- Best Entry Level VR Headsets - December 25, 2022
- VR Games on our Radar in 2023 - December 15, 2022
- Ashok Interview - December 1, 2022
Resident Evil has long been one of the most popular franchises in the gaming landscape. Spanning almost 30 years, the concept of a survival horror game began with this series, and although it has evolved a ton over the years, one thing remains pretty constant throughout all of the games. It’s scary as hell and not for the faint of heart to play by any measure. Resident Evil 6 was looked at as a big misstep in the series, so there was a lot of pressure on Capcom to get things right when Resident Evil 7 was first announced. Not only did the normal game get announced, but a VR version as well, which looked to take the series to entirely new heights. Resident Evil 7 was released and was hailed critically, but when Resident Evil 7 VR came out, the game changed forever.
My first experience with Resident Evil VR came in 2017, and let me be honest with you here. If you find horror movies scary and have trouble getting over traumatizing things on screen, this one might not be for you. In terms of VR graphics, only Half-Life: Alyx looks better. This game is harrowingly realistic in many ways, and the graphics and atmosphere coming right into your headset are nothing short of mind-blowing. Resident Evil 7 VR was initially a PSVR exclusive but has since made its way onto the PC to open up the gateway into a whole new world of possibilities.
Resident Evil 7 VR is one of the more unique VR titles out there, and while there aren’t hours upon hours of content available, what is there is enough to leave a lasting impression that I’m fairly certain will stick with you for the rest of your life. It’s that impactful, so get ready because your time with the Baker family is going to be nothing short of terrifying.
Getting Around the Baker House
Unlike most VR games out there, you’re going to be controlling this one via a PS4 controller of a mouse and keyboard if you’re on the PC. This can be unwieldy at first, and as someone that is used to motion controls with just about every VR game they play, I found this to be one of the toughest hurdles to get over when it came to Resident Evil 7 VR. Once you realize this is going to control like a normal first-person shooter that’s been thrown into the VR world, then things become a bit more simple. You get around with the right analog stick and turn with the other one, and these controls can be adjusted in your menu for sensitivity purposes at any time.
One thing to note is the number of controls that can be altered in VR, whether you’re on the PCVR version or the PSVR one. The most important one of these is the walking speed setting. I advise you to turn this up as much as possible because the base speed that Ethan moves in this game is pretty much a crawl, and while you definitely want to take your time walking around this incredibly creepy and dangerous house, you want to be able to high tail it out of places in a hurry if you can. This change in speed directly impacts the gameplay, and it’s there because some people can get sick if they move too fast in VR.
You will also be able to tweak your camera settings, which concerns things like vignetting and tunnel vision, to make it, so your view is shrouded when turning. You can also change the speed at which your camera rotates. I can’t exactly tell you what to put here as every person is different, but I will say that things like tunnel vision and slow rotations have always made me feel sicker when turned on, so I’d say try out both ways and see what makes more sense for you.
Fighting Against The Dead
There aren’t any zombies in this Resident Evil game, which is a big departure for the series, but it’s also an evolution as you’ll find no shortage of terrifying encounters in this one as the Baker family slowly becomes more and more violent during your time visiting their absolutely chilling country home. In most VR games, you would be utilizing your arms and hands in some way in order to perform combat maneuvers, but here, you’re without motion controls, and that means every bit of combat will be done via a controller. One unique feature the game has is it uses your actual head as the aiming device rather than just a controller like a normal first-person shooter might.
This means that when your gun is drawn, you will find that your main form of aiming gets done with your head. There is an aiming reticle that will appear in front of your gun, and you will have to learn to use your head in order to target your enemies. This is obviously an unorthodox way to do things in VR, but once you get over the initial learning curve of how to move your head in small increments without getting sick, then you’ll be able to enjoy the combat. You will be able to shoot your guns in a conventional way, via the trigger on the controller or mouse if you prefer, and the same goes for melee attacks, which will also be controller via the trigger when you have a melee weapon equipped, such as a knife or other weapons like a chainsaw.
Getting Immersed in a VR Hell
It’s a tough task to ask a VR game to be immersive when there are no motion controllers being used in the game, but here, Capcom certainly does an admirable job of overcoming that questionable design choice. In order to get you fully into this world, Resident Evil 7 VR provides you with a VR body that takes a ton of damage throughout the game. I don’t mean during gameplay, though, as the cutscenes in this game put the protagonist, Ethan Winters, through some of the most horrific circumstances ever seen in VR games. Such things of this nature include watching your own limbs be chopped off in VR and some other incredibly gory scenes that will likely keep you up at night long after you’ve taken the headset off.
Interacting With the World
Because of the lack of motion controllers, you won’t be physically interacting with anything using your actual hands while playing the game. Instead, Ethan will be able to pick up a ton of stuff throughout the game and study it for clues and whatnot. Doing this will lead to interesting paths and sometimes give you alternate story beats. A lot of your interacting with the world will come in the jump scares that Resident Evil 7 VR just loves throwing at you from time to time. This stuff comes right into your face and can be a pretty shocking thing to witness up close and personal.
