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Resident Evil 7 Buyer’s Guide (Spoiler Free)

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Resident Evil 7 is only a handful of days away (January 24th in North America and Europe, 26th in Japan) and it’s safe to say there’s justified anticipation for the title.  Gameplay and plot aside, longtime fans of the series have already noticed little nods to the series as a whole down to the clever title of Resident Evil VII: Biohazard in the West and Biohazard 7: Resident Evil in the East.  Unfortunately, we didn’t feel Capcom has done a great job about centralizing the things you need to know about buying the game.  This is spoiler free as we are not receiving a review copy and have chosen not to view any coverage outside of public demos Capcom has released on various services.  If you have pre-ordered, hopefully it was a tangible version so that you can change your mind now should a detail in this post sway you to a different format (digital/tangible) or platform.  If you pre-ordered digitally, please take our strong advice to not pre-order digitally as there is no benefit, often no refund opportunities, no inventory and therefore no need, and pre-loading doesn’t need more than a day or so lead time with even some of the slowest speeds.  With that, here’s what you should know when going out to purchase Resident Evil 7.

  • Play The Updated Demo First:  There have been several updates to the Playstation 4 demo, dubbed Beginning Hour, eventually leading to the Twilight version, and finally the Midnight version that’s available now on PSN, Xbox Live, and Steam.  This is a much extended demo that has a long series of things you can do, find, and even encounters that really add a lot of content to the initial demo we looked at this summer.  Completing the demo 100 percent (we will have a video of that going live in the next few days) grants you a “true” ending to the demo and also allows you to solve the “dummy finger” puzzle that started back when the demo premiered. If you solve the dummy finger puzzle you get the “dirty coin” that unlocks something in the main game.  This is why you want to do this.  Below is our run through the initial demo twice and we will change this out to the midnight demo walkthrough when it goes live.
  • Resident Evil 7 is available on Playstation 4, Xbox One, Steam, and Windows 10 StoreEach With Important Details:
    • Playstation 4 (Pro Enhanced, VR Ready) – Playstation 4 is said by many to be the platform of choice.  It clearly had lead development on this platform, it has HDR enabled for all versions of the console, and it’s both PS4 Pro enhanced and works with PSVR right out of the box.  On traditional PS4 RE7 will run at native 1080p at 60 frames per second (fps).  If you have a Pro, the game will increase resolution to 4K at 30 frames per second or you can force output to 1080p on the Pro to achieve 1080p60.  Please note that on many televisions, forcing 1080p resolution may remove HDR as many TVs currently don’t support HDR in HDCP 1.4 (PS4 downgrades to this output type) and/or 1080p signals.
    • Xbox One (Xbox Anywhere Program) – On the Xbox One, Resident Evil 7 also impressively supports native 1080p60 and HDR (on Xbox One-S consoles) right out of the gate.  This is a thankful upgrade to many of the Xbox One versions of games we’ve seen in recent days.  It’s also part of the Xbox Anywhere program as of yesterday in a tweet from Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, and the Microsoft Store page has been updated to reflect this.  Provided you purchase Resident Evil 7 digitally on either the Xbox Store or Windows 10 Store, both versions will be unlocked for you.  Please note that Windows 10 versions of games are in the windows UWP format and not a traditional executable, which has been seen with some scrutiny in the past.
    • Steam – The Steam version will most likely be the most popular PC version of the game.  It currently only supports Windows platforms from 7 onward and only the 64-bit versions.  This is a very interesting and versatile PC port that has rather low requirements to get the game running at 1080p30, medium specs for 1080p60, and is capable (depending on your hardware) of achieving 4K60.  My GTX 1070 could handle 1440p60 with ease (around 80 fps) but 4K was too much.  This game is also the first PC game I know of that is launching with HDR support, although how that works is anyone’s guess.  It was not available in the demo.
    • Windows 10 (Xbox Anywhere Program) – You can purchase Resident Evil 7 in the windows store as well.  It will unlock the game in your Xbox One account assuming you have the same Microsoft account tethered to both.  It will support up to 4K60 and HDR.
  • Resident Evil 7 on Steam is REGION LOCKED: We all like to buy from questionable PC key sites at times for deep discounts, but that can be a dangerous endeavor with RE7 as the game is region locked.  This means that most of these sites, which purchase keys in inexpensive areas and re-sell them to more expensive areas like US and UK, will be giving you keys you can’t use or activate.  Large scale retailers like Amazon will work and I received notice from Green Man Gaming that their keys are legitimate and IP confirmed for your region based on e-mail and billing address (guessing they set this up with Capcom) will work.  I personally purchased my key from Green Man Gaming and it did activate in the US without problems.
  • The Pre-Order Bonus for content is the Same Across Platforms and Retailers: Capcom did away with these complicated (and often pointless) retailer exclusive pre-order bonuses.  The sole pre-order bonus is a “survival pack” that contains what appear to be healing items for the game and the immediate unlock of the “Madhouse Mode” difficulty, which many will probably not want to do their first go but it’s a cool perk to get the hardcore in day one.  Yes, some stores are offering promotions – PSN is offering a digital code for a discount on the movie bundle and GameStop has a deal where you also get a Vudu code for the movie Resident Evil: Retribution – but it’s not content for the game itself.
  • The Digital Version is Not That Large: The PS4 version on PSN is just over 20GB and the Steam version is 24GB, which is almost half of the typical game these days (if not more).  So no need to clear out the fridge too much before getting started.

And that about wraps it up.  Resident Evil 7 looks to be changing up the formula with a first-person perspective (rare for the series), impressive graphics on an engine that doesn’t need much space or high hardware spec, and we’re genuinely intrigued.  Guess we’ll all see how it plays out next week.  Welcome to the Family…


Written by Fred Rojas

January 20, 2017 at 11:00 am

One Response

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  1. I still don’t know what to make of this game. I hope it’s good thought. Based on my current circumstances I won’t be able to jump on the fun until my move is complete. It sorta has a Condemned spiritual successor vibe to it. I thought the demo was kinda pants myself and if the rest of the game is like that I’m not sure this will be my…..JAM. But if I at least didn’t make myself open to new things then I would not have discovered the utter joy that was RE operation Racoon City. Yep I know it’s not the same but bleh.

    The Jamster (@jamalais)

    January 20, 2017 at 2:01 pm

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