Resident Evil 4 VR is an adaptation of the game Resident Evil 4, a 3rd person shooter-style action horror game developed and published by Capcom. The game, originally released on the Nintendo Gamecube in 2005, has since seen numerous releases and adaptations on other consoles, including the PlayStation 2 and 3, Wii, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch and PC, testifying to its undeniable popularity. The VR adaptation of the game was released on October 21, 2021 exclusively on Oculus Quest 2 (now called Meta Quest 2) and is said to be one of the best adaptations of any genre on the virtual reality platform. A remake of the original console game is planned for March 2023.
In Resident Evil 4 (VR), the player plays Leon S. Kennedy, a special agent sent on a mission to a rural village in Spain to find Ashley Graham (the daughter of the President of the United States) who was kidnapped by a mysterious cult. The player is confronted, as in the other games of the Resident Evil series, with a variety of enemies, including monsters, humanoids infected with a virus, cultists, mutant animals, and more. The game involves exploration, puzzle solving, and combat, all in a variety of hostile environments (village, castle, laboratory, island, quarry, chapel, and more).
Release date: 21 October 2021
Developed by: Armature Studio
Published by: Oculus Studios
Available on: Oculus Quest 2 / Meta Quest 2
Game Type: Action, horror, 3rd person shooter
Estimate of the total duration of the game:
About 15 hours.
Themes: Horror, shooting, suspense, combat, danger
Business model: just need to buy the game once.
Available languages: French, English and others.
Number of players: solo
Available in digital format (download on the Oculus/Meta platform)
The game is compatible with Touch controllers.
The game requires an intermediate comfort level with the virtual reality headset.
Violence, fear, nudity?
Extremely graphic violence with lots of blood and gore. Fear is omnipresent throughout the game. There are some adult themes.
Minimum reading level required
All dialogue is dubbed, but some documents and clues must be read. Reading challenge is at an intermediate level.
Language level used
Some characters use coarse or suggestive language. Threats of violence.
This is a horror game that has a somewhat happy ending, but hints at a sequel.
Game difficulty cannot be changed once the game has started. Normal difficulty setting offers significant challenges.
Minimum execution level required with the virtual reality headset
The experience is diminished when the game is played sitting and, despite all the customizable settings, the game can be dizzying for beginners.
No additional cost.
Local game modes
The main campaign is played in local mode and can be played directly on the Oculus Quest 2 or Meta Quest 2 headset, without the intermediate use of a computer.
Online game modes
The Mercenaries mini-game allows you to compare your scores with other players in online leaderboards and unlock new game modes. It is, however, a single-player game mode.
Mercenaries and Separate Ways
Playing the game in VR definitely allows nostalgic gamers to recapture the feeling of playing the game for the very first time. The game is playable in its entirety, from beginning to end and without any skipped levels, with the exception, however, of the bonus level Separate Ways, normally present in all subsequent releases of the original game and absent in VR. Seperate Ways allows the player to play as the character Ada Wong in a small five-chapter campaign (Mercenaries and Separate Ways are mini-games usually unlocked after successfully completing the main campaign). The beloved Mercenaries game mode, which was not included in VR at the time of the original release, has been made available in a free game update in April 2022. Play as Ada Wong, HUNK, Jack Krauser or Albert Wesker to face waves of enemies and beat your best scores!
The Appeal Of The VR Adaptation
The scary side of the game is definitely emphasized in Resident Evil 4 VR: immersion contributes to the feeling of dread, both in the surround sounds and in the reworked textures, as well as in the incorporation of the player’s body movements. For example, weapons have to be reloaded manually, grenades have to be manually detonated and thrown and the knife has to be held from the right end (stabbing with the pointy end sounds easy enough, but in the most stressful moments… it’s really not). The only disappointing aspect is that some cinematic scenes do not allow for the integration of virtual reality and are therefore viewed in theater format, as if you were watching the scene on a screen. It was predictable, however, and it doesn’t really detract from the experience.
The game has been redesigned from scratch to accommodate the different styles of VR play, allowing intermediate and seasoned players to enjoy the game with many customizable settings (teleportation, direct input, snap-turn, head and body movement, etc.). People who are quickly uncomfortable in virtual reality will be able to play sitting down, although it is important that the arm movements are not hindered by armrests or a poorly placed desk. Playing seated also makes manually reloading weapons more difficult. The game allows us to return to 3rd-person view in case of major discomfort, or during particularly sudden movements (jumping from a window, knocking down a door, etc.).
A New Surprising Gameplay Feature
Resident Evil 4 VR allows the player to move while aiming and using their weapons, which was not possible in the original game. However, it was a well-integrated feature in other games of the franchise as early as Resident Evil 5, and will likely be integrated into the remake version of the game as well. It’s an adjustment that purists may not like, but we think is extremely welcome given the difficulty factor added with the immersive weapon handling.
Resident Evil 4 was acclaimed upon its release because of its exciting campaign, its immersive atmosphere, and its innovative gameplay (the camera behind the character’s shoulder allows for high shooting accuracy) that have influenced many games of the same genre released since. Resident Evil 4 VR did not disappoint fans of the original game. The adaptation is extremely successful despite the age of the game and the jump between the different platforms. It is, in our experience, one of the best VR games available on the platform right now. If you’re a fan of the Resident Evil franchise and you’re comfortable in virtual reality, this game is a must-play. The game does not require prior knowledge of the franchise, so if you are simply looking for a good horror and shooter game in VR, but do not know the other games of the Resident Evil franchise, it’s also a safe bet, as long as you’re comfortable with VR movements.
Featured image property of Capcom.