madhouse, an arrange mode which remixes the main game entirely. While the level design remains the same, Madhouse rearranges both the enemy and item layouts of every single area – leading to a considerably more challenging experience that deliberately preys on player familiarity.
The Scorpion Key is now a caged item, Molded are noticeably more aggressive (albeit appearing with less frequency), and – most notably – Cassette Tapes are required for saving. Tapes function exactly as Ink Ribbons did in the original Resident Evil games, turning each save into a limited resource. Crucially, checkpoints have been removed wholesale, forcing players to respawn at their last save upon death.
Madhouse Mode also goes the extra mile of forcing players to interact with the crafting system. Most items are now found in parts that Ethan has to break down with Separating Agents and combine together with Chem Fluids. This makes Resident Evil 7’s item management all the more thought provoking. One mistake can kill a run dead.
Players automatically obtain the Albert-01 during the final battle in the main story. A powerful handgun that holds 9 rounds, the Albert-01 is an incredibly useful weapon that even has a laser sight for easier aiming. Upon clearing the game once, Ethan can find the Albert-01R in his Item Box – a revised version of the handgun from the final boss fight.
Worth pointing out, however, is that the Albert-01R has been slightly nerfed. Instead of holding 9 rounds, the handgun now only holds 3 and has firing recoil to boot. That said, the Albert-01R is still ferociously powerful and does an incredible amount of damage juss of off regular Handgun Ammo. Paired with Enhanced Handgun Ammo, the Albert-01R circumvents all of its New Game Plus drawbacks.
Secrets of Defense
Resident Evil 7’s way of encouraging Madhouse playthroughs right out the gate while also making things a bit more manageable on players, Secrets of Defense is an item that increases Ethan’s defense when held. The Secrets of Defense allow players to take more damage from Molded and bosses.
This makes mistakes in Madhouse less punishing (especially on players who are actually guarding). Like the Albert-01R, the Secrets of Defense will be tucked inside the first Item Box players come across on their next subsequent playthrough. Secrets of Defense is not a usable item and works so long as it’s sitting in the inventory.
Madhouse, the Albert-01R, and Secrets of Defense are all unlocked by completing Resident Evil 7 naturally, but they aren’t the only unlockables tied to New Game Plus. In typical Resident Evil fashion, there are unlockables tied to beating the main story under a certain amount of hours, along with extra tied to the main collectible: Mr. Everywhere Bobbleheads.
- Circular Saw: Finish the main story in less than 4 hours.
- Essence of Defense: Break all 20 Mr. Everywhere Bobbleheads.
- Walking Shoes: Break all 20 Mr. Everywhere Bobbleheads.
- X-ray Glasses: Finish the main story in less than 4 hours.
The Circular Saw is an extremely powerful close range melee weapon that cuts enemies into pieces; the Essence of Defense is yet another defense boosting item & actually stacks with Secrets of Defense; the Walking Shoes increase Ethan’s movement speed; and the X-ray Glasses function as permanent Psychostimulants – showing players all available items in their general vicinity. All four unlockables can be found in the Item Box.
Infinite Ammo (Madhouse NG+)
Infinite Ammo isn’t an unusual unlockable for Resident Evil, although it’s typically reserved to specific weapons like the Infinite Rocket Launcher. Resident Evil 7 shifts things to allow players to unlock Infinite Ammo for all of their weapons – functioning as an actual item that Ethan has to keep in his inventory to make use of.
That said, unlocking Infinite Ammo is easier said than done, locked behind a full Madhouse run. Unlocking Infinite Ammo requires mastering every facet of Resident Evil 7. In that sense, Infinite Ammo isn’t all that useful, but it does make replaying the game a cathartic breeze.
Next: Resident Evil 7: How To Find The Crow Key & Defeat Marguerite
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