A few weeks ago, I wrote about how excellent Resident Evil 7 is in VR, and how it was so scary I couldn’t face the idea of playing the full game with PlayStation VR. Judging from the comments and the reactions of people I’ve since shown the demo to, I’m not alone.
Heck, the game is too scary even for members of developer Capcom itself.
Here’s the conundrum, though: I do want to play RE7 in VR. After sampling just a taste of the game, I know that playing in PS VR will probably be the best way to experience it, and I don’t want to miss out on it. But when I wake up in the Baker Mansion, tip-toe out of the first door and stare down the corridor at the foreboding silence and creaky floorboards, I simply can’t bring myself to push on. If I can’t do it for a 10 minute demo, how on earth am I going to do it for a 10+ hour game?
So I’ve come up with some tips, some of which I may or may not have already used to help me get through the demo. I share them with you in hopes that you too might be able to edge your way through the full game when it launches on January 24th. Just don’t tell you friends.
This is a basic of surviving any horror game, though it’s a little different in VR. For most people, PS VR is shaped in a way that you can see a small gap between the nose and headset. In most cases, it’s a good idea to turn out all the lights and close the curtains to maintain complete immersion, but with something like RE7 you might well want a quick anchor into the real world to glare down at from time to time. So keep the lights on and, when the scares come, glance down and maybe chant “I’M NOT REALLY HERE” over and over again.
The Floor is Your Friend
VR might make the horror more real, but you can take comfort in the fact that developers won’t grab your camera and force you to look at something harrowing. So every time you think something bad might be around the corner, fix your eyes to the floor. That way you can get past a lot of jump scares without actually bearing witness to them. It sounds cowardly but, hey, it’s braver than not playing it at all.
Just Scream All The Time Anyway
Perhaps a little unorthodox, but Resident Evil 7 can’t give you the satisfaction of screaming all the time if you’re already doing it. Every time you walk into a new room, or feel like a monster is about to jump out at you, just give off a shriek. If nothing happens, maybe keep doing it. Note: If you adopt this technique, you should probably tell the neighbors first.
The Secret Weapon
This is the secret sauce, the hidden technique you can use to play RE7 in VR and potentially keep your nerve. It involves a very simple action:
Yep, it’s that simple. Slide your PS VR unit away from your eyes and watch the action from afar — it’s a pretty convincing way to stay grounded and not wet yourself. This is like playing RE7 in VR… through a window. You can still just about see what’s going on, and it does sort of look 3D. Okay it’s not ideal, but you’re still playing the game with a headset on. Just be very careful to phrase how you played it to other people and you’ll get away with it no problem.
Resident Evil 7 launches on January 24th with full support for PlayStation VR on PS4.