If you’ve been following my work since this year’s E3, you know how much I love the direction that “Resident Evil 7” is headed in. I took a deep dive into the Beginning Hour demo for my vide, Why “‘Resident Evil 7’ Could Be the Best ‘Resident Evil’ Yet”, and at this year’s PlayStation Experience I got to play the finished version of that demo… in VR.
I’ll get this out of the way now: Yes, the finished demo has combat. It’s awesome.
After divulging that I had finished the demo and gotten every available ending so far, I was told to pull the lever in the fireplace first and that it would kick off the new portion of the demo. I did just that and what followed was a mixture of the two paths I could previously take. The difference was that after lowering the staircase to the attic on the second floor, I was finally able to open the door just to the right of the living room’s exit.
We’re about to get into spoiler territory, so if you want to go in fresh, stop reading now.
Still here? Rad. The basement is where you encounter the first enemy you can fight in “Resident Evil VII: Biohazard”. Fans of the Revelations series will instantly recognize it as it looks just like the goopy, disgusting common enemy-types from that series, but with a more human, sinewy look. I think it’s a big improvement, and that explains how it ties into other games in the series, but I hope there are some traditional zombies in the full game.
I encountered it in a spooky, dark cellar with body bags hanging from the ceiling, and I’ll be honest – this is the one part that creeped me out.
I ran from the monster since I was defenseless, but I was able to pick up a lock pick and a valve on my way out. Luckily, the monster couldn’t traverse stairs. I made my way to the bathroom and used the valve to shut off a switch and get a gun from a blood-filled toilet, which is basically the most “Resident Evil” thing ever.
I searched high and low for pistol ammo and made my way back into the basement only to get hit a few times without killing the monster. Even after 10 headshots it didn’t go down. I searched the house again and got more ammo, but I just couldn’t kill it. I used the lock pick to get an axe, but again it wasn’t enough. This lead me to believe that it was regenerating health when I left the basement. So if you try it for yourself, make sure you hoard your ammo and get the axe before you try fighting it.
I was pretty bummed I died, but the PR rep told me I got farther than anyone else who tried the game, so I felt okay about it. The shooting itself felt great. The aiming is controlled by your head, and a dot will appear where the bullet will hit. It’s very tense and the gunshots feel raw and real.
I did get a little motion sick since the game allows you to move the X-axis with the thumbstick AND your head. Also, when you crouch, your character warps to crouching stance instead of actually simulating a crouch and that gave me a little bit of a headache. I think it also had something to do with the fact that the main character is much shorter than I am in real life, but I’m not totally sure. I thought VR was cool, but I think I needed more time to get acclimated to it to pass a real judgement.
If you’re a “Resident Evil” fan who’s scared that “Resident Evil VII: Biohazard” is too different from past entries, you can rest assured that this game is actually made for you. The puzzle solving, combat and story all felt incredible, and I’m still confident that this is the right direction for the series. You can try out the same demo I played now on PS4, and I definitely encourage you to do so. If you’re on Xbox One or PC, the demo will be out soon for you to try out too!
“Resident Evil VII: Biohazard” launches on January 24, 2017 on PS4, Xbox One and PC and after grilling multiple Capcom representatives, I’m confident it won’t get delayed.