Resident Evil 7 PSVR Review: A Thriller That Shouldn’t Be Missed

Capcom /

Resident Evil 7 returns to the survival-horror genre and revolutionizes gaming with brilliant use of VR.

Developer: Capcom

Publisher: Capcom

Platforms: PS4, PlayStation VR (Version Reviewed), Xbox One, PC

Release Date: January 24, 2017

In 1996, Capcom revolutionized the video game industry when the company released Resident Evil for the PlayStation. By offering a captivating narrative and gripping atmosphere, Resident Evil frightened players and set a new benchmark for the survival-horror genre. Then, in 1998, Capcom was able to push the scare factor to greater heights with Resident Evil 2.

Fast-forward to 2005, and the Resident Evil series once again revolutionized how games are played with the release of Resident Evil 4 for the Nintendo GameCube. Ditching its survival-horror roots and favoring a more action-oriented gameplay style, Resident Evil 4 was highly acclaimed and is considered by many to be one of the best games ever to be released. Following the success of Resident Evil 4, Capcom leaned heavily on the action-style gameplay with future entries to the famed franchise; and, yet, fans wanted to see Capcom return the series to its survival horror origins.

It’s been more than twenty years since Resident Evil transformed the video games industry, and now Resident Evil 7: biohazard looks to do the very same. Though Resident Evil 7 returns to a survival-horror style of play, the true innovator is how Capcom makes use of PlayStation VR to deliver a revolutionary horror experience that will haunt your dreams for weeks to come. The Resident Evil series has been reborn, and Resident Evil 7: biohazard offers a promising glimpse of what the future holds for the franchise.

Approaching this review was a mix of trepidation and excitement. On the one hand, it was an opportunity to cover Resident Evil 7 and experience the game in VR with PlayStation VR – and that is something to be excited about. On the other hand, I was willingly submitting myself to the terror of playing a Resident Evil in VR, and knowingly putting myself in a position that could potentially haunt my mind and make for many long sleepless nights. Nonetheless, the lure of virtual reality and Resident Evil 7 was too exciting to miss.

Credit Capcom
Credit Capcom /

Resident Evil 7 returns to the survival-horror genre, and in doing so welcomes the player with a slow and methodical style of play. Having placed a greater emphasis on strategic planning and item resource management, veterans of the series will feel a sense of déjà vu as you carefully choose how much ammo to carry, which weapons to take, and the amount of healing items to have at the ready. Conservation of precious items is key to success, as is being meticulous in your search for new materials. As the game develops, you will watch your resources dwindle away, and a sense of desperation will overcome you as you battle for survival.

The characters are able to instill a great sense of fear and discomfort…

The return to survival-horror makes for a fresh experience, but it is the human element to the game’s characters that really make the game stand out from past Resident Evil entries. Given the sensitive nature of the game and its story, I don’t want to go into too much depth on this matter, but by the time the credits begin to roll, you will feel pity and form a better understanding of the game’s characters and their intentions. With that said, the enemies and characters featured in the game are intense, twisted, and frightening enough that you will carry a feeling of uneasiness with you for the duration of your visit to the Baker property.

The characters are able to instill a great sense of fear and discomfort – there is nothing more frightening than knowing Jack or Marguerite Baker are actively stalking you and are at the ready to kill you in a gruesome manner. This is strengthened even further by the sound direction of the game. Wearing a pair of headphones and being immersed in the world of Resident Evil 7, I was absorbed by the setting. Hearing Jack threaten me and frantically walk in my direction sent shivers down my spine as I desperately sought a safe haven to protect myself from his abuse. Glancing out a window to see if he left the room was done so with great caution.

It feels as though Capcom designed Resident Evil 7 to rely more on delivering a realistic form of terror by creating an atmosphere of extreme anxiety that makes you feel like you are at a loss. You have to overcome not only the physical threats lurking around the environment but also your own fear – this is especially true when playing in VR. By exploring and harvesting useful items, you become more confident in your abilities to counter the dangers of the game. As you familiarize yourself with the environment, you learn how to protect yourself from foes and how to combat them.

Credit Capcom
Credit Capcom /

Resident Evil 7 is a well-paced journey that blends its numerous settings together in a remarkable manner. Finding keys and solving puzzles to advance to a new area feels natural to the setting, and nothing feels forced or artificially tacked on just for the sake of it. It all blends together really well. The final act did feel a bit out of place at first, but the narrative revelations tied the story together, and the prominence on combat during this section is understandable.

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Nonetheless, the game does have one major flaw. The boss battles, while creative, aren’t all that memorable. The first encounter with Jack introduces itself with great intensity, but the battle is rather mundane and simple.

A question you may have: Is Resident Evil 7 worth buying a PlayStation VR for? Honestly, I’d say yes. It is by far the best PSVR game available, and it is one of the only full-featured games out for the device at the current time. PSVR and Resident Evil 7 is engrossing and is well worth experiencing. Going from Resident Evil 7 in VR to just normal play on the TV, the world and setting felt so flat. In VR, the world was alive and conveyed a sense of being lived in. The gritty details of the moldy walls, the dusty attic, and the damp basement disgusted me in the best way possible. It heightened my sense of discomfort because I felt as though I was there.

There is a caveat for playing in VR, and that is downgraded visuals. Aside from slightly weaker textures and a grainier image quality, the visuals of Resident Evil 7 in VR are still impressive.

If you opt to play Resident Evil 7 in VR, you will want to explore the game’s control options and find a camera tuning setting that works well for you. In my experience, I found that setting the camera rotation to ‘Smooth’ allowed me to feel most at ease as I walked slowly into an area, surveyed my surroundings, and then walked towards areas of interest.

9.0. Whether played in VR or not, Resident Evil 7: biohazard is a thrilling game and it shouldn’t be missed. If you have the option to play the game with a PSVR, you should by all means do so. Regardless of how you play Resident Evil 7: biohazard, just be sure that you do because it is one of 2017’s finest releases and the constant stream of DLC keeps the nightmare alive.. Capcom. . Resident Evil 7

A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.