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Resident Evil 7’s latest VR demo changed the way the game’s camera works

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It’s a welcome change, but it still made me queasy

Resident Evil 7

The last time I played Resident Evil 7 biohazard in virtual reality, it made me feel nauseated almost immediately, thanks to the game’s camera design. (In the E3 version of the game, players could look around freely with both the right analog stick of a PlayStation 4 controller and by moving their head. It was disorienting and caused many attendees to feel sick.)

At Tokyo Game Show this week, I tried the VR version of Resident Evil 7 once again. This time, I played the Lantern demo that was featured at Gamescom last month. And this time, I still wound up feeling a little queasy after taking off the PlayStation VR headset. But Capcom apparently made one noticeable change to the way the game’s camera works, and it seems to help ... a bit.

Instead of using the right analog stick for free camera movement, Resident Evil 7’s TGS VR demo now relies primarily on head movement to look around. The right analog stick now rotates the camera left or right in increments. I’m guessing those increments, which are hard snaps to the left or right, are somewhere between 15 and 30 degrees.

I didn’t get to play the Lantern demo at Gamescom, so the change may have been implemented last month. But the TGS version of the Lantern demo appears to have some new additions; it concludes with the scene of the Baker family at dinner, a grisly moment shown earlier this week.

While the VR camera change appears to have some advantages, the tank-like camera control can make it a bit more difficult to navigate Resident Evil 7’s derelict plantation house. Precision control may have to be sacrificed in the name of comfort in VR.

It’s not clear if this how we’ll play Resident Evil 7 in VR when the game ships in January, or if Capcom is simply experimenting with alternate control methods. Longtime Resident Evil developer Jun Takeuchi has said that the team is still testing the game in PlayStation VR, so there’s still a chance to get it right.