Unlockables have been a staple of Resident Evil since day 1. Between new costumes for Chris and Jill, along with the Infinite Rocket Launcher, the original Resident Evil set a precedent for post-game content that most entries in the series have expanded upon since. A return to form in virtually every sense, Resident Evil 7 is no stranger to unlockables and has some of the best in the series.
A single playthrough is never enough when it comes to Resident Evil, and Resident Evil 7 does the best it can to keep audiences coming back for more. Between a brand new difficulty mode that completely changes the game, to new weapons and items that only increase replayability, Resident Evil 7 isn’t over until you get every unlockable.
Madhouse is the single hardest difficulty in Resident Evil 7, but it isn’t playable on a fresh file. Madhouse is only unlocked after beating the game at least once. While Resident Evil has never shied away from dynamic difficulty changes, Madhouse redefines Resident Evil 7 as a video game – upping the tension and forcing players to think carefully about how they use their resources.
Ammo is considerably less present, Separating Agents are now a mainstay (forcing Ethan to break down his item in order to get different items), and Quick Molded appear much earlier in the game – making the initial trek through the Main House significantly more difficult. Not just that, Molded on a whole are much faster and have greater health. Rounding out Madhouse are an abundance of Antique Coins, giving Bird Cages greater in-game value.
During the final battle against Eveline at the end of the game, Ethan is rescued by Blue Umbrella and franchise mainstay Chris Redfield tosses him a super powerful handgun to finish the job: the Albert-01. By completing the game once, Ethan will be able to find a weaker version of the gun in his item box on every subsequent playthrough.
Instead of holding 9 rounds, the Albert-01R only holds 3 bullets at a time and has a fair bit of recoil when shot. The gun also takes a decent bit of time to reload compared to other weapons. That said, the Albert-01R is a powerful handgun that makes repeat playthroughs all the easier without completing overpowering Ethan.
Secrets Of Defense
Resident Evil 7 features several passive items that Ethan can carry in his inventory to boost his stats. By completing the game on Normal mode, players can unlock the Secrets of Defense in their Item Box. LIke the Albert-01R, Secrets of Defense will be available on every subsequent playthrough.
When placed into Ethan’s inventory, Secrets of Defense increases Ethan’s damage reduction when blocking. This makes a Madhouse playthrough far easier than it would be otherwise, but there is another passive defense item players should look into unlocking before diving into Madhouse.
Essence Of Defense
Like the Secrets of Defense scroll, Essence of Defense further reduces the amount of damage Ethan takes while blocking, allowing him to tank quite a number of hits before ever needing to pour First Air Med over his arm. Unlike Secrets of Defense, however, Essence of Defense requires a fair bit of effort to unlock.
Players have to track down all 20 Mr. Everywhere Bobbleheads in the game and break them. Thankfully, Mr. Everywhere progress is retained from playthrough to playthrough, allowing players to chip away at the unlockable with time instead of needing to worry about all 20 in a single run.
The Essence of Defense isn’t the only unlockable tied to the Mr. Everywhere side quests. By finding and breaking all 20, players will also unlock the Walking Shoes for their Item Box. When placed into Ethan’s inventory, the Walking Shoes increase his walk and crouch speed. While Ethan’s run speed remains the same, the brief boost in mobility does go a long way in completing the main game quickly (outright necessary for two of the unlockables) and making the faster Molded in Madhouse more manageable.
Part of Resident Evil’s replay value stems from the fact that each main game actually times how long it takes for players to complete a playthrough. This is a feature that stems back to the original Resident Evil on PlayStation, with Resident Evil 2 onwards introducing proper letter Ranks that were influenced by total play time and saves/First Aid Spray used.
To unlock the X-Ray Glasses, players need to complete a playthrough in less than four hours (which is easier said than done). The X-Ray Glasses can be found in Ethan’s Item Box and, when placed into his inventory, shows every single item in the vicinity – effectively acting as a permanent version of Psychostimulants. It goes without saying that X-Ray Glasses go a long way in Madhouse.
Along with the X-Ray Glasses, players also unlock the Circular Saw by completing the game in less than four hours. Similar to the Chainsaw, the Circular Saw is a melee weapon with two distinct types of attacks that Ethan has to get close and personal with to use. Unlike the Chainsaw, the Circular Saw is extremely powerful and doesn’t run out of juice.
While Ethan will need to be at very close range to use the Circular Saw reliably (in turn putting him at risk from Molded attacks), the Circular Saw is guaranteed to stun and drops enemies it cuts faster than any other weapon in the game. That alone makes the Circular Saw worth unlocking.
The only unlockable tied to Madhouse, completing the hardest difficulty in Resident Evil 7 nets players Infinite Ammo. Unlike other games that gave players weapons with infinite ammo (like the Infinite Rocket Launcher from the first Resident Evil), Infinite Ammo is an item that applies to every weapon in Ethan’s kit so long as Infinite Ammo is placed in his inventory. Although unlocking Infinite Ammo requires beating the single hardest challenge in the game, it does make replaying through Madhouse much easier – and cathartic as a result.
Next: Resident Evil 7: How To Obtain Every Weapon
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