Review: Resident Evil 4 (VR)

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What are you buying ? This game

While Capcom may have evolved, I never stopped thinking about Resident Evil 7is VR mode. Of the hundreds of VR games I’ve played on multiple devices so far, this was the only one where I took my headset off to take a break. It was a rare intense experience, and I am saddened that the powers that be have decided not to repeat the experience for Resident Evil Village.

Having said that, we have Resident Evil 4 VR instead, so it works.

Review: Resident Evil 4 2

Resident Evil 4 (Oculus Quest 2)
Developer: Armature Studio
Editor: Capcom, Oculus
Released: October 21, 2021
MSRP: $ 39.99

So at first I kind of canceled this project completely. Like many people, I assumed this was a classic “AAA VR adaptation” experience: similar to a handpicked Chuck E. Cheese theme park port with guided experiences. No! It is legitimate full campaign (more details later) for Resident Evil 4. The initial panic of the raid on the little house: it is there. The village with the chainsaw guys? It’s in the game. Walk from place to place, shoot down blue medallions, find and guide Ashley? The boss is fighting? Merchant? All there.

Guided by the unattached Oculus Quest 2 and the G Pro X Space Isolated Headset, I launched my adventure into the world of Resident Evil 4, and was downright blown away. It is very easy to minimize this, but after playing RE4 on all platforms from the GameCube, traveling this world in VR was absolutely transformative. My whole strategy changed with regards to muscle memory and the tactics that I had used for almost two decades. I know the Oculus Quest 2 is not a consumer device in many eyes, but it is a system vendor.

It’s kinda silly, I know, when you really think about it. “So after all this time, all VR can muster is a port of an old game?” Well, that’s only part of the story. I think if the studios had focused on porting proven classics and presenting them in a whole new way, VR would have had an easier time gaining market share and selling itself to people. who grew up on said classics and now have disposable income. The marketing campaign was a bit too broad at the start and prohibitively expensive (as most high-end sets were tied to gaming PC performance). This changed with the more accessible Quest 2. But back to the game.

Surprisingly, Resident Evil 4 VR has the kitchen sink of VR comfort options. Pretty much all the sliders and considerations since the consumer version 1 of Oculus Rift launched in 2016 are here in a glorious way. You can instantly switch between standing or sitting modes (the latter brings your weapon and ammo cases closer to your chest). You can use the teleport movement for added convenience, or use the full locomotion of the 1: 1 console version of the analog stick (and even turn the strafing on / off!). Players with car sickness can slide all kinds of buttons to account for the tunnel (making turns and movements less immersive), you can choose a dominant hand, and a lot more (there’s even a rocker section for boat control).

Perhaps the best addition is the recent trend of grabbing immersive objects that has increased among shooters in recent years. Going over your upper left shoulder and using the grip button, a first aid spray will appear in your hand, your left chest pocket is the knife, and your left hip is attached to the ammo for reloading. Your upper right shoulder is your secondary weapon (rifle, shotgun), the right chest pocket is your equipped grenade, and your right hip is your handgun (usually a pistol). Or you can opt for a classic “quick menu” watch face that you can display in the game.

Of course, I went with the former, and it was a game-changer. For as much time as you spend in the menus of Resident Evil 4, this version allows you to avoid them completely on a regular basis by putting just about all the essentials on your person. This includes a stylish watch that provides key information (like your health indicator) just by looking at your wrist. If you want, you can go into your inventory and go the old-fashioned way, reloading as well as healing through the menus. They have thought of everything so that everyone from the most loyal fans to complete newcomers can be happy.

As a big VR touch control user and veteran of resident Evil, I feel like I’ve trained my whole life for this. Enter the VR and replay the base of RE4 It was like riding a bike, discerning which treasures to keep / sell and which weapons to use, to deal with enemies and individual bosses. Still, everything felt fresh because of the way VR presents everything (QTEs are still pretty much the same, with a squeeze of the trigger and a wiggle in tow, but are so spared that they don’t ruin the game. – and there is a toggle for more comfort with them).

The first thing I noticed was that using the knife was so much easier, because it’s always there on your chest. That’s the kind of thing I mean when it changed the way I play Resident Evil 4, because knife racing is suddenly a more attractive prospect when you have full control. The only problem is that when punching windows (or locked cabinet doors), I wanted to hit them physically, but had to use the knife like the original. Following the rules of the original makes perfect sense in the context.

Review: Resident Evil 4 3

So the remake elements as a whole are very light. Ashley takes less damage now on easy and normal difficulty, which is a change that most people won’t quarrel with. Puzzles, chests, and cranks are basically the same, because you know you have a VR space to work with as you move across tiles, physically press buttons, or open a handle. Again, it’s great to go for a more purist approach, as the VR control method is the main thing that sells, which works great in tandem with the solid framework and personality-driven environments of the lover. ‘original.

But it was more than nostalgia that drove me to keep playing all the time. It’s really hard to explain the feeling of looking at the gondola or looking at the castle and take it all with a full view of the head tracking. Even with the old visual style, they look absolutely stunning: a testament to how tough the game is after all this time.

While Resident Evil 4 isn’t strictly scary, and got the show down the road to action, it’s unsettling at times and really creepy. Imagine hearing this ominously, with spatial sound, completely isolated. Or turn around and see a maniac wielding a chainsaw right in your face. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve yelled obscenities on several occasions (a wolf who jumped in my face after turning his head while running forward, and the aforementioned regenerator).

Getting watched by a creature in a hallway is much more intense. While the reaction in a previous release might have been a binary fight or flight, it’s now a bit more nuanced. Sometimes I’m actually crippled by a real-time decision point because of the towering silhouette of a character model or the sound it makes. It’s the power of VR in action, and something the industry has done a terrible job of selling all these years.

After completing normally, I unlocked the Professional Mode difficulty, the ability to purchase the Matilda items and the Infinite Rocket Launcher, as well as the first set of additional costumes (Casual and Police). I know what you are thinking here: there is no duty Ada / Separate ways /or mercenaries. In my experience, you also can’t get the unlocks related to these. Ouch! I hear the boos on the screen now.

Review: Resident Evil 4 4

I’m not going to lie, it’s a bummer. Resident Evil 4 has fantastic side modes and has evolved mercenaries into a real Game and mode for future iterations beyond what the series has made of it in the past. With all the side content intact, I would have given this VR port a 10. Note, the merchant shooting range minigame, both in the world and via the menus, is still intact.

Still, you get the whole campaign, and that’s an important thing to come back to. Do you know how the Wii version came out, and using the pointer changed the way you played an already fantastic game? It’s like that again, but on a larger scale. At this point I want all resident Evil games to get this treatment. Hell, bring Dinosaur crisis back like that, so I could look back and see a T-Rex running towards me while sabotaging it. Harbor Onimusha and add real time sword play. Sky is the limit!

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]

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