Today is the day that Resident Evil 7: Biohazard finally releases to the world. If you haven’t read or watched our review [we gave it a 9 out of 10] then you should definitely do that for more information on the game as a whole. Make no mistake though, Resident Evil 7 is an extremely scary game. It features a richly detailed world full of dangerous creatures that always put you in a constant state of fear no matter where you go. Playing in VR is even more terrifying and immersive, cranking the unnerving settings all the way up to 11. It’s not for the faint of heart and may not be a game you can stomach, which is sort of the point.
But if you are brave enough to venture into the deep, dark unknown of the Baker family’s estate in an effort to save your wife Mia, then consider this your primer on all things Resident Evil 7. It’s not a detailed walkthrough with answers for every puzzle and there aren’t any story spoilers; this is just a core list of tips that will help you get started.
Take Your Time
Patience is the name of the game in Resident Evil 7, especially early on. Near the start of the game it’s all one massive hide and seek experience as you tip toe around the Baker house and surrounding properties. Duck behind things, peek around corners, and carefully plan your moves around where Jack and his family patrol.
It’s worth noting that you cannot “defeat” Jack or Marguerite outside of dedicated boss fights. This means if they catch site of you, any bullets you spend on them are essentially wasted. It’s in your best interest to stay out of sight and plan your routes accordingly.
Don’t Be Afraid To Run
But if you do get spotted, or if you get overwhelmed by several enemies at any point, then you should consider running away as one of your viable options. Ethan Winters does not have special forces training like most protagonists in the series and will be outmatched if more than a couple of enemies appear at one time.
Turning and running will help you catch your breath and calm down, but will also likely cause the enemies to disappear or meld back into the walls and floors for the time being. This is effective to let you pick them off one at a time, turn to run, then come back reloaded and ready to go. Shoot out legs to give yourself more time to escape. Make sure you keep in mind where the closest safe room is located as well to save your progress.
Perhaps the most important piece of advice on this entire list is the need to carefully conserve your ammo. Aim for head shots to take down enemies more quickly and make sure you check every nook and cranny in each room. Items are semi-randomly generated, meaning that if you reload your save file and explored a room a second time, you’d find different ammo and items than you did before.
If you can sneak past someone without using ammo, do that. If you can run past them and book it to a safe room because you’re low on bullets, do that. Ammo is very hard to come by in the world of Resident Evil 7, especially on higher difficulties, so the more you can stockpile the better.
Inventory Management is Like Tetris
Making sure you’ve got room in your inventory for all of your weapons, ammo, healing items, and key puzzle solutions is a difficult balance. In most cases it’s like playing a meta-game of Tetris as you move and adjust things in your inventory. At the start of the game your space is very limited, but this will increase over time as you find backpacks.
Whenever possible, drop off extra items at your safe box in the safe room — don’t destroy an item to make room in your inventory. Chances are later on in the game you’ll discover that you could have used that extra ammo or that Chem-Fluid that you trashed to make room for something comparatively less useful in the long run.
Remember What You’ve Seen and Where You’ve Been
Resident Evil 7 is a classically designed old-school exploration game with a new coat of paint. Despite the fancy graphics, first-person view, and VR support, this game has more in common with the original three Resident Evil games than any in the series since then. That means lots of backtracking and obscure puzzles with vague hints.
That key you just found may only be for a specific door that you haven’t came across in the past two hours. Keeping a mental map — or checking the in-game map if you found it for this area — is more important than you might think. Remembering the location of hidden items, locked doors, and more will go a long way towards avoiding those frustrating moments of getting stuck.
Think Outside The Box
If I had heeded those words more wisely and paid closer attention the first time around then I probably wouldn’t have gotten stuck as many times as I did. Each puzzle in the game is relatively simplistic, but a few will require you to think outside the box a bit. One instance in particular, the Happy Birthday VHS tape, is full of small puzzles that all feed into one overarching ‘Escape the Room’ style experience.
There are a few other scenarios that will have you scratching your head a bit at first but keep in mind that the more you think of this as a living world that you’re inside of and less like a simple game that you’re playing, the easier some of these puzzles will be. Try not to limit your solutions just to what you think the game designers want you to do.
Carefully Observe Your Surroundings
The final tip that feeds into all other points of advice on this list is that you should carefully observe your surroundings at all times. Note where each exit is. Pay attention to likely enemy spawn points (often the black gunk on the floor, walls, and ceiling), and note any crates or drawers that may contain valuable items. In fact, several key bits of the story are only found in the files scattered around environments.
In many cases, key puzzle items were found in seemingly mundane locations, so you should expect to comb over each and every area as carefully as possible. My general rhythm consisted of sweeping a room for enemies, closing all doors, then picking through boxes and cabinets looking for supplies.
These are just a few of the tips to help you survive playing Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. If you’ve already started playing, what do you think of the game so far? If you’re wondering if you should play it in VR or not, then we’ve got answers.
Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below!