Everyone knows Lady Dimitrescu is tall, but I was still shocked to see how large she loomed over me from a first-person VR angle. Resident Evil Village VR captured my full attention even beyond my fascination with the tall vampire, offering a fresh perspective on a nearly two-year-old game I’ve played a dozen times. From the robust tutorial before you start playing, to the many ways to customize the controls for a more comfortable experience, Resident Evil Village’s VR mode isn’t an afterthought, but rather a well-crafted and exciting way to experience an already great game. .
Nothing has been watered down in the transition to VR: you’ll support Ethan’s rescue mission from start to finish. That said, this mode doesn’t give you access to everything Resident Evil Village offers – the timed challenge Mercenaries mode isn’t supported in VR (probably for the best, since it’s all about moving quickly), and the mods you may have already unlocked in non-VR mode such as weapon attachments and upgrades are not transferable to VR mode and you will have to unlock all of these items again. Obviously, this isn’t a big deal for someone playing Resident Evil Village for the first time, but as someone who has unlocked and upgraded all of my weapons over the course of several playthroughs, this was off-putting. Interestingly, Village VR offers new weapon attachments, such as a bayonet for the M1897, which you can buy from The Duke after destroying a certain number of wooden goats scattered around the village.
Unlike the third-person mode available in The Winters Expansion last year, Resident Evil Village primarily flourishes in VR. Exploring this remote European village, I’ve never felt so immersed in the action. From using my hands to move shelves and barricade doors, to physically reloading my firearms, to drowning Ethan’s hand in First Aid Med, Resident Evil Village VR captures a level of realism that is simply unattainable in traditional 2D first-person games. person.
Village VR looks beautiful; you can easily get lost scrolling through its maps and taking a closer look at all the little details of the environment. Dimitrescu Castle often had me coming back to examine all the paintings and photographs on the wall. That said, as the action is all in your face, it’s easy to spot the low-resolution textures on a few things as you explore, most notably the rotten food that’s strewn throughout the village.
Resident Evil Village VR’s controls have all the options you’d expect, letting you play standing or sitting, each with their own pros and cons. Playing while standing provides easier access to your arsenal but generally meant I couldn’t play for as long without fatigue, while sitting increased my playtime but could cause some uncomfortable angles when dropping bombs or using crosshairs to aim with a sniper rifle. Customizing the control scheme is useful for either method, allowing you to switch between options like physically reloading weapons manually or automatically handling them. I opted for a hybrid of the two as it was a lot of fun to mimic the movements of using a real firearm, but in situations where a lot of action was going on and things got hectic, it was convenient for my guns to automatically reload.
Knife combat has also been greatly improved; what was once limited in movement and stiff with a controller now feels extremely smooth and responsive as you land real hits on your enemies and boxes. (Or you can puncture all the boxes you see; this is also quite effective.) The most interesting thing I discovered while playing with the knife, however, is that you can throw it without worrying about picking it up later, because it immediately reappears in its holster. a few seconds later. This is a handy way to kill enemies and destroy crates from afar without using ammo.
Accessing Ethan’s arsenal is done with his hands, pulling weapons and ammo from different areas of his body. While the idea is immersive, the different ways to access your weapons can be a bit overwhelming. Sometimes I would grab a landmine just to get my flashlight out, while other times I would grab my shotgun just to get my sniper rifle. I wish there was a hybrid option that would let me open a quick menu with four preset weapons of my choice, similar to what Resident Evil 4 VR offered, but that doesn’t seem feasible due to the PS’s lack of a D-Pad and the new Sense controllers from VR2.
While I sometimes forgot that the Village has a blocking ability, as I never needed to use it during the base game (even when playing on the challenging Village of Shadows difficulty), it was my new best friend in Village VR. With the number of enemies coming your way at once, plus the high stress of trying to avoid damage while simultaneously reloading your weapon, parrying has become a very useful tool that I previously didn’t rely on.
Blocking might have felt new, but a really unique feature of VR is the ability to dual-wield. This makes getting out of sticky situations a lot easier or just cracking open some lycan skulls faster. Weapons that were previously wielded with two hands, such as the shotgun, can also be wielded in one hand and the pistol in the other. This is super convenient if you need to get a quick shot at an enemy close to you, but it comes at the cost of more recoil and decreased aim. There’s a lot of fun experimentation to be done with just the weapon combinations, which makes for a welcome new level of freedom.
However, some tensions and scares I found in the original game weren’t nearly as scary in VR. Of course, some moments still left me in fight-or-flight mode, like Lady Dimitrescu chasing me into her castle or when I found that particular section in Casa Benevieto. But most jump scares can be totally missed if you’re not looking in the right direction at the right time, which I learned the hard way the first time Ethan encountered a lycan. This doesn’t mess things up too much, but it can still be a little off-putting.
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Thankfully, much of Resident Evil Village’s tension and scares come from the combat itself, which is plentiful. There are a handful of sections where the Village throws dozens of enemies at you at once, and the VR changes to combat mean you can now easily drop your weapon when you intended to reload it, or forget to cock your shotgun after firing. a projectile. Similar to what I said in my Resident Evil 4 VR review, this new style of combat comes with a severe learning curve, which can be frustrating at times, especially in the later sections. But trust me when I say it’s worth mastering, making the challenge even more rewarding to overcome once you get the hang of it.
Unfortunately, Village VR also shares some frustrations with Resident Evil 7’s VR mode – most notably the animations that occur when enemies grab or knock you down. Not only do they lengthen the duration of combat encounters, they also put you in an extremely awkward and awkward view, especially since you can easily look away in the other direction as the animations play out.
Resident Evil Village puzzles, on the other hand, are much more fun to solve and interact with during VR practice. These sections can feel a little tedious and repetitive in 2D when you’re just following fiddly button prompts, but Village VR has you physically interacting with objects by doing things like pushing a button to restore power to a room or moving a statue to solve problems. a problem. puzzle, which makes them feel more than just busy work.