Resident Evil 4 Remake PSVR 2 Review – RE 4 Made to Feel Real

Resident Evil 4 Remake VR Mod Review

The Resident Evil 4 Remake VR Mod from the Capcom game studio is another testament to their technical prowess. Fresh from winning Game Of The Year nomination for their remake of the legendary Resident Evil 4, Capcom shows how well AAA games translate to Virtual Reality.

You can check out COGConnected’s written and video  reviews for our previous thoughts on the game.

Now, on Dec 8, 2023, a mere nine months after the release of the remake, Capcom delivers a free VR Mode for the PS5 and PSVR 2. This is their third VR update. You have to go back to the PSVR 1 and Resident Evil 7 for their first effort. A highly successful one. Even though it’s only six years ago, it seems like ages ago.

What Capcom accomplished on the creaky technology of the PSVR 1 with its external camera and light based tracking remains nothing of amazing. For the first time in the Resident Evil universe, players could step into a fully realized, true to scale experience. Despite Capcom’s continuing excellent work with VR releases, the RE7 one remains the most impressive because of the technical limitations of the PSVR 1 platform.

Capcom Ups Their VR Game

The PSVR 2 allows Capcom to up their game. The bridge between the visual quality of the flat versions of RE 8 and RE 4 is smaller and smaller. While RE8 looked great, the Resident Evil Remake looks even better. The visual difference between RE8 and RE4 is obvious. Part of this may be because of the game settings and part may be because of Capcom’s increasing proficiency with their VR conversions.

The two major visual differences between RE 4 & 8 are the lighting and the visual detail. RE 4 has a lot of open areas with foliage and they look fantastic. The trees, their leaves, the grass, the weeds and other foliage have a near photo-realistic detail. Shadows look fantastic and they are accentuated by the flashlight lighting, all accentuated by the deep blacks of the PSVR 2’s OLED display. It’s the best seen in VR to date.

From the opening title screen, you know you are in for a treat. The iconic path that Leon takes from the police car to the first house awaits you. I just stood there for a few moments and did a couple of 360s just looking around at everything. The shadows and shafts of light shining through the trees really sets an eerie mood.

The Remake added some modern gameplay tweaks to the game that COGConnected has previously covered. You can find them here. Most notable are the enhancements done to the gameplay mechanics with the knife. These upgrades really shine in the VR version.

More Intense Combat

Combat against life-sized villagers and larger-than-life figures and creatures has never been so intense. The intensity magnifies by including real life weapon reload mechanics. Rather than just a button push, you can opt for ejecting a spent magazine, grabbing a fresh one from your belt, slamming it into the weapon and then cocking the weapon. A simple set of actions that become frantic when a group of villagers swarm you.

Given that the RE 4 is twenty years older than RE 8, some concessions exist. A shotgun reload only requires you to chamber one shell instead of each one individually. This lack of VR interactivity, which VR Gamers refer to a game being VRAF, is no doubt tied to RE 4’s age.

The VRAF factor in RE 8 is higher than in RE 4. In RE 4, you can usually only interact with the items that have a purpose. Containers that contain keys or treasure are one such example. Another would be valves or levers that open doors. This holds true for things such as notes or photographs that you pick up to read or look at.

For cut scenes, RE 4 is more restricted to the number that is converted to VR than RE 8. RE 8 had a mix of conversion of cut scenes where some are left in 2D and others in VR. 2D scenes display as a large cinematic. The transition between VR and 2D is quick and seamless.

Multiple Points of View

RE 4 offers some options for which viewpoint you prefer to take depending on the situation, usually for boss battles. If you prefer, you can tackle these in a third person VR mode or 2D cinematic. If you have your VR legs, the third person VR mode is the way to go.

There are a couple of instances where Leon switches to third person mode. The first is when he is doing his roundhouse kick. Capcom also handled ladder climbing in third person along with stealth attacks with a knife.

One of the neat tricks of the Capcom development team was to actually lower Leon’s first person point of view. They made it lower than his eye level to make things seem even larger. This makes the villagers more menacing. Of course, it also adds to the size of El Gigante and other boss characters.

Capcom handles the inventory system in virtual reality backed by a black background. In this virtual space, you can handle objects as the flat game. You can rotate objects and zoom in and out for closer inspection.

Sounds Good Too

The game audio is also fantastic. Capcom game positions environmental and opponent audio cues spatially correct around you. The 360 soundscape really adds to the mood and atmosphere of the game.

Audio cues are further enhanced by the PSVR 2’s controller and headset haptics. Beyond the expected feedback from weapons, there is the use of environmental cues. You’ll feel the concussion from explosions in the headset. As well as wind blowing too, plus vibrations from vehicles such as the police car, the mine car, and the jet-ski. Nifty additions to the sense of immersion.

RE 4 takes advantage of VR in several more ways. Puzzles are now presented in a three-dimensional manner. You can rotate dial puzzles at the same time with both hands. Puzzles that require you to insert and rotate cubes at different angles can also be held and spun in your hands.

The game also has more options with figurines collected. You can view them life size in even greater detail. This also includes Leon’s model, which you don’t get to see as much in the game as you play him.

PSVR 2 = The Best Version of RE 4 Remake

You’ll have to forgive me for how effusive I’ve been with this review. PSVR 2 fans have been waiting for the promise of the PS5 platform to deliver AAA First Party Gaming. Except for a few titles like GT 7 and RE 8, the PSVR 2 library comprises mainly smaller titles. Games of the quality of Resident Evil 4 are a showcase for what PSVR 2 can do.

To sum it all up. As good as the flat version of the remake of Resident Evil 4 is, the VR version is the superior way to the play the game.

*** A PlayStation 5 code provided by the publisher for review***

The Good

  • Fantastic lighting
  • Amazingly detailed world
  • Trophies supported

The Bad

  • Not totally VR interactive