Resident Evil 7 is a pretty terrific game. As good as the game is, however, you can’t ignore the fact that the game never quite hits the highs of the first few hours. Your initial introduction to the estate and your cat-and-mouse games with Jack Baker are the very best portions of the game. Jack is a taunting, invulnerable powerhouse who plans to kill you but is in no hurry about it. You spend some early portions of the game scurrying away from him, seeking out keys and items and running like hell whenever he comes into the room. You eventually are forced to face him in a fight in his garage. The garage actually introduces a number of elements to the game: you get your first keeper gun, you get your first (and only) chance to drive a vehicle, and you have your first extended boss fight. And it’s a blast.
My second fight with Jack Baker went as the fight was supposed to go. Jack killed the police office I was speaking to and I grabbed the officer’s gun while Jack was finishing with the body. While Jack turned his attention to me, I spotted Jack’s keys and jumped into Jack’s nearby car. Even though the garage was small, I was able to back up a few feet and dash into Jack’s ragdoll body, bashing him back into the wall. I wasn’t terribly surprised when he got back up, but I managed to hit him a few more times before losing sight of him. Suddenly, he was on top of the car, ripping off the roof. He hopped in and took control of the car, lined us up with some exposed pipes at the front of the room to impale me on, and tried to ram us into those pipes. I managed to dodge the pipes and impale him instead, which ended the sequence in the traditional way.
My FIRST fight, however, went very differently. See, I grabbed the gun but I didn’t spot the keys the first time I entered the car. So I couldn’t start the car. Jack came around to the driver’s side door and yanked me out of the car. Then, bizarrely, he took the wheel and started to use the car to ram me. Unfortunately for Jack, it is really hard to hit someone with a car in a narrow space. Jack missed me and slammed into the wall on my left, and then reversed in a semi-circle and slammed into the wall on my right. He kept slamming into these two walls relatively harmlessly, so I decided to try to take out the tires of the car with the officer’s gun. I managed to hit all four tires and the car started to catch on fire. He then started shouting and ran his car into those same pipes. The car burst into flames and he emerged in flames from the car but soon collapsed as I blasted him. Having run through my ammunition, I decided to replay the stage, unaware of how different my second playthrough would be.
There are plenty of boss fights in Resident Evil 7, and some are more successful than others. There are some battles later that I enjoyed more than my first fight with Jack, but that fight is probably the most iconic moment in the game. It’s the first time that you are forced to stand up against the supernatural creatures in the Baker house. And, for what it’s worth, none of the others get the same cinematic introduction. Soon after this you’ll fight the molded (the first is just dropped in your way in a random room), Maguirette Baker (who just appears in a doorway), and poor Lucas Baker doesn’t even get a boss fight. That fight with Jack is one of the high points of the game, and the fact that it can go entirely off the rails makes the game even more awesome.