50 Days Of PS VR #36: ‘Resident Evil 7: Biohazard’ is Absolutely Terrifying

by David Jagneaux • September 7th, 2016

Just 36 days to go! We’re counting down to the release of PlayStation VR on October 13th by highlighting one game a day for the anticipated headset. Today we’re holding our breath and peeking around the corner of the terrifying Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. 

Ever since Resident Evil 4, it feels like the long-running iconic franchise that kickstarted the survival horror genre when it debuted on the original PlayStation has been struggling to define itself. With an existing pedigree of first excellence, then mediocrity, followed by an evolution into the realm of action-shooter territory, the Resident Evil games have assuredly undergone multiple changes throughout the series’ lifetime.

Now with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (which is a misleading number, given the multiple sub-sequels and non-numbered entries in the series) the franchise is undergoing what is, arguably, its most dramatic change yet. After years of third-person survival horror action, the game is switching to a first-person perspective. The Beginning Hour demo available on PlayStation 4, the same demo that was playable in VR at E3, is a great introduction to the slow, methodical, and horrifying world of Biohazard. My demo at PAX West was a bit different.

You might remember Capcom’s Kitchen demo from a few years ago, which was one of the first things shown on Sony’s PS VR headset at trade shows. It was later revealed that the scene was a prequel to the core Resident Evil 7 experience, and this is the demo that I saw at PAX West this month.

You can see in the footage here, that when things start out, they’re immediately unsettling. My hands are tied and I’m bound to a chair with a camera pointed at my face — it’s like something out of a horror film, except I’m actually sitting in the chair for real. Every movement the controller makes, my hands in the game mimic. It’s a bit surreal, and that’s what makes it so frightening.

resident evil vii screenshot featured image

What follows next is on the borderline of too gory to be taken seriously, and too much to stomach. I push through the demo as a man is disemboweled right before my eyes by a disgustingly twisted woman. Then, she scurries away into the darkness, giggling.

I’m stalked from all sides. I hear the sound of something crawling on the walls — or is it in the ceiling? I whip my head around, trying to find the source of the sound. Eventually, I turn back to face the camera in front of me, only to see her face slowly lean over from behind me, down into my field of view. She’s hanging upside down, smiling, blood dripping from her face and mouth. As it turns out, my end is just as gruesome as my beginning.

This rather unsettling experience involved zero actual movement though, so it’s hard to say if the prevalent locomotion sickness concerns have been solved or not yet by the team at Capcom. Taking this Kitchen demo, in conjunction with the previous E3 demo, and what’s available on PS4 now, it’s safe to say that Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is quickly shaping up to be one of the most frightening and bone chilling experiences available in VR — PS VR or otherwise.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is scheduled for release on PS4 (with PS VR support) and PC on January 24th, 2017.

50 DAYS OF PS VR COUNTDOWN

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