The VR port of the original Resident Evil 4 was a must-buy for every Quest owner.
It seems a no-brainer then that Resident Evil 4 Remake would also be a perfect fit for PSVR 2 following the excellent VR mode for Resident Evil Village, which was added as a free update to the base game to support the headset’s launch.
We were able to try out the new VR Mode on PSVR 2 at Tokyo Game Show this week. While the demo was limited to near the beginning of the game, it’s already proving it could bring something new to the table besides just improved visuals on the RE Engine.
Honestly, if Capcom had wholesale swiped all of the mechanics of Armature’s fantastic VR port, we would have been very satisfied. That said, it’s still too early to know how well this version plays as a VR shooter, given the demo cruelly ends before the famous village ambush.
Instead, this hands-on mostly gave us an idea of how much spookier this new PSVR version is compared to the Quest version, featuring more photorealistic visuals and new lighting (or rather, lack of light). It’s not necessarily the most immersive VR experience, as your hands (or, put another way, Leon’s hands) only wander past objects in the demo — you can’t interact with most of them unless a button prompt appears.
When the lights go out and Leon has to turn on his flashlight, it doesn’t appear in your hands but rather as a light shining from – and tilting in line with – your head. The demo was also unfortunately limited to seated mode, which meant the holster and other equipment was placed a little in front of me rather than being mapped to my waist.
One of the biggest grumbles with the Quest version was that it’s never quite a pure VR game, on account of falling back on the original third-person perspective cutscenes. Sadly, this is something that the PSVR 2 version does too. Even its first-person cutscenes commit the same crime as Village, with sudden cuts that take control away from the player (a decision that can be motion sickness-inducing for some).
But before it sounds like we’re focusing on the negative, there’s one little change that does convince more. When stunning an enemy with Leon’s roundhouse kick, the Quest version would play the original canned animated cutscene. However, the PSVR 2 version cleverly opts to snap the camera to a slightly-raised position, from which you watch Leon run forward to deliver the counter. It seems unlikely that Capcom would have opted to have his feet actually stick out in first-person perspective, so this solution subtly keeps the action within context and doesn’t completely take you out of it.
When it comes to shooting mechanics, it felt similar to what you get in Village’s VR Mode, though we only got to use Leon’s pistol in the demo. Reloads are handled by pressing a button to empty the clip, before inserting a new one and pulling back the hammer. Leon’s knife can be wielded around to break barrels and boxes for items, but we unfortunately didn’t reach the point where you can parry the chainsaw-wielding maniac in the village.
However, it was amusing to channel another famous horror film villain instead – by holding R2 with the knife, Leon’s grip changes so that he’s holding the knife downwards. When downing a Ganados, you can quickly finish them off by grabbing the knife and getting as stabby as Norman Bates. I honestly started hearing tense strings as I made the stabbing motions.
While we would have loved to have spent a bit time sampling the action-packed moments, the demo of Resident Evil 4’s VR Mode had a lot of promise. If it manages to be on par with the Quest version, then we’re looking at a second must-have Resident Evil game on PSVR 2 in just one year. And that’s fine by us.
Resident Evil 4 VR mode comes to Resident Evil 4 as a free update on PSVR 2 this winter.