RESIDENT EVIL 4 OCULUS QUEST 2 REVIEW (2022)
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I am a huge Resident Evil fan! I grew up playing Resident Evil 1 and 2 and purchased a gaming system in my teenage years just, so I could play Resident Evil 4. From the games on multiple console platforms to the anime and even the movies I have consumed all things Resi over the years. For me, by far my favorite addition to the franchise has always been Resident Evil 4. I even purchased it again
RESIDENT EVIL STORY PREMISE
The story (if you haven’t played it before) revolves around Leon S Kennedy. Our beloved special forces hero has been tasked with retrieving the President’s daughter Ashley Graham. She has been kidnapped by a cult known as the ‘Los Ganados’ located in a rural town somewhere in Eastern Europe. It’s up to Leon with his trusty revolver, knife, and goth-like hair to save the day.
Your first encounter with the locals will prove that everything isn’t quite as it seems in this sleepy village and you’ll be tasked with overcoming increasingly difficult foes in the action-packed horror adventure. Pitchforks, mind-controlling parasites, Trolls, sea creatures, and plenty of bullets. It’s time to get weird and wild in this Resi adventure.
FIRST IMPRESSION OF THE RESIDENT EVIL 4 VR EXPERIENCE
The first thing you notice from playing even five minutes into the game is the loving care and attention that Armature Studios have put into integrating VR with this old classic.
INCLUDING FEATURES SUCH AS:
Weapons wheel option versus placement on your body
Tactile weapons with physical reload options
These are just the beginning of the Resident Evil 4 VR experience. Small objects within the game world react to your touch as well as using physical interactions for puzzles and door opening. The developers here want you to feel immersed and have overhauled every aspect of the game to allow more VR interaction.
You no longer press a button to lob a grenade, instead you pull it from your chest, rip out the pin and toss that sucker at your enemies! Aiming a gun and shooting sounds basic, but it’s pure joy here. All the weapons are satisfying to use and whether you’re pumping your shotgun or slamming a new magazine clip into your pistol, the game makes you feel like you’re John Wick.
There are occasional interactions like climbing through windows or doing a roundhouse kick which remain button presses, but that is to be expected (I’ll get into some immersion-breaking caused by this further in the article). Aside from these, there is a huge amount of joy in playing it in VR, and I feel like this is the best way to play Resident Evil 4.
Tactics that, either, I wasn’t able to pull off before, or simply weren’t possible in previous versions now offer a fresh creative way to play. I found myself shooting people on the legs and rushing forward to finish them with my knife which felt badass. I also found peering around doorways, ducking and dodging flying hatchets, and shooting from cover all very realistic and simply not possible to do before the Oculus Quest 2.
OCULUS QUEST 2 RESIDENT EVIL VISUALS
Early levels of the game are so so brown. From the leaves on the ground to the thatched roofs to the bland clothing on the villagers, there is just no variety of colors to be had here. It’s not an oversight though as it was clearly a deliberate palette choice by the developers. It just means the visuals for the first portion of the game can look a little dull. Overall, though, it’s hard to critique the art direction on an old game as it’s clear this remake wants to stay faithful to the source material which is not a bad thing. If Armature Studios had changed the art style in any way, I believe the purist would have been up in arms so I’m grateful that they left it the way we remember it.
OCULUS QUEST 2 RESIDENT EVIL DIFFICULTY
OCULUS QUEST 2 RESIDENT EVIL 4 IMMERSION
It’s a strange comment to make but the game is difficult for different reasons than the original. Aiming and shooting feels far more fluid and accurate than before as you’re one to one controlling it. Leon also seems to move faster than I remember. I felt on the whole that I was better equipped to deal with the hordes than ever before. The only handicaps here are your viewpoint and your nerves.
The original had a genre-defining over-the-shoulder camera view that allowed you to see a little of what was coming behind you (usually too late). Here though you are solely in first-person mode and can see only what’s straight ahead of you. Sure, you can turn your head quickly but you’re still lacking the overview that the third person allows. Add to that your own nerves. This is not a complaint, by the way, but many times in the heat of combat I found myself getting flustered and flailing around wildly while either trying to switch weapons or pull out a grenade. The sheer panic is half the fun though and just goes to show how immersive an experience this is. Getting up close and personal with the ‘Los Ganados’ has never been more thrilling. Getting to replay a game I’m very familiar with and still feeling tense and exhilarated shows just how good VR can be!
I’ve mentioned before all the amazing VR touches the developers have put into this version of RE4. From menu overhauls to tactile weapons and object interaction, they have done a stellar job of inserting you directly into the world. There are also many options available for movement ranging from full, to blinkered, to teleportation. It’s clear that Armature Studios wanted to give gamers ranging from VR newbies to sea-legged veterans as many options as possible. It’s clear they want to accommodate all players and keep the immersion as much as possible.
However, there is one aspect that completely pulls you out of it, I am sad to say. Every cut-scene and transition quite literally takes you out of Leon’s body for a third-person cinematic shot. You are left standing in a dark room staring at the game projected in front of you like you’re in some sort of grotty cinema. This works fine for cut scenes as it’s important to get that cinematic feeling. It is also good to see Leon on screen from time to time to watch him emote and deliver dialogue. However, they adopt this third-person cinema style for everything small scale too. An establishing shot or transition might only be two seconds long and they occur more frequently than I would like. This completely interrupts your gameplay and leads to moments of my neck getting munched for lunch while I scrambled to get a footing in game.
As the game progresses you do get more used to it but it never feels good. The boat boss fight in particular has interruptions constantly with these few-second clips and really throws you off. It’s not terrible by any stretch of the imagination but it can really hamper your gameplay. That said, I don’t really have a better solution. I think perhaps if they’d limited this cinema mode to just lengthier cut scenes that perhaps that could have been a healthier compromise. One other small gripe I have is the omissions from the game. Yes, this is the full RE4 game from start to finish but it is missing some add-ons that were there in the original. They have a new game, which is nice, but the mercenary mode is gone and Ada Wong as a playable character has been cut from the game too. Here’s hoping that Armature Studios will add at a later stage as hopefully free DLC.