To celebrate the Blu-Ray release Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, the sixth and final film in the current Resident Evil franchise, Sony Pictures hosted an event in North London collecting willing victims to immerse themselves in virtual reality horror as they attempted to survive a devious escape room of the Umbrella Corporation.
On arrival at BreakIn’ Escape Rooms’ base, guests stepped into a beautifully stylish lounge decorated with touches of steampunk and were greeted by friendly representatives from DNA PR organising the night for Sony Pictures, some showing signs of already having survived a zombie attack, leading some to question whether they might already be infected and if they would turn? That was when it was heard… the unmistakable moans and foot dragging of the walking dead, already inside the venue…
The first challenge of the evening took the form of the Resident Evil 7: Biohazard Virtual Reality game on the Sony PlayStation 4. One of the first blockbuster games playable entirely in virtual reality, with an appropriately equipped PS4, it is hailed as the most immersive Resident Evil game yet, going back to the franchise’s roots of atmospheric horror.
After being given a short introduction and handed the controller, the VR helmet is placed upon the victim, transporting them instantly to a creepy cabin in the woods.
The surround-sound helmet, an unsettling music score, and the ability to look around the environment combine to put the player in the artificial world and put their nerves on edge as they locate clues to try to piece together the horrific immediate past of the cabin. Returning to the real world when the helmet was removed, there was, of course, one of the undead standing over the unwitting victim waiting to pounce…
After recovering from that experience the rag-tag team were briefed by a Doctor from the Umbrella Corporation on their mission to retrieve the antivirus from the complex, and with the zombie plague growing their allotted time was short. Given a radio in case the puzzles required the combined brainpower of the Umbrella Corporation to solve, the team stepped into darkness with only their wits and the last words of warning given to them…
“The undead are attracted to sound, light and human flesh.”
The escape room itself was unsettlingly dark, illuminated only by occasional cryptic UV markings and some small backlit control panels. Searching for answers the team stumbled in the dark finding clues and solving puzzles. Teamwork was crucial, the band of impromptu heroes working together to solve the challenges and control mechanical devices necessary to obtain the antivirus. Luckily there were a couple of members good at maths puzzles (not this writer) and others experienced with classic arcade game controls.
The darkness, setting and occasional scares combining to create a challenging and entertaining if somewhat stressful evening, the antivirus was recovered and more importantly the team survived! Walking out into the light they were met with cheers and a celebratory picture taken to be added to BreakIn’ Escape Rooms’ Hall of Fame.
Following the main event guests were able to lounge with the great company of fellow geeks, debrief the horrific night and discuss the many movies of Milla Jovovich while the screams of those who did not survive echoed through the halls…
BreakIn’ Escape Rooms hosted a fantastic evening, thoroughly enjoyed by all those who survived, and hopefully also by those who did not. The wandering zombies throughout the night were superbly creepy, and the escape room a great experience.
In addition to the evening’s Resident Evil Room they have a selection of other escape rooms for different tastes including a Sherlock Holmes themed room; The Butcher’s Shop, a Saw-style blood covered room of horrors; The Flying Dutchman, for mystical pirate fantasies; War on Horizon Alpha a sci-fi themed room; Blackwing’s Cave, reminiscent of a certain Dark Knight’s hideout and The Garage, a Fast and Furious-style heist room.
The rooms can be booked for teams of three to six players, giving them sixty minutes to solve the puzzles and escape. Prices vary depending on time and group size but they offer student discounts during the week and for an immersive experience it is good value, priced between a central London cinema ticket and a theatre ticket; this reviewer will certainly be returning to try their other puzzles, starting soon with the mysterious events of 221B Baker Street.
Huge thanks to BreakIn’ Escape Rooms for hosting the evening and DNA PR for the opportunity to participate
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, rated 15, is the sixth and final instalment of the current Resident Evil franchise. Picking up after Resident Evil: Retribution again featuring Milla Jovovich as Alice who now returns to where it all began, the Hive in Racoon City where the Umbrella Corporation is consolidating its forces for a final assault to wipe out the last survivors of the apocalypse.
Written and directed by Paul W S Anderson (The Three Musketeers, Death Race), and also staring Iain Glen (Game of Thrones) and Ali Larter (Heroes). The Blu-Ray includes a Digital HD Ultraviolet copy and a bonus disc featuring almost thirty minutes of exclusive content such as Directing the Final Chapter, Rola as Colbalt, From Script to Screen and more. Available on DVD and Blu-Ray from 12th June, to celebrate the launch GeekChocolate have two copies of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter to give away to readers; check our Facebook page before 30th June 2017 for more information.