Going back to the fracnhise’s roots is all Resident Evil 7 Biohazard is about. Forget Chris Redfield, explosions, and huge set pieces. Resident Evil 7 Biohazard is all about scares, and in a way that feels like a whole IP. If it did not have “Resident Evil” in its title, you would think that Outlast and P.T. had a love-child, and conceived the greatest horror game to grace gaming in a few years. Resident Evil 7 Biohazard is just that – it is a horrific experience in all the right ways.
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4, PS VR
Reviewed On: PS4 | PS VR
Distributor: Ster Kinekor Entertainment
Release Date: 24 January 2017
Price: R1 069
It is the game’s atmosphere that gives Resident Evil 7 Biohazard its biggest scares. From the moment we started up Resident Evil 7 Biohazard, a mysterious, yet threatening ambiance set in. Ethan’s wife went missing three years ago, and after he receives a video call from her, he sets out to find out what happened, and to hopefully save her from whatever danger she may be in. The game starts with us traveling to Dulvey Louisiana, to a derelict mansion where the Baker family reside. After a few pretty intense moments during the intro, we found ourselves helpless, with a mad family after us, and creatures called the “molded” stalking our every move.
Screaming survival horror, and putting our hearts to the test, we slowly explored Resident Evil’s new direction. Scavenging for items throughout the area, dealing with limited inventory slots, and making our own first aid kits on the go. This all payed homeage to the classic Resident Evil games. Micro managing was one of the series’ biggest features, and it works very well in Resident Evil 7 Biohazard. Getting to a safe room and having to decide between a gun, ammo, and health packs before setting out, has not been experienced in years, and it was fantastic. Getting to our desired location and realizing we left the key in the storage box, only to start heading back and Mr Baker smashing through the wall in order to catch us. It was a thrill, that put our nerves to the test.
The main family cannot be killed until a certain part in Resident Evil 7 Biohazard. Instead, a few dozen shots to the head stun them for a certain time, and they then pop up when you least expect it. There was this constant rush of fear flowing through our body in every location. We knew Mrs Baker had a lantern and we could see her from a distance, but we were still scared to death as we crouched behind the couch and trembled with fear. The molded creatures then tested our aiming as there were only two ways to kill them. Shoot them in the head a few times until it pops off, or dice their bodies apart. Being double our size, we just ran most of the time and cried. They can disappear into walls and appear again from behind you, which makes them very scary. You never know where they are, and when you see them you have a few seconds to aim and shoot before they get close enough to start swiping at you with their massive claws.
Most of the game’s fear however comes from the situations you find yourself stuck in. No ammo, or no health is always an issue, and the family appearing out of nowhere to interrupt your current goal keeps you on your feet the whole time. You never know what is going to happen, and every location in the game is so horrifyingly detailed and crafted that you want to search every draw for items, even if you could not carry anymore. We spent most of our time running into a room, shutting the door behind us, and quickly scavenging for items. It was like something we have witnessed in a big-budget Hollywood horror, where the last person alive hits survival mode and just uses everything around them to make it to the end of the movie.
Resident Evil 7 Biohazard is a constant rush. The puzzles and locked doors keeps it at a great pace. You would spend a good few hours in one area making sure you have found everything and taken note of every door that needs a key. We had to adapt to every location, and every nook and cranny around us was used to hide away, even if this meant we cried a little. Resident Evil 7 Biohazard is very scary, and it gets worse thanks to the use of PS VR.
Being in the Resident Evil 7 Biohazard world with the crazed family, and seeing the set pieces from a different perspective, was rather intense. Apart from a few areas and boss fights, the VR worked very well. Sometime it got a little bit too active as the camera work would not gel right for the VR, and it would disconnect us from the game at the moment. Where it does shine the most however, is when we were exploring the rooms, and running away from the monsters and the family. It was truly frightening, and if you have PS VR, then this is one of the VR games you must play, as there is nothing else like it.
There has not been a Resident Evil that we have managed to connect with in a long time. Resident Evil 7 Biohazard has changed all that. All the puzzles, all the scares, and the fantastic feel you get while playing the game. It is a horrific, in all the right ways.