Resident Evil has given gamers some of its greatest scares and is widely regarded as one of the most important horror franchises in the gaming industry today. At E3 2016, Capcom revealed the next iteration in the famed Resident Evil franchise, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.
Previous iterations in the series have faced some more difficult challenges and haven’t gone over as smoothly with fans as Capcom would have hoped, but Resident Evil 7 has potential because of what it isn’t doing.
I had the opportunity to experience the Resident Evil 7 PS4 PSVR demo and what’s most striking to me about it is how there aren’t any guns for you to try to save yourself with. I also noticed how P.T. inspired the gameplay was too.
First-person is a new perspective for the usually third-person game, and particularly for VR, first-person adds a new dimension of terror that hasn’t existed in a previous Resident Evil game before. It’s total immersion and that put me on the edge of my seat from start to finish.
While I’m not sure how VR will fit with a lengthy AAA experience, Resident Evil on PSVR feels like a brilliant match and Capcom is using it exactly the way they should. Even though it’s a departure, placing gamers into the first-person perspective generates a new level of fear.
If you’ve tried VR, then you know it’s not just a screen in front of you. It’s all around you and it delivers total immersion. Walking around each room of the creepy house I was in proved to be a tiptoe affair of not wanting to peek around the wrong corner or interact with something in the environment that would trigger a sudden scare.
I actually expected more of those sudden types of scares, but the demo doesn’t rely on that at all. Towards the end of the demo, players watch a video that eventually shows an indicator for proceeding in it.
In the demo, I had to crouch down and slowly walk forward before standing back up again, and that was a moment when I fully expected a sudden scare, but Resident Evil resisted the temptation. The sounds around you and what isn’t happening are what create a growing sense of paranoia and fear. It’s splendid.
Even the sudden scares that occur are not what you think. When I turned a corner to walk into the hall, a manikin fell down, startling me. Another point of intrigue was the fact that when you would enter a room and perform a certain activity, the previous hallway or room’s layout could change.
The sense of terror has been created within the environment, gameplay pace and a lack of weapons. Finally, the individual who ends up coming after you isn’t what you might think, as he wasn’t a monster, but more of an older, blood-covered man.
I’m encouraged by the new direction Resident Evil is taking, as this could mark the start of something new for the brand. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard will launch on Jan. 24, 2017 for PS4, Xbox One, PC and PS VR.