Considering the last games I played were Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Resident Evil 5, getting to spend time with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard , which just so happens to be part of a franchise that I cherish, was a really nice way to get back on the horse. Doubly so because it utilises a feature altogether new to me: virtual reality.
Over the years, the Resident Evil franchise has gone through many changes in genre, pushing further into the action-adventure genre with each new installment, and leaning away from horror towards science fiction. Resident Evil 7, however, takes a back to basics approach that has more in common with its haunted house origins, drawing inspiration from body horror and slasher genre masterpieces like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
The VR demo begins in the kitchen of a dilapidated house. Pests swarm throughout the house. You are tied to a chair. The way the game handles your interaction with your surroundings is great, particularly when you are attacked. While the demo doesn’t hold back when violence inevitably breaks out, the game shows a great deal of restraint outside of these moments which is refreshing.
While only short, the gameplay in the demo was memorable. The brooding atmosphere, the immersion provided by virtual reality, the life-like graphics and the fact that it wears its influences proudly on its sleeve all combine to create something very impressive indeed.
For the fans out there, it is quite clear that Resident Evil 7 – Biohazard will provide the kind of scares and thrills you are looking for. It’s no Playtest from the Netflix series Black Mirror, but it more than suffices, hinting at fantastic things that lurk in the finished game.