Resident Evil 7: Biohazard | PlayStation 4 Virtual Reality | Video Game Review | Tips, Recommendatio
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is a survival-horror video game developed by Capcom and released on January 24, 2017. The game is currently available on PlayStation 4 (console and Virtual Reality (VR), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Microsoft Windows.
I have played Resident Evil 7: Biohazard on the PlayStation 4 console several times and I am a fan of the gameplay, story, weapons, creatures, and boss fights. The game reminds me a lot of the first Resident Evil game and I look forward to future games in the franchise.
As far as playing the game on the PlayStation 4 console with the virtual reality headset, it is a markedly different experience.
What You Will Need
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard game for PlayStation 4
PlayStation 4 console
PlayStation 4 Virtual Reality headset
PlayStation 4 camera for the VR headset
PlayStation 4 controller
PlayStation 4 VR Gameplay
When you first start the game, you can complete a tutorial to get familiar with the way the game is played via virtual reality. Once you complete the tutorial, you are brought to the start menu, where you can decide if you want to start a new game, continue a game already in progress, or begin one of the DLC's.
The menu is really cool to see. You are inside of Zoe's trailer and you can turn around and look around her trailer. The makers of the game made it look incredibly real and you feel as if you are actually in Zoe's trailer. I didn't notice a screen door effect while I was in the trailer and the lighting was just right. I looked around quickly at times and didn't notice any skipping or black areas either.
In the beginning of the game, you get the backstory of the game and find out the protaganist, Ethan, has been contacted by his long-lost wife, Mia. This part of the game looked pretty much the same as it does on the console, as if you are watching a television screen, but much closer.
Ethan Arrives at the Plantation in Louisiana
As you drive up to the property, the controls for getting out of the car are the same (I used the controller to play the game), but it was confusing for me at first because everything is much closer, and it makes you feel like you are actually in the car. Running was a little strange because it seems like you move faster when you play on the regular console versus virtual reality. It was a lot of fun picking up things and examining them because it brought me even further into the game.
It was during the beginning of the game where I noticed I was getting nauseous. If you are getting nauseous, my recommendation is to complete all the settings for your PlayStation 4 virtual reality headset. I changed all the settings (measure eye-to-eye distance, etc.) in the PlayStation 4 VR headset settings in the settings menu on the PlayStation console.
Here is a link if you need help:
Changing all of these settings really helped with my nausea and lessened the screen-door effect in dark areas. If you are switching the headset between two or more people, remember to change the settings for each person. The eye-to-eye ratio settings makes a huge difference and almost everyone has a different distance between their eyes. It doesn't take very long to change either.
Inside the Plantation
Once I was inside the house, I learned that the screen door effect was very intense in dark areas. I had a very hard time concentrating on what I was looking at and getting into the game. As I stated above, once I changed the VR headset settings, I didn't notice the screen door effect as much. Even with the VR headset brightness setting turned all the way up, it's still a very dark game and if you don't get your settings right, the screen door effect may be very noticeable for you.
First Encounter with Possessed Mia
I wasn't expecting to be scared while playing this part of the game because even though the game is scary, I was never really scared by the first encounter with Mia when she becomes possessed. However, in VR it's completely different.
You are very close to Mia's face when she attacks you, and it is intense. I backed away as much as I could with my head, but the game forces you to maintain the same distance and it's hard to distance yourself and remember it's a game.
Looking Around: Smooth View Versus Angled View
You can change the settings in the game so you either have a smooth control over how you look around or you can look around at angles. I highly recommend you use the setting where you look around at angles. The smooth control gives you freedom to look around quickly, but I almost guarantee you will get nauseous. My husband almost never gets nauseous and he played the game for a few minutes using the smooth control and got very nauseous.
The angled control is kind of a pain, especially when you are fighting someone you have to constantly run away from, but you may risk getting very nauseous if you don't use it. If you find you are having trouble running away from a boss or molded in time, I would recommend taking off the headset and playing the game on the console just until you get past that part, then starting the VR version again, rather than switching to smooth control and risking nausea.
Depending on if you use smooth control or angled control for looking around, weapons can be tricky to use. If you are using angled control, back up and give yourself time before you shoot to aim towards your opponent(s) Smooth control gives you more time to aim, but again, you might not be able to use it due to nausea.
I used the angled view and always felt like I had enough time to aim and bring down an opponent. That being said, I play the game on easy mode because the bosses are hard for me to beat on normal mode. I don't know enough about the more difficult modes and how fast the opponents are, so use your best judgement based on your abilities.
During the first few encounters with Daddy, I thought I would have more problems with first getting away from him during the chase scene, then shooting at him to bring him down temporarily, then fighting him with the chainsaw, but it really wasn't that difficult compared to the console. I think the problems with fighting any of the bosses are with how close they get to you when you are fighting them and how scary the game becomes.
I didn't find the boss fights to be more difficult than the regular game on the PlayStation 4 console, but they were more intimidating and scary. I found that once you feel more involved in the game, you feel like you have a lot more to lose because the game feels all the more real in virtual reality. If you didn't find the game to be scary while playing the regular console, you might find yourself more involved and more into the game while using the virtual reality headset.
The Marguerite boss fight wasn't more difficult for me, but she was a lot scarier in virtual reality. I could see more detail and when she was close to me I felt more repulsed than in the regular game. The boss fight on the console didn't bother me, although it was annoying at times because she would hide, but running around in her house in virtual reality created a far scarier environment for me.
Dealing with Lucas was more fun in virtual reality than the console because I liked going through his weird Saw-esque set-up, seeing the environment in a different way, and feeling like I was outsmarting him. The Molded throughout Lucas' building were more intimidating, but I liked that part of the game overall.
If You Love This Game, You Might Also Love:
Wilson's Heart (2017) (Oculus Rift)
Dead Secret (2015) (Oculus Rift, PlayStation 4 VR)
The Inpatient (2018) (PlayStation 4 VR)
Robo Recall (2017) (Oculus Rift) (not a horror game, but it's a lot of fun)
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is fun and engaging game and becomes even more engaging while using the PlayStation 4 virtual reality headset. If you are a fan of the game and are looking for a more intense experience, I'd recommend using the PlayStation 4 VR headset. It truly is a different experience with the VR headset.
Have you played this game? Have you played this game in VR? What did you think? Do you have any tips for others who have played this game? Did you like this game? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!