I simply performed one of the best cause to purchase an Oculus Quest 2

My Oculus Quest 2 had been collecting dust for a while. My uncle was visiting from Pakistan last week and he really wanted to try it out. He enjoyed playing Beat Saber, one of the top titles on our list of the best VR games, but returned to the case after he left.

But I recently downloaded Resident Evil 4 VR, a virtual reality port of the 2005 classic. I grew up playing Resident Evil 4 on the GameCube as a kid and had fond memories of playing Leon Kennedy on a bizarre hunt for the Take over the president’s daughter in a zombie-infested village. At the time, it was considered a major trademark for video game storytelling. It’s a little cheesy now. Anyway, the game mechanics and the world were profoundly recognized for the time and it is still considered the best Resident Evil game by many, including us.

I was provided with a code of the game courtesy of Capcom. Resident Evil VR felt instantly familiar, yet fresh. It was the same world I remembered with all the secret objects and gold throwing crows. But I felt immersed in it in a way that went beyond the squat tube TV in my parents’ bedroom.

Simple actions of grabbing my gun from the side holster and sliding in a new clip of ammunition were strangely satisfying. Taking the knife out of the sheath strapped around my left rib cage and being able to throw the knife between each hand felt like more than a gimmick; it felt empowering – especially in a game where ammo is limited and the enemies can be relentless. I’m sure I looked really goofy on the outside, but in VR I was an action movie hero.

Since VR has to take very specific design considerations into account for game developers, I’m impressed with how well Austin-based developer Armature Studio has put the game into a simulated 3D environment. Not only have many of the textures and graphics have been reworked, but there are objects that you can nudge and bump, and they respond just like they do in the real world.

For example, if you walk through villages, these crosses with skulls will hang on each arm. I can tap a skull with my hand and watch it swing back and forth. It’s a little detail like this – that Armature could have left alone – that adds that extra immersion to the game.

Resident Evil 4 VR

(Image credit: Capcom)

In my playthrough, I learned that VR requires skills. When I watched IGN’s live gameplay video, I was amazed at all of the unique movements the player made while peering around corners or running through hordes of enemies. It really showed off the varying degrees of freedom a gamer can enjoy in Resident Evil 4 VR based just on how much they want to immerse themselves in it. A player can simply choose to point and shoot, just like a television remote control. Or the player can hold the handle of the weapon with both hands for extra stability so that it feels higher.

Resident Evil 4 VR

(Image credit: Capcom)

And I think that’s part of the power Resident Evil 4 is bringing to VR. I’m sure there are far more impressive VR titles out there that are designed from the ground up with physical movement and motion control in mind. But new franchises can be intimidating to new players. And Resident Evil 4 VR offers long-time gamers a comparative perspective.

As they went through the comments in the IGN video linked above, many were surprised not only by how Resident Evil 4 VR was played, but also how unique the experience was compared to the GameCube original. The 2005 game can offer players basic context, while the VR remake can embed that context into a virtual reality framework. This contrast can, in my opinion, help lifelong gamers see the value of VR. I mean it definitely did for me.

I still plan to play through and exit Resident Evil 4 VR, even if I can only play thirty minutes straight before I have to take a break. But with rumors about a PS5 and Xbox Series X Resident Evil 4 Remake, at least for myself personally, I can say that it doesn’t have to do justice to the original, but instead this VR remake.

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