Resident Evil 7 has received its long-awaited final pieces of DLC, Not A Hero and End of Zoe. It is the latter of the two that is the most interesting, due to its large departure from the main game’s typical combat. In End of Zoe, players take on the role of Joe, a burly man sporting a heavy southern accent. Oh, and he happens to be Zoe’s uncle. This is a man who typically forgoes the use of firearms and relies on the insane stopping power of his own fists. The end result is a cross between the Xbox 360’s Condemned games and the original Xbox’s Breakdown.
It has been a long while since we have seen a first-person game with enjoyable hand-to-hand combat in this manner. The last generation release of Condemned: Criminal Origins and its sequel provided a dark, gloomy setting that made it all the more enjoyable when you (drunkenly) slammed Ethan’s fist into the face of an enemy that startled you. End of Zoe provides an experience reminiscent of this forgotten title, with its independent hand controls, but it’s over-the-top nature also brings to mind an even older game: Breakdown.
It’s possible that not many will remember the 2004 Xbox action title Breakdown, although I feel sorry for you if you missed it. Despite its mixed reception, it is believed to be a hidden gem. It, too, had a focus on melee combat, which was a bit more arcade-y than Condemned. Throwing punches always felt infinitely more satisfying than using the firearms because of the noticeable impact emanating from each blow.
It is between these two titles of the past that Resident Evil 7’s End of Zoe DLC finds itself. It clearly doesn’t take itself as seriously as the main campaign. I mean, Joe is boxing Molded without a hint of fear, making the player feel more like a powerhouse than a vulnerable being. Resident Evil fans may not appreciate the lacking scares or tension, but the memories it evokes are well worth the ride. And it may also serve as a reminder of the potential that games like Condemned and Breakdown held before these mechanics disappeared almost completely.
If you have taken the time to play the End of Zoe DLC, what are your thoughts on Joe’s fists of fury?