Resident Evil 4 in VR shouldn’t work — but somehow it does

I had no stellar hopes to enter Resident Evil 4the adaptation to virtual reality of.

VR versions of non-VR games are often superfluous at best and painful at worst – sometimes literally if you’re prone to motion sickness. Resident Evil 7 supported virtual reality with questionable effect in 2017. And Resident Evil 4 in VR, an Oculus Quest 2 version of Capcom’s GameCube 2005 game, makes many compromises that seem compromising on paper. But the strangest part by far? It mostly works. Resident Evil 4The VR version of VR revamps a horror classic with VR combat satisfying enough to compensate for its endless rough edges, producing something surprisingly fun.

Unlike the recent Capcom Resident Evil 2 and 3 console remakes, which were heavily reinvented versions of their source material, RE4VR (technically simply named Resident Evil 4) is a near-perfect copy of the original’s narrative, enemy encounters, and level layout. It has sharper textures and spatial audio upgrades, but if you’ve seen the game’s high-definition re-release or even more HD fan-made remaster, this isn’t an extraordinary graphic overhaul. Instead, port developer Armature Studio focused on translating a third-person console shooter into a first-person headset-based game.

More precisely, Armature translates part Of the game. Most of RE4VRThe gameplay transforms your view over the shoulder of protagonist Leon Kennedy into a first-person experience with a pair of disembodied hands – wearing Leon’s trademark fingerless gloves, of course. The game’s heads-up display is a wristwatch with details like your health and ammo count, and the inventory menu is slightly revamped with a more 3D look. If you have played a single player VR shooter like Half-life: Alyx Where Arizona Sun, you will probably find this mode familiar.

Corn Resident Evil 4 was not totally VR-ified. During cutscenes, the game throws you – virtual hands and all – into a black void to watch the action on a flat screen. (You know those dreams where you look at someone from the outside, but so do you are that person? It’s kind of like that.) A lot of these scenes originally had quicktime events that involved pressing buttons, and in RE4VR you’ll see a flat overlay telling you to shake your controllers or pull the triggers at these times. Outside of cutscenes, kicking an enemy or pushing an object will also briefly shift your point of view to a third-person camera so you can see what Leon is doing.

The awkward mix of formats looks almost retro, but I think it’s the right choice. The frame effectively buckles the parts of Resident Evil 4 it would be less compelling as first-person motion-controlled experiences and then strive to create a smoother VR shooting experience than many native VR shooters.

RE4VRCombat is tactile and satisfying without being overwhelmingly difficult or complicated. It uses the familiar expense of the original on handguns, long guns, and a knife for close range combat. But in addition to selecting them from your inventory, you can map individual weapons to different parts of your body, grabbing a rifle or shotgun with your hand running behind your back or a pistol with your hand reaching out to your side. You can also use dual wielding weapons – which is usually unproductive but allows for specific scenarios like shooting your pistol at a zombie to your left while cutting one off a ladder to your right.

The system is natural and makes swapping weapons – and assembling the right cargo – an integral part of combat. Physically cutting off boxes or zombies is fine. The game increases the tension by forcing you to grab ammo and feed it into guns, providing more interactivity to Resident Evil 4delicious reloading animations. What else, Resident Evil 4The original levels of are compact and not designed to be run at inhumane speeds, a common danger for VR versions of non-VR games. RE4VR lets you choose between teleporting and using an analog stick for free movement, but I much preferred the former – which more faithfully mimics the original’s cadence for running, stopping, and shooting zombies in the air. ‘stop.

The careful design of the frame and all the source material of the game RE4VR separated from Resident Evil 7 VR mode. Resident Evil 4 was already by the end the most action-oriented of the franchise, and RE4VR adapts it to fit an established VR shooting formula instead of having a grueling survival horror experience, making the dozen hours of playtime much less stressful. (I played the HD version of the game on PlayStation 4 a few months before this review, and I’m pretty sure this iteration is a lot more generous in items and cash as well.) It’s based on a noticeably older game. that the Oculus Quest 2 seems fully capable of rendering, while the low-res and muddy screen of the PlayStation VR is crippled Resident Evil 7is VR mode.

More important again, RE4VR promises a truly different experience – not just a VR retread of the same systems. It is not a replacement for the original flat screen, and if you are Absolutely a purist, the developers removed a few (honestly newsworthy and missed) lines from the cutscenes. If anything, this is the kind of thing that’s great to play after you’ve worked on in-game puzzles and boss strategies outside of VR, so you can focus on the new stuff.

RE4VR don’t revolutionize VR shooters Resident Evil 4 transformed console games. There is nothing as distinctive as Half-life: Alyxgravity gloves, Phantom: covert operations kayaking, or the obsessive gunophilia of Hot dogs, horseshoes and hand grenades. Features like gun reloading, which can impart a sense of mastery in games like Allyx, more like an additional flavor than complex mechanisms.

There are a few minor but legitimate hiccups. A few already frustrating scripted sections of the game, including its very last scene, become even less fun with motion controls that aren’t as intuitive as you might expect. Mimicking the use of two-handed weapons is a bit awkward. In a more literal example, you can accidentally pull grenade pins while trying to put the grenades into your inventory, a fact that I’ve learned over and over the hard way.

Times like these remind you that the conventions of VR are always evolving, and the fluidity of motion controls can make them unreliable as well. But despite these exceptions, the game is undeniably good. RE4VR is a new twist on the weird and atmospheric world of Resident Evil 4 and a solid addition to the still relatively short list of rugged helmet-based shooters, as well as proof that a VR adaptation doesn’t need to be seamless – you just need to find one core element that really works.

Resident Evil 4 for VR will be released on October 21 exclusively for Oculus Quest 2. The game includes the Resident Evil 4 story mode; it does not include the Different paths, Homework Ada, Where Mercenaries complements.