Four Hours with Resident Evil 7 biohazard

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Four Hours with Resident Evil 7 biohazard

A franchise doesn’t survive for more than 20 years without taking a few chances. Case in point: Resident Evil 4, which famously upended series tradition by shifting to an over-the-shoulder camera perspective and a more aggressive play style.

Four Hours with Resident Evil 7 biohazard

Now, with the series at another crossroads, Resident Evil 7 biohazard is going full-blown FPS, complete with an optional PlayStation VR mode. Based on the four hours I played last week at Capcom’s US headquarters, I think the new approach injects vitality and confidence into the iconic horror series.

To minimize spoilers, I’ll keep story details broad. You play as Ethan Winters, an everyman searching for his missing wife in the backwaters of Louisiana. Early in the game, Ethan is abducted by the Baker family, a band of degenerate locals who bear more than a passing resemblance to the Peacock family from that one episode of X-Files.

Before long, I was free to roam the claustrophobic hallways of the Baker estate, a sprawling house that radiates sickness and contamination at every turn. Animal carcasses festoon the walls, every surface is encrusted with gore. It’s a carnival of carnage.

Resident Evil 7 biohazard

Despite the new FPS gameplay style, Resident Evil 7 is still a proper survival-horror game. You’ll encounter doors “locked from the other side,” fret over which weapons and supplies to bring into the field, and solve environmental puzzles using artifacts like the trusty Crank. One welcome detail comes in the form of mixable chemicals, which you can combine with herbs, gunpowder, and other items to craft precious supplies in the field.

Enemy encounters (again, I’m trying to stay broad here) are tough and tense, thanks to scarce ammunition and unnervingly persistent A.I. design that sees members of the Baker family freely stalking the halls in ways that reminded me of the xenomorph from Alien Isolation.

Resident Evil 7 biohazard

I was also pleased to see Capcom experiment with new narrative devices, including VHS tapes that allow you to see — and play — the story from the perspective of other characters. All the while, a mysterious informant checks in on you via phones scattered throughout the house.

Even though I was only able to play on a standard HDTV, it’s easy to see where PlayStation VR will bring a disturbing new dimension to an already stellar-looking title.

Resident Evil 7 biohazard releases on PS4 this January 24 — after my hands-on play session, I’ll be counting the days.

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4 Author Replies

  • The demo on the store in VR is incredible. I am extremely excited for this VR experience.

  • Really looking forward to this. So glad this might be the first actual good FPS resident evil.

    • Well… I don’t remember there being any other FPS Resident Evil.

    • @kdiep Look up Resident Evil Survivor. Terrible RE game in first person. Granted it was back before FPS was actually a full blown thing so it wasn’t really a perfected perspective back then.

  • Will an extra pair of pants be included?

  • Glad I’m not the only one who thought of the Peacock family from the X-Files. :D I was never huge into RE (still haven’t played RE4 yet), but I recognize how great the series is. After the mixed response to RE5 and the poor reception to RE6, I feel audiences will really enjoy this one.

    • It’s quite an accomplishment – I give Capcom major kudos for mixing up the formula. Story seems interesting, too. Now the key question: can I handle playing in VR?

  • Props for that Peacock family reference!

  • Looks amazing. I cannot wait to play it. Loved the demo and the VR.

    Family man is lucky that he doesn’t have to deal with Chris Redfield. He would straight up punch his head off.
    (I can’t believe these games take place in the same universe.)

  • :( why no a third-person perspective in the camera options?

  • This game makes me really proud at Capcom for finally bringing Resident Evil back to it’s survival horror roots. Resident Evil 1, 2, 3 Nemesis, Code Veronica, and Zero are like the only games in the main Resident Evil series (unless you count the Outbreak games) that heavily relies on survival and horror (hence the “survival horror” name of the genre). Yes, Resident Evil 4 does have some survival horror elements, but it’s mainly an action shooter game. 5 and 6 are disappointing for not having any survival horror elements whatsoever. Which is why I’m looking forward to Resident Evil 7.

  • seems like a good direction to take.. was hoping that silent hill would get a re-invigoration, i guess this is as close as we can get.. seems like they did get ideas from the P.T. that was demoed.. hoping this is good..

  • What most people don’t talk about is how Capcom tried to warn us ahead of time that fps was the direction they planned on.

    From the beginning of RE 6. subtle hints, but it was obvious

  • I tried the demo and wow. It took me several times playing through to actually complete it because I had to take the headset off because I was iterally that freaked out. I can’t wait to play the whole game now, RE was perfect for VR.

  • Thanks for the impressions,

    I do have a question though. In an article capcom said there was no chapters in the game but someone in the press that posted their impressions said they played from Chapter 3. Can you confirm or deny the existence of chapters?

  • I do believe this will be “The Killer App” that sells many, many, many Playstation VR systems. So I am very happy as an investor, and as a Resident Evil fan from the jump. This game looks like it might be pretty difficult in the same satisfying way From’s “Souls” games are. I don’t know if the Demo puzzle would yet be solved without the community. Like all the best RE games, I bet there will be many, many layers above, below, and sideways with a large variety opponents. I’m going to do my very best to avoid spoilers. For fans of Survival Horror nuts and bolts, check out Chris’ Survival Horror Quest. That goes for any developers reading as well, Chris really, really knows the genre and game design.

  • F you Capcom for turning my favorite third person franchise ever into another stupid FPS game and doing away with the amazin Umbrella story and characters. Shame on you.

    • This would be great as a different horror game, but as a RE game i really don’t like it, FPS, talking zombies? definitely lost the RE style, too bad…

  • When I played the demo I said to myself this is a must get. I’ve played the other RE games but this one is gonna be off the chain

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