The next installment in the Resident Evil series is right around the corner, bringing the franchise back to the core concepts that helped establish it as one of the best horror experiences years ago. Announced last year during Sony’s E3 press conference, Resident Evil 7 is a game set in the same universe but with a completely fresh set of game mechanics. Now, atmosphere and survival are the focus of Resident Evil’s gameplay, working to make the experiences you’ll have throughout the game immersive, intense, and engaging. The major goal this time around is to bring players closer to the horror found at the core of the series, which may not be the ideal change for many Resident Evil fans looking for a new game to play.
Since it’s such a drastic departure from the rest of the franchise, here’s a few things you should probably know before diving in.
A Change of Perspective
Unlike previous Resident Evil games which feature a third-person perspective, Resident Evil 7 is played entirely from a first-person perspective akin to what you’d find in games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Outlast. The main goal with this change of perspective is to bring the game back into the world of horror by eliminating the ridiculous gunplay, which was consistently removing the aspect of fear from players by giving them one too many bullets and far too many combat skills.
Now, there’s no barriers or lines of gunfire between you and the enemy in front of you, meaning that you’ll consistently be more up close and personal with those looking to kill you throughout Resident Evil 7’s campaign. This change of perspective is also working to change up the way players face puzzles, exploration, and traps scattered through the in-game world too, forcing you to be more cautious thanks to the limited cone of sight the new perspective presents.
In Resident Evil 7 you’ll be playing as a man named Ethan Winters who’s currently following a lead on his missing wife. After looking for her for over three years, Winters has become a little more skilled than your average individual but remains a civilian, meaning that he doesn’t have access to all the advanced weaponry and combat expertise that we’re used to while playing as Chris Redfield or Leon Kennedy from previous Resident Evil games. You’re going to start with nothing to protect yourself with this time around, and through careful observation and exploration you’ll start to uncover some weapons you can in a limited capacity.
These weapons won’t be easy to come across however, and due to the heavy focus on survival horror that Resident Evil 7 is built upon, you’ll more than likely be spending time hiding from your enemies and outsmarting them with perfectly planned movements. Long gone are the days of overwhelming numbers and boxes of ammunition, replaced by dozens of environmental challenges such as puzzles, traps, and hazards you’ll have to navigate while working to escape.
## There is No Co-op
Even though Resident Evil is a video game series well-known for its cooperative play, Resident Evil 7 is an experience built around single player. There are no plans for cooperative play in the game, nor do we know about the existence of any additional modes like the infamous Mercenaries mode in the game upon completion. This follows the decision to keep Resident Evil 7 focused on the core elements of the franchise — like horror — which are largely brought to life through the game’s new atmospheric first-person perspective. So, if you were looking for a cooperative experience to play with some friends, Resident Evil 7 may not be the right title for you.
Because of Sony’s recent push towards virtual reality gaming, companies like Capcom have been working diligently to produce games built from the ground up as VR experiences. While Resident Evil 7 didn’t start as a VR title, it will be the first major title on the PlayStation 4 with complete VR support. You’ll be able to play from the beginning of the game to the very end entirely in virtual reality provided you have a PlayStation VR headset for your console.
That said, Resident Evil 7’s virtual reality mode is entirely optional for players. So, if you don’t have a PlayStation 4 with a PlayStation VR headset, or if you plan to pick up the game on PC or Xbox One, don’t worry, the game is set to work just as well without a virtual reality headset. As of right now, we don’t know if virtual reality mode will be introduced on PC either, although it wouldn’t surprise us if Resident Evil 7’s VR mode is just a timed exclusive with Sony available elsewhere later this year.