At this year’s New York Comic Con, Capcom’s booth showed off their latest VR demo of Resident Evil 7. The demo was showcased using Sony’s unreleased PlayStation VR headset and ‘put me in the mood’ to play some VR games.My friends and I woke up early to make sure we got to Comic Con before it opened. Nonetheless, by the time I got to the booth, the tickets for the 20-minute previews were all gone, and a long line had already formed. Waiting an hour and a half to preview the demo wasn’t all that bad though. When it was my turn, I rounded the corner and made my way into a small room, where there was a chair centered in the room. I sat down, and the assistant helped to affix the headset to my noggin. To my surprise, it was very comfortable and rather light, working perfectly even with my glasses on. She then handed me the controller and I was ready to begin.
Using the PlayStation 4 controller’s motion tracking capabilities, I was able to move my hands around in-game, which were bound together with a zip tie. In front of me sat a camera, and knocked it over with my hands to begin. One of the first things I noticed was how quickly the headset reacted to my head movement, but also the increased amount of aliasing on the 3D models in order to achieve such a high frame-rate. The game still felt visually immersive as I watched a man get up off the floor and look me in the eyes, face-to-face with him. He then scrambled over to a knife on the ground and set himself loose, as I used my own time to look around the room and search for potential entrances where enemies may enter. A pile of boxes and some junk sat to my right, while what appeared to be a closed door was about 10 feet behind me. To my left were the remains of an old kitchen with some windows above them, but they were completely dark so I couldn’t quite see through them. Quickly the man got up after setting himself free, making his way to my front to help me up. I raised my hands into the air and he worked to cut my zip tie, shifting my head left and right so the shit wasn’t scared out of me, and listened to the eerie noises generated by my environment.
Before I knew it, a zombified woman struck a machete through the man’s back through his front as I sat there, unable to move. They fought back and forth for a bit before she continued to attack him with her weapon, dragging him into the darkness. At this point was near complete silence, darting my head back and forth in search of any clue that might give away her location. The man’s head then rolls out in front of me and I begin to panic a bit, because at this point I know that I’m seconds from being terrified. Rotating my glance between the windows, door behind me and the newfound door in front of me, I listen to the environment and scan the floors for her presence. Nothing. Creaking boards and silence. Suddenly her hands come out from the sides, covered in blood, reaching her weapon back before striking me, ending the demo.
Simply reading through the experience can never truly give you the sense of terror and fear you get sitting in the chair, waiting for the unknown to happen. Although having played the P.T. demo on the PlayStation 4 in the past, this does fall a bit behind in the realm of scaring the shit out of you. Perhaps they toned it down for con goers with heart issues, or maybe they just didn’t want to deal with people screaming their heads off. Regardless, the whole experience was very fun and I’m glad to have gotten a chance to try. Check out the video above to get an idea of what RE7 is all about.