In Review

Resident Evil 7: 'Terrifying' survival game thrills critics

Shifting the perspective to the first-person makes Biohazard a truly terrifying horror game

Resident Evil is back after a four-year absence, bringing with it improved graphics and new gameplay mechanics.

Biohazard, the seventh edition in the series, shifts the perspective from third to first-person, increasing the feeling of immersion for players using PlayStation's VR headset. There's also a new physics engine, which makers Capcom says helps the game run higher resolution textures and increase object detail.

Players are trapped in a house trying to escape an array of enemies lurking in the shadows. Gameplay ranges around hands-on combat to stealth missions, with the goal to leave the house alive.

Resident Evil 7 appears to shake-up the formula of the horror franchise, but is it the game fans have been waiting for?

Polygon thinks so, saying Biohazard is a return to form after the disappointment of the previous instalment four years ago.

"No Resident Evil game since the first [one] has done as good a job as RE7 at making me feel scared and helpless," it says.

The site adds that players have to scour "every corner of the house for resources" and "memorise secret passageways", making the game "extremely effective" at drawing you in.

Only the occasional boss battle, "by far the worst part" of the game, is enough to break the "otherwise perfect tension". Bosses are almost immune to bullets and the "wonderful feedback" that is offered throughout the game is absent when battling these large enemies.

GameSpot agrees. The boss fights are "a bit of a mix" and can sometimes feel more annoying than intense, it says. However, battles involving the players having to approach combat in different ways add variety and are "completely natural in the context of the world".

Hidden VHS tapes add "even more variety" by offering gamers a glimpse into the narrative from different characters' perspectives, the site adds. There's also an array of puzzles that are "simple and easy to solve".

"Resident Evil is terrifying again", says The Verge. The shift to a first-person perspective makes it feel "very different" to previous entries in the series and the game's ability to "continuously up the ante" and throw the player into "grotesque" scenarios is also impressive.

Biohazard is a "bold and successful" reinvention, it concludes, blending together old and new techniques that will "scare the hell" out of anyone who plays it.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is available for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on Amazon for £42.99.

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