Monday, October 25

Resident Evil 4 VR Review

I played on: Oculus Quest 2
I paid: £29.99
Available on:  Oculus Quest 2
Notes: N/A

Resident Evil 4 VR is a dream come true for me as both a massive fan of Resident Evil and VR gaming. Does RE4 VR live up to these ambitions or is it less than the sum of its parts?

let’s start with the good before the bad. This isn’t like Skyrim VR, Fallout 4 VR, Doom 3 VR or most of the other non-VR games ported to VR. Resident Evil 4, for the most part, has been completely remade and redesigned with VR in mind. What I mean by this is that you don’t just press a button to reload like in those other games. Similar to native-VR games such as The Walking Dead Saints & Sinners you have to eject the previous clip, pull out a new one and insert it before cocking the gun to chamber a new round to reload. This feels fantastic and adds a lot of immersion to the experience. In a similar sense, you have to pull your knife from its sheath on your chest if you want to use it. You can equip larger guns to your back which you grab by reaching over your right shoulder and your health is over your left shoulder. Grenades are on your chest next to your trusty knife. I did end up grabbing these instead of my knife a few times when I panicked but for the most part this works very well. If these immersive controls don’t work for you then it is possible to switch to a simpler system where you change weapons from a weapon wheel instead. This works a lot as it did in Doom VFR and while it serves its purpose, I always found myself enjoying the immersive modes more.

The shooting is top-notch, better than even Saints & Sinners or Sniper Elite VR. Taking on hordes of Ganados has never felt better than it does in VR. That being said there is a lot that stops this from being the definitive way to play RE4. For starters, while you get access to Leon’s campaign in its entirety that is the only campaign and mode you get. No Mercenaries mode, no Separate Ways campaign or Assignment Ada to dig your teeth into after you finish the main story mode. In this sense, RE4 VR offers fans the least amount of content of all the versions of this game. Even the original Gamecube version offered at least the Mercenaries. This is a shame but it’s not my biggest issue with the game.

My single biggest problem with RE4 VR is how inconsistent it is with its use of VR. I must define what I mean when I say VR and non-VR in this section. VR is when you’re standing in the virtual world with buildings, enemies and everything else physically around you. Non-VR is what I mean when you’re standing in a dark void with a large screen in front of you. During cutscenes, for example, you will watch the action on a large screen in front of you. Now I get it, unless you were to remake every single cutscene in VR including new animations this is unavoidable. But that being said RE4 has a lot of very short cutscenes where it will show something happening within your line of sight. For example, a door in the room you’re in might lock while an enemy or group of enemies barge in through a nearby door. Why are these still cutscenes when you could just be in the game having it happen around you? This does nothing but literally, remove you from the world for a few seconds ruining all immersion. Then you have the inconsistent use of actions in and out of VR. If you kick a stunned enemy then you will see Leon from a third-person perspective still in VR perform the kick before returning to a first-person perspective. This is fine, it works well. But then if you decide to knock a ladder down from a window you will view Leon doing this as if it were a cutscene. Why take the player out of VR for some actions but not for others? It feels very inconsistent. Even worse, it completely breaks the immersion that the rest of the game enforces so well.

Did I enjoy this game? Fuck yeah, I did. It’s without a doubt worth the £30 I paid for it and I’m glad I brought a Quest 2 for this game. But it’s not as flawless and immersive as fully native-VR games like Sniper Elite VR or Saints & Sinners. While any fans of RE4 should experience this amazing port to VR it’s far from the best way to play the game.

Recommendation Rating: 8 out of 10

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