Another way you’re going to interact with this world is with sound. Even if you play with headphones in the flat-screen version, there is nothing quite as chilling as hearing footsteps or creaks around a corner and turning around in real life to go investigate what it is. The sound is truly 3D and locational here, so if you hear a sound coming from a particular area, there is a good reason it’s happening. These sounds usually will lead to a boss fight or enemy of some kind, as there is rarely anything friendly towards you in the Baker house, so get yourself prepared before turning any creaky corners.
While VR motion controls aren’t available for Resident Evil 7 VR, that doesn’t mean you can’t interact with the game at all while in the headset. Physical sneaking is thankfully supported with this game, and it actually comes in handy a lot because ammo is pretty scarce here, and your melee weapons generally aren’t the most useful.
Crouching in real life and moving in-game will slowly have you move through areas without making too much noise. This is optional most of the time, but there are certain sections of the game that give you an automatic game over if you get caught, so it’s worth figuring out how to do it early and often. Your sounds are tracked by enemies a lot of the time, so the less time you spend creaking over floorboards or knocking into things, the less of a chance, they’ll have to hunt you down.
With the Lights On, it’s less Dangerous
I know, plenty of VR players hate playing with lights on because it either messes with the motion tracking at times or can have a light bleed in from the real world into the spaces between your headset. That’s all well and good, but Resident Evil 7 VR is one of the most horrifying experiences in gaming history, and there are going to be times, regardless of how hardened a horror vet you are, that you’re going to want to take the headset off. You’ll likely be doing that in a panicked state, and if you do this in total darkness, it can be a bit dangerous as it’s already a bit jarring taking off a VR headset to begin with, let alone after your heart is racing and you’re in a panicked state.
Get used to the game while playing with the lights on. It might also help to have a TV or some music on in the background because believe me when I tell you, when it’s just you, silence, and Resident Evil 7 VR, things can get very scary, very fast, and having some kind of connection to the real world to keep you from getting too scared is a nice thing to have.
I can’t stress enough how terrifying this game is to play and while you can probably get through most of the game in under 10 hours if you really wanted to, I’ve found playing it in 30-45 minute increments is the best option. I consider myself a horror vet in most mediums, whether it be TV, movies, or games, and have rarely found myself as scared as I was playing this game. Part of that reason is the graphics, as there are few VR games that really make you feel like you’re there than Resident Evil 7 VR.
In addition to that, I’ve seen several of my friends feel pretty woozy after playing this one after being fine when playing a bunch of other VR games. I’m not sure if its the movement that’s different here or just the feeling that this is a real-world that comes across harder than other games, but something about Resident Evil 7 VR does not sit well with people in the dizziness and nausea department, so try and take breaks if you can and don’t spend too much time in this game world.
Praydog – Mod You’ve Been Waiting For
I’ve harped throughout this guide that Resident Evil 7 VR on both PC and PSVR does not have motion controls. That is true; when you buy the game, all you can do to control Ethan is use a controller or a mouse and keyboard. What if someone figured out a way to get them into the game, though? How wild would that be? Is it even possible? Well, if you’re on PC, I advise you to mosey on over to this site and download the file that says RE7. Take the contents of that file and unzip them into your Resident Evil 7 VR directory.
Once you do that, turn on the game as you normally would, except this time, why don’t you try firing up those motion controllers of yours? But why, you might ask? Well, a modder by the name of Praydog has managed to figure out how to add motion controls in Resident Evil 7 VR. Don’t ask me how a single man was able to do what an entire, multi-million dollar company in Capcom was not, but it remains the truth.
You might think this is just some janky excuse for motion control in a VR game, but it is far from that. I’ll do my best to explain how incredible this Mod is, but you’re better off just trying it for yourself if you’re on PC because it’s 100 percent free.
Fighting in the True Form of Resident Evil 7 VR
Upon firing up Resident Evil 7 VR with motion controls, you’ll immediately notice some differences. First off, you’ve actually got a VR body with functioning arms. That’s because all of your aiming is now going to be done by, you know, aiming. The gunplay is incredibly accurate here, and you’ll be able to pull off headshots with ease, and your weak and meager-looking melee attacks suddenly have much more purpose to them than before.
You will still have to pull the trigger of your motion controls while stabbing at enemies, though, because while Praydog is a master modder, he can’t just implement a physics system into a game that was built with none in mind.
Your guns will work just fine no matter where or how you choose to shoot them, though, so feel free to put your gun to the temple of the Baker enemies in an attempt to get a more accurate shot off because it will 100 percent work.
