Resident Evil 7 was a new beginning for the series, but it hasn’t wasted any time bringing back old characters. Franchise favourite Chris Redfield has returned in the Not a Hero DLC, and is teaming up with a newly staffed Blue Umbrella corporation to clean up the rest of the mess around Baker Ranch.
The first act of Resident Evil 7 was lauded as the series getting back to its grand, horrific roots. It was minimal — just a backwater house, with a family who liked to eat people. The son rigged everything with explosives. The daughter turned out to be evil and moldy. The mum gave birth to insects. So, y’know. Typical Louisiana family.
As the game went on, it got more into the “superpowerful evil little girl” trope. As you learned more about what was happening, the mystery was slowly lost. It was one of those endings that was epic on paper, but what players would talk about to their friends was that memorable first act.
Back Into the Mines
Redfield begins this DLC looking for Lucas Baker, the crafty engineer who is shown to attempt to transfer his E-type data to bioterrorist organisation The Connection. Three of Redfield’s agents have already had a rough time against Baker, who has fled into a nearby mining tunnel. It’s time to settle the vendetta.
It’s a section of tunnel that’ll look familiar to anyone who experienced the main campaign, and the repeated level design is forgivable in a free DLC package. One thing’s for sure though, new stuff is being done with this space.
Lucas Baker is best known for his “escape room” sequence in the main campaign, which forced you to solve puzzles to attempt to get out alive. Baker has set up these mining tunnels in much the same way, which is an enticing reason to try out this DLC.
There are practical jokes with lethal punchlines. There are puzzles and traps. And there are several instances of “I know he wants me to push that button, but… What else can I do?”
Sections of the mines will require different items, in a mini-Metroidvania way. One tunnel is lousy with contamination, so you can’t get far without a gas mask filter. Another tunnel is dark, not allowing you to see tripwires without nightvision.
The latter of these is a lame excuse to gate content. I was able to see well enough to walk through the tunnel, and could certainly make out an elevator button in front of me. On pressing the Use key, Redfield would just say “Is something there?”
Same Enemy, New Trick
Not a Hero introduces a new kind of molded as well. Covered in white, this new enemy isn’t as strong as a normal molded, but can’t be damaged by normal bullets. You’ll have to run from the first few that you see, until you discover the RAMROD bullets.
On paper, these stop a white molded from regenerating. But I found that only applied to bosses. The vast majority of white molded will die to one RAMROD, even if it’s in the chest.
As you might expect, RAMRODs are rarer than normal bullets. You’re certainly provided with enough — but things get tricky when Not a Hero starts mixing up the enemy types.
With a few crawling molded getting ready to jump at you, and one big white molded lumbering in your direction, you’ll need to switch weapons and ammo types quickly. It’s all about using the right tool for the right job, and you don’t have forever to fumble around changing clips.
I never found myself short of ammunition, largely thanks to the return of the Redfield punch. Most shots will stagger a molded — even body shots — at which point pressing the fire button in close range will trigger a haymaker for a guaranteed kill.
Somehow, Not a Hero combines the best and worst parts of Resident Evil 7. Lucas Baker is a great villain, and his escape room antics are very present. But the more it veers towards global conspiracies, and trying to come up with plausible explanations for its horror, the less interesting it becomes.
Thankfully there’s a lot more of the former, and less of the latter. Not a Hero is free if you have Resident Evil 7, and should take you two hours or less to play through.