New ports of fan-favorite Resident Evil 4 are nothing new, but Resident Evil 4 VR, out now on Oculus Quest 2, is the definitive survival horror experience that fans of this classic have been waiting for. Not only can players enjoy a truly immersive experience as they battle the Los Illuminados, but the quality of life improvements and VR optimizations effectively bring this game into 2021, leaving behind many of the dated mechanics that long-time players are all too familiar with. Check out more of our Resident Evil 4 VR review below.
Resident Evil 4 VR Will Surprise Even the Most Seasoned Players
RE4 VR takes a game many of us have played to completion countless times and makes it feel like a whole new experience. The least immersive part of this virtual reality Resident Evil game is definitely the cutscenes, which show on a screen in front of the player's face instead of putting you in the middle of the action. This is also true for many actions Leon takes throughout the game. Kicking a villager to the ground or performing a suplex will briefly cause the game to exit the first-person VR perspective, instead giving you a view of Leon performing the action. This also occurs whenever Leon is grabbed by an enemy or decapitated by a chainsaw.
Exploring the different locales in RE4 VR makes it easy to see details that you may have never noticed before, or see angles of areas that were impossible with an over-the-shoulder perspective. You may find yourself gazing up at the dusty beams of a house in the village or checking out the gleaming metal harpoons inside the boat on the lake. Even investigating cabinets for items is more fun as you grasp the handles and pull the doors open to discover what's inside. Trying to move more stealthily through the game? Room-size play areas allow you to fully walk around a space, or peer around corners to size up a threat before engaging. And once engaged, battling the variety of enemies in Resident Evil 4 VR is some of the most fun you can have with an Oculus Quest 2.
Some of the Best VR Gun Play is in Resident Evil 4 VR
First-person shooters are extremely well-designed for VR gameplay, and Resident Evil 4 VR is no exception. When standing with immersive settings turned on, you can easily grab the weapons you need from holsters on your body. Your pistol and ammo are on your hips, your shotgun or other two-handed gun is on your back, healing items are near your left shoulder and your knife and grenades are strapped to your chest. Leon also wears a wristwatch that displays current ammo and health, making it easy to keep track of all the critical information you need while playing.
The Resident Evil 4 VR overhaul is especially well realized when it comes to the guns. Drawing and shooting quickly are great when you're in a tight spot, or you can steady the barrel and aim down the sights for precise kills. Reloading now becomes a key part of the gameplay as you have to learn the movements to load a magazine and rack the slide, but a great touch is the ability to do this while on the go. This makes running and gunning a key part of Resident Evil 4 VR, so being aware of your surroundings and having an escape route is a key part of the strategy to make it through this adventure in one piece. Pulling the pin on grenades and tossing them into a group of enemies is also a super fun mechanic that had me going to my grenades more often than in previous playthroughs.
When reloading your shotgun, you can drop shells if you fumble with the buttons. Also, every time you rack the pump action you'll eject a shell that you can't retrieve, so be careful when reloading and firing when you're being swarmed by enemies. Likewise, you'll need to learn the movements and mechanics of each gun. It's easy to forget to rack the shotgun when in the heat of battle, reducing a satisfying, head-blasting shot into a whimpering click.
Whether you're a fan of aiming down the scope of the sniper rifle, holding onto the TMP while unloading fully-automatic rounds, or clearing each room down the barrel of your shotgun, there's a lot to appreciate in the gun and aiming design of this game. The original laser sights are equipped, but I opted to turn those off to better enjoy aiming down the sights of each firearm. The customization options in this game for both comfort and gameplay make it something that every player can pick up and enjoy.
RE4 VR Has Excellent Comfort Settings
Before getting too deep into the story of Resident Evil 4 VR, definitely play around with the comfort settings to see which best suits your play style. You can choose a more immersive approach with the guns strapped to your body, or you can choose to hold down the left trigger to bring up a weapons wheel and select your preferred gun from there. There are settings to adjust to help combat motion sickness, and you can even turn off the quick-reaction prompts that occur during cutscenes.
Like most VR titles, you have the choice to play in either standing or sitting positions. Sitting works okay, but I did have some issues grabbing the right gun I wanted or interacting with objects in the environment if I wasn't able to actually walk up and reach out to touch them. Standing is definitely the way to go, and if you have a large enough playing space, you can walk around the world to better interact with the elements around you. Plus, there's no greater satisfaction than reaching over your shoulder to pull your shotgun off your back and blast an enemy at the perfect moment. The game can be tailored to your preferred playstyle, so design it in a way that works for you. Hopefully, this will be a great opportunity for people who have yet to play Resident Evil 4 to jump into the game for the first time.
Sometimes, You Just Want to Listen to the Rain
Resident Evil is known for its great atmosphere and spooky settings. Resident Evil 4 may be more of an action game than survival horror, but the virtual reality design brilliantly brings these locations to life. I noticed that the darkness in some scenes was turned down quite a bit, making areas like the building where you battle the Big Cheese appear much brighter in the Oculus than it would on a television. The scenes in the village at night when it's raining though are some of the best, especially when flashes of lightning illuminate the entire sky.
When you have a moment when you're not being chased by Ganados, take some time to listen to the ambiance and enjoy the beautifully rendered 3D world that's been built as your playground. You can feel the warmth from the candles as you explore the castle, and even experience the tactile feel of the typewriter when you go to save the game. This game is definitely fast-paced, but don't forget to look around and enjoy the different environments throughout the game.
Should I Buy Resident Evil 4 VR on Oculus Quest 2?
Resident Evil 4 VR might be the best version of RE4 to date (close-second being the Wii edition). If you're a huge Resident Evil fan and don't yet own an Oculus Quest 2, it'd be worth looking to pick one up to play, and if you already own a Quest 2 it's absolutely worth the price of admission to return to this game in a whole new way.
TechRaptor reviewed Resident Evil 4 VR on Oculus Quest 2 using a copy purchased by the reviewer.
- Great gunplay
- Strong comfort & accessibility settings
- Dynamic movement & reloading
- Lighting inconsistencies
- Cutscenes not rendered in VR