First impressions: Resident Evil 7 on PSVR is a terrifying, adrenaline-laced blockbuster
The PSVR’s PSN store – like Oculus Home or Steam’s VR catalogue – is littered with short tech demos. While they can be fun, and a great way to give someone a quick taste of VR, they don’t offer much to the dedicated VR gamer. It’s always a joy, then, to see a fully-fledged VR game like Resident Evil 7 appear.
Like many other successful VR games, Resident Evil 7 exists as a standard flatscreen game, with its VR support offering an alternative way to experience the same game: not just another stand-alone tech demo. It’s a VR game for gamers, and it even manages to capture some of the nostalgia of the very first Resident Evil game, so for those – like some of us – whose childhoods were haunted by the original, RE7 in VR is a glorious blend of nostalgia, horror and immersion.
Movement in the VR version is – by default – essentially the same as in the regular game: gamepad, with analogue sticks to move and rotate. This can lead to motion sickness for some, but fortunately there are some comfort settings that help minimize this. Still, if you’re prone to motion sickness, this is one to be careful of; better to get your “VR legs” elsewhere and then return to RE7 to experience its intended unpleasantness, rather than its unintended queasiness!
The game’s VR mode also benefits from one of the only big detachments from Resident Evil tradition: the game is now first person. While this might be controversial to flatscreen-using fans of the series, for VR it’s the perfect match (not that a 3rd person perspective couldn’t also work in VR!).
If you’re looking for a VR game that is both beautiful in all its horrifyingly gory glory and captivating in its dark and insidious story, Resident Evil 7 stands in a league of its own. There simply aren’t many big blockbuster VR games yet – let alone in the horror genre – and so compared to all the 5-minute-scare-fest demos or non-interactive VR horror experiences, RE7 is really the first of its kind, and will be seen as another important landmark in the growth of the VR gaming industry.
Resident Evil 7 VR is out now – exclusively on PlayStation – for £49.99. It includes the regular flatscreen version, too.