Survival Horror Creeps into Virtual Reality: Resident Evil 4 VR Review
You know the deal … there’s a potentially easier digestable version of this review on YouTube. Now, as you were …
Like many mature gamers, I grew up with the original Resident Evil series. Didn’t spend a lot of time with the first, for whatever reason. I did, however, really dig into the second and third games. And actually finished them, which is a rarity for my commitment challenged ass.
By the time Resident Evil 4 rolled around, I was more a spectator. My wife had taken over Resident Evil duties, so between her and my two cousins, there wasn’t a lot of time for me to even play. And honestly, I probably enjoyed kicking back, high as two kites, and watching them play more than anything. All that means is that Resident Evil 4 VR was truly a brand new experience for me.
A New Tale of Horror
In terms of storyline, Resident Evil 4 takes a massive departure from the best known plot. The scene moves from the torched husk of Racoon City to the bumfuck boonies in Spain. While there are braindead hicks to plow through, they aren’t exactly zombies. What’s more, the T-virus and other previously established lore elements are practically nonexistent. Well, there is one …
You assume the role of series fan favorite, Leon Kennedy, doing what he does best, and that’s playing Captain Save-a-Ho. He’s been tasked with finding the president’s kidnapped daughter, but of course, runs into a whole heap of near-death shenanigans along the way.
Thanks to a save glitch, and me just being a slow fuck in general, I’m still playing the Resident Evil 4 VR campaign. However, I’ve seen enough to say Capcom knocked this console port out of the park. They made simplicity a priority, and it shows. Everything from grabbing your gun and reloading to navigating the rural areas on the map is super easy.
Even the gameplay itself is pretty straightforward. Okay, I’m playing on Easy … so what! The whole experience is just refreshingly user-friendly compared to some of the other zombie games I’ve played in VR, and I own quite a few.
Simplicity aside, the game is not short on depth. There’s a massive assortment of inventory items, including weapons, first-aid, and various trinkets, which can all be managed in your mobile backpack. I love how you can pause the game at any time to swap weapons or replenish your health … even if you’re in the middle of a battle. While game saves don’t have the same luxury, the typewriter locations are generously and conveniently situated throughout the environment.
One of my least favorite aspects of Resident Evil and similar games is all the damn detail. You know … all the shit you have to do aside from maiming the undead. That’s the kinda shit that turned me off The Walking Dead Saints and Sinners (although mods brought me back!). There’s some of that going on here with the puzzles and whatnot, but even those are manageable for ole Schleprock. I got lost a few times, but compared to Saints and Sinners or old school Doom, getting around has been a breeze. It’s almost like survival horror gaming for dummies, something I definitely appreciate.
But Is It Scary?
The creep factor is there, but it’s not too bad. Probably about 6 out of 10. Even for a stand up guy like me, the intensity of the terror element in Saints and Sinners, and even Death Horizon VR can be a minor deterrent. Guess the immersion of virtual reality, coupled with old age has made me a tad more shakeable. Ay, I ain’t scared. You scared!
Play It Again, Sam!
Initially, I wasn’t sure what replayability Resident Evil 4 VR had to offer beyond the campaign, and running the story back at higher difficulty levels. Well Capcom upped the ante on playback potential when introducing The Mercenaries, an add — on mode that extends the core game with a crazy mission-based twist. Honestly, this shit is insanely challenging, and a bit too fast moving for my slow ass, but it’s nice to have the option.
Went Woke, Went Broke?
I couldn’t end this review without touching on the controversy surrounding Resident Evil 4 VR … because we just can’t have nice things without someone wedging their panties up their own ass and crying out in a fit of outrage.
On the same day the game dropped, I’m reading reviews on the Oculus marketplace and see cats going on about censorship. I had no idea WTF they were even talking about, so I do some research and come to find that some scenes and dialogue from the original game were removed. Apparently it’s some pervy lines and upskirt shots of Ashley, the president’s daughter you rescue in the game. So of course you’ve got Resident Evil nerds talking about their boycotting the game, going on about libtards, impending socialism, go woke, go broke, and the typical butthurt rhetoric.
Now I initially wrote all this off as nonsensical fuckery. But after rescuing Ashley and seeing those perky sweater tits, I’m like damn … maybe that upskirt would’ve been cool. I know, I’m terrible … and I’m joking. Calm down, damn.
Serious, I cracked all the way up at how she closes her legs to prevent Leon’s upskirt peek when she jumps down from the ladder, and especially when you go to touch her and they just make your hands disappear. Like, “na nigga. No shenanigans here.”
I never played the original, but can’t imagine those scenes and dialogue being particularly fap worthy to begin with. Clearly none of it had a major impact on the story or quality of the game. I would’ve been fine if they kept it, but the fact that removing it caused such an uproar just typifies this current era of life. She gotta flat booty any way. Ha!
A Taste of Mainstream VR
So there it is. Resident Evil 4 VR. Well worth the wait for me. Graphics definitely have a retro feel, but the game looks beautiful with enough immersion to call this my favorite zombie-based VR gaming experience to date.
I’m so impressed, that I was hoping Capcom imported franchise favorites like 2 and 3 over to the Quest … that’s until I discovered these awesome Resident Evil PCVR mods!
I’m all in on any form of Resident Evil in virtual reality. And in between the official and unofficial projects, we’ve got plenty to choose from. Thank you, Undead Jesus!!!
Contel Bradford is a mystical and complex individual. You can attempt to unravel some of the mystery by visiting his author site at countkrewpublications.com.