Resident Evil 7 - PSVR

Playing Resident Evil 7 in PSVR in your own home is an experience like no other I've had. In terms of "home entertainment", it stands right up there among the finest and certainly the most immersive and interesting. When I started playing game in the 1980's , the idea that you would eventually be able To walk around a decrepit mansion that felt believable, tangible and real was a distant dream and boy, does that dream come to life in full technicolour. When I first put on the headset and walked towards the house, I imagined that i felt like those movie goers seeing a train rush towards them for the first time. 

The game itself is outstanding survival horror which confidently ticks all the boxes you'd hope and expect - limited ammo, intense enemies, horrific imagery item management, constant ratcheting up of tension and so on. Having played every single minute of this game in VR I can honestly say that even the most simple stretches of gameplay become intense experiences that are simultaneously a pleasure to play through and enjoyably stressful. 

More generally, The structure of the game is classic survival horror - you start off incredibly vulnerable having to run from every enemy -with a slow development of your skills and inventory. I actually found the opening hour or so of the game very difficult, but once I got beyond it and had more than basic weaponry and understood the layout of the house , gradually felt like I was fighting back and learning how to survive effectively. Exploration becomes more fun and enjoyable once you know the enemies weak spots and have a solid strategy to get from A to B to accomplish even the most simple of tasks. 

Speaking of tasks, again, the game keeps it simple, I presume because the core game is so much fun there and was a conscious decision by the developers not to over complicate it. Puzzles are simplistic (find item A , rotate item to fit into a certain shadow shape and progress) yet enjoyable because of the environment. There are not that many types of enemies, but again they are well used to build tension while exploring and they're incredibly well designed, looking suitably grotesque and horrific.  Exploration is also just a joy in itself - the house and its surrounding estate looks amazing and has plenty of small touches that elevate it from being scary to believably scary and exploring each of the 6 or so new areas bring its own sense of adventure and excitement. This is supported by an excellent game mechanic where, through the use of i game video tapes allow you to "watch" a recording series of events that take place in an area before you can yourself fully explore it. In fact, one of my favorite parts of the game involves just this - you're already familiar with parts of the area before you play through it, and then you realise how a sequence you've just seen in an earlier videotape fits in. It's a very smart way of world building, story telling and even building tension. 

As you can tell, i am a fan. I even enjoyed the story and the boss characters who stalk you around each of the areas. They're scary and even comical on occasions and, for the most part are memorable and intimidating. Sure, they're not massively complex but are suited to environment and feel well placed for he game and wider RE universe. 

Any problems? Not reallly, and certainly nothing major. The VR is a little grainy but I actually think this added to my overall experience given the tone of the game. The plot is firmly in the B movie horror genre, but again that's a fine by me and even at that, it is a vast improvement over the mess that was RE6. 

Overall, it's an outstanding game and a wonderful example of what you can do with VR. It reminded me of the legendary Hell Night on PSone with the level of tension and immersiveness dialed up. Worth getting a PSvr for? Almost....there are two ways to look at it. 1. This is just the beginning of Vr on the PlayStation and boy is it excellent and as developers get used to the tech it'll only get better, so you're well recommended to get involved. However, suppose 2. This is the peak - Vr gets no better than this. Either way, the experience itself is worth it in my books. 

 

Outstanding.