Resident Evil 7 Biohazard is finally here and most gamers into the series have already had a chance to play some demos of the game and experience the game engine on PSVR before release. This one takes a dramatic turn from the usual Resi affair because it’s all in first-person. Sure, we’ve seen the series in first-person before but those have been spin-off on-rails shooters. This one lets you wander round creepy houses and walk up that set of spooky stairs at a pace that suits you!
You fill the shoes of Ethan, a man who gets a cryptic message from his missing wife telling him to stay away. Of course, it would be a short story if he did so off you trot to a house of horrors where the Resident Evil that exists is a family called the Bakers, along with tonnes of other surprises that I’ll leave you to discover for yourself.
Play this game on a massive TV with the lights off with surround sound and I guarantee you will feel the fear, especially during the opening sequences that nods to other horror movie franchises and video games including VHS, Evil Dead, and every haunted house movie and more! Although character faces still have that uncanny valley feeling, the full performance capture and surroundings look almost real. Try this in PSVR and you’ll be even more immersed. Because it tracks your head movement you can peek round a bannister or look right inside a microwave at what’s inside. It’s really a good sign of what’s to come for full AAA titles in VR.
At first the game doesn’t really feel like a Resident Evil game. It feels more like Alien Isolation of Outlast as you’re staked by the family members and have to run and hide or fight to keep them at bay. Once you’re forced into boss battles and meet some of the other monsters, things then start to feel more familiar. You’ll be solving puzzles to access keys to let you get to other parts of the house and be combining items to create med kits and new ammo for your weapons. It’s a good mix, with some gameplay having you run out of ammo super quick and others letting you let rip with a machine gun or grenade launcher. You’ll also get extra items when you finish the game which will encourage you to replay on harder difficulties or just to find all the items in the game.
If there’s one gripe I have about the game, it’s that the sustained level of creepiness does wane after a while. Jump scares will get you and they’re a lot of fun and well executed, but as you get further into the game, it does get more action oriented and it can feel a little disorienting as you jump into flashbacks and then into real-time in the same location. It’s easy to lose track of where you’ve been or what you’ve done, resulting in a fair amount of wandering around. Still, it’s a minor gripe and the game is very enjoyable if you can cope with the new feel of the game.
Purists might not like what’s been done here but I’m a fan of the series and really enjoyed Biohazard, and it’s certainly much better than 6, which in my opinion sucked massively!
It’s a fairly short experience but what it does, it does well so Resident Evil 7: Biohazard gets a super scary 9 out of 10.
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