VR A Step Too Far?

..my heart can only take so much!

jack-vr

As you all know by now – and if you don’t where have you been? Resident Evil 7 came out this week! That’s right, and after the (in my opinion) unmitigated disasters that were 5 and 6 they have went back to their survival horror roots leaving the crappy third person shooter action games firmly in the past – where I hope the stay! The biggest change is the first person perspective, and with that Capcom thought it would be a great idea to add VR to the mixture! So did I. How is it really though?

If you haven’t gathered from my previous posts around Halloween time, I am a massive massive wuss when it comes to interactive horror stuff. I could and do watch horror movies until the cows come home but as soon as I have to physically do something whether it be haunted houses, video games – I just can’t deal with it. So of course I thought it would be a good idea to play the game in VR!

What follows will contain mild spoilers for the first hour or so of Resident Evil 7, so if you haven’t played it yet I recommend going and playing it then return after you get past that point!

Ok, so I strap myself in and go straight into the game. Immediately I am hit with this sense of presence as I exit my car and start walking through the wilderness. Coming across creepy ass effigies and then it happened. Coming round a bend and Jack walks across the horizon, behind a hill. Oh god. I start moving slightly slower, expecting at any moment for him to jump out and welcome me to the family.

Instead, nothing, but I am still on edge. Around that hill you are lead to what turns out to be the old guest house from the demo teaser. But before you enter you are literally just staring into an abyss of darkness beyond it’s door. It took me a good 5-10minutes to pluck up the courage to walk through that door. It’s incredible really, I knew it was just a game that I would be fine – but my mind was like “Oh, you really shouldn’t go in there! That just looks like a trap, you could get us both killed!”

It carried on like that throughout the entirety of that demo area. Constantly on edge, pooping my pants at every noise that came from my vicinity. I expected the worst and although it never came – that sense of dread that the game creates with incredible sound design and environment design which is multiplied ten fold with VR and a headset or surround sound.

I lasted up until Mia crawling up the stairs towards me and flinging me through the door. That animation was like something I would have in a recurring nightmare. Unnatural, disturbing and just plain unsettling. And for a second I forgot I was in VR and I felt a sense of utmost panic. It became too much for me.

I have since been playing the game 100% “traditionally” and while I am a bit disappointed in myself for wimping out (although I have been playing small sections at a time in VR until I cant anymore) my heart will thank me, and once I have completed it (almost there I think!) I will return for a full VR playthrough.

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