Defending Yourself and Healing
While you could defend yourself in the normal version of Resident Evil 7 VR, with Praydog’s Mod, you can now actually defend yourself, but with your actual hands. You’re going to have several large, sharp objects slashed and thrown at you while playing this game, and your natural reaction will be to cover your face with your hands when this happens. Thanks to the Mod, you can actually block things doing this, and you’ll feel the haptic feedback in your controllers when you do so, leading to an awesome effect that felt like it should’ve been there the entire time.
When it comes to healing in the game, it’s done by using this special little potion that comes in a bottle, and the effect basically generates your skin instantly and even helps reattach limbs during the cutscenes where you might part ways with them. In order to heal in this Mod, you can actually reach behind your shoulder to pull the bottle out and pour it on your hand physically. This is something that wasn’t even available in the PSVR version of Resident Evil 7 VR, so to see it made out of thin air is just an incredible thing to accomplish.
Seated vs. Standing
You can play Resident Evil 7 VR seated or standing. When you’re seated, you won’t be able to use the physical crouch option, and for me, that takes a lot of fun out of a game that uses stealth a lot. If you’re playing with a controller, though, it can feel awkward to stand and play, so I can understand playing seated if that’s the case. If you’ve got a PCVR and Praydog’s Mod, though, definitely stand, as you won’t really get the full effect of the motion controls if you decide to sit while playing this way.
Since this is a game you won’t be spending hours upon hours in, I can easily recommend standing as the way to go, especially so if you’re on PCVR. It adds a ton to the immersion and also gives you the ability to turn completely around in the real world to check out things in VR, which isn’t possible when you’re sitting at all.
PSVR vs. PCVR versions of Resident Evil 7 VR
The PSVR version is the original one, so you may think that that would mean it’s the best one as ports can be a bit weird sometimes, and that counts double for unofficial ports. The PSVR version has several restrictions but also some benefits as well. First off, you’ve got to deal with the restrictive nature of the PSVR camera. This thing is positively ancient and why Sony chose to use it with next-level technology like VR is beyond me, but regardless, it’s what you’ve got to work with here.
It supports 5×5 movement but just barely and loses tracking pretty easily. On the PSVR, though, you don’t have to worry about motion controllers, as the only way to play the game is with a controller. You’re also getting the official VR version of the game, as the PCVR version is only able to be played via Praydog’s Mod. That means you won’t have to worry about glitches, crashes, or, more importantly, performance issues when playing through the PSVR version. This is important because frame rate in VR is the most important thing when it comes to keeping you from feeling sick.
On the PCVR side of things, to me, it’s the only way to play Resident Evil 7 VR, and Praydog doing this for free is just a gift to the gaming community that we simply don’t deserve. You do have to consider that this is an unofficial VR port, though, and with that comes issues such as graphical glitches, performance issues, and even crashing on some occasions. If you’ve got a PCVR, though, this is a no-brainer; Resident Evil 7 VR is incredible with motion controls and feels like the true version of the game in every way.
Even if you don’t have a PCVR headset, as long as you have a gaming PC, the PCVR version of Resident Evil 7 VR is good enough that I’d go as far to say that it is a system seller. It really is that powerful of an experience.
Games Like Resident Evil 7 VR
While it’s very unique of a VR experience, there are actually 4 other Resident Evil games that have gotten the VR treatment aside from Resident Evil 7 VR, including 3 that are modded by Praydog. In addition to that, there is also a host of other zombie-centric horror games in VR that are definitely worth a try as well. Here are a few of them.
- Resident Evil 8: Village VR
- Resident Evil 2 VR
- Resident Evil 3 VR
- Resident Evil 4 VR
- The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners
- Arizona Sunshine
- The Walking Dead: Onslaught
- Into the Radius VR
- Pavlov VR
- After The Fall VR
Question: Does Resident Evil 7 VR have Motion Controls?
Answer: Officially, no, but unofficially on PCVR, there is a complete VR conversion mod by Praydog that includes full motion controls. It is the best way to play the game.
Question: Is Resident Evil 7 VR Scary?
Answer: Yes, Resident Evil 7 VR is one of the scariest games ever made. It combines incredibly realistic graphics with some of the most chilling scenarios that I can remember in gaming. It is not for the faint of heart, and those that aren’t horror fans are in for quite the experience. There is nothing quite like it, and you’ll never forget it, I can guarantee you that.
Question: Is There a Sequel to Resident Evil 7 VR?
Answer: Resident Evil 8: Village is the sequel to the events that happened in Resident Evil 7 VR. It’s not a VR game itself, but again, Praydog came to the rescue with a VR mod for it that’s as good as the one in Resident Evil 7 and is a less scary experience for those who can’t take it here.
Resident Evil 7 VR is an experience unlike any other. It’s got a creepy story that ties back into the world of Resident Evil as a whole and introduces some terrifying new elements to the series that take it in a more supernatural direction than seen in the series’ past. When it comes to the version you’re playing, I think the PCVR one is the way to go, as the Mod you can get for free turns Resident Evil 7 VR into a true VR game and feels like this is the way it was always supposed to be played.