Resident Evil 7’s first expansion pack is out now on PlayStation 4, and there’s a clear winner among its trio of playable episodes. “Bedroom,” an escape-the-room puzzle that pits the player against their own memory and cunning, is a brilliant set of scares that is single-handedly worth the price of admission.
“Bedroom” is one of two VHS tapes that are playable in the Banned Footage Vol. 1 DLC, and it follows doomed cameraman Clancy’s attempts to break free from the room he’s trapped in. Also returning from the main Resident Evil 7 campaign is Marguerite Baker, the haunted mansion’s creepiest caretaker, who’s keen on keeping Clancy in bed at all costs.
What follows is a first-person puzzle game that features some truly smart level design. “Bedroom” isn’t just about getting Clancy away from some sickening bowls of soup and his horrifying confinement unscathed. It’s also a test of the player’s ability to beat the clock and remember every single step they took before time runs down and they get caught.
That’s because certain steps taken to break free from the bedroom will sound an alarm that calls Marguerite back into the room. If she finds that Clancy’s been out of bed, rifling through the drawers and rearranging furniture? Well, that’s it for him.
The need to ensure that nothing appears untouched by the time Clancy’s captor returns is what elevates “Bedroom” to something truly tense and remarkable. Escaping a room within a time limit is already an anxious experience, but having thirty seconds to put the room back together or face certain death? Expect to be drenched with sweat repeatedly while playing.
The solutions to the room’s puzzles are also some smart, surprising designs that make an initial playthrough of “Bedroom” especially memorable. Like any good puzzle game, nothing feels cheap or impossible to deduce. Every answer is encased within that tiny room, hidden within every inch of it — literally. The step-by-step nature of the mode makes it a learning experience, and one that’s best played collaboratively.
Resident Evil 7’s main campaign is heralded as an interpretation of several horror subgenres, and “Bedroom” is yet another celebration of a diverse medium. This is like the Five Nights at Freddy’s to the more absurdist modes’ Evil Dead, so expect jump scares to punctuate every failure to absorb the bedroom’s lessons. Seriously: We jumped a half-foot into the air toward the episode’s end.
To get a sense of just how “Bedroom” works in action, watch us play through it below. (We start it up around the 15-minute mark.) And as a tip: Don’t eat the soup, whatever you do. It’s not worth it.