When Resident Evil 4 VR was first announced, there was no doubt many of us that were ready to write it off. It didn’t look great in the trailers. I remember thinking, “oh no, they’re turning Resident Evil 4 into a crummy VR shooting gallery.”
How wrong we were…
Resident Evil 4 VR was an absolute shocker, the full Resident Evil 4 campaign adapted extensively and thoughtfully to a VR format. Armature Studio didn’t just make a good version of an already great game. Resident Evil 4 VR may be the definitive way to experience one of the high points of the series up until the supposed remake comes out (and maybe even still after that).
It starts with the fact that this is the entire Resident Evil 4 main campaign. Every single thing from Leon’s adventure to save the President’s daughter Ashley is intact, even down to where enemy encounters, secrets, and treasure can be found. The boss encounters are also not only here, but well-adapted in any given case where some alternative form of control is required. Fighting the lake monster in the motorboat could have been an absolute dreadful experience. Against all odds, Armature Studios made it not only comfortable, but also fun.
Then there’s just the VR element in general. Resident Evil 4 VR’s exploration and combat feel so incredibly good. It’s not really a looker (it has about the best graphics of any of the previous ports), but it feels just right. Every weapon feels tactile and immersive, whether we're talking one-handed pistols and magnums or handling the shotguns, machine pistol, or sniper rifles in both hands. You can do things that weren’t even possible in the original games like hip-firing the sniper rifles. Whether you’re solving an environmental puzzle or placing a tactical shot on any given enemy as you move, exploring and fighting in Resident Evil 4 VR’s environments is as immersive as the game has ever been. Even Ashley isn’t that bad to deal with thanks to a very easy-to-access command menu.
Our bars were low for Resident Evil 4 VR and we were foolish for it. Armature Studio soared over them in an immense way and made, top-to-bottom, the best current way to experience the Resident Evil 4 story. They’re even killing one of our gripes about how extra modes like The Mercenaries got left out with planned free updates next year. Now if Resident Evil 4 VR could just make it outside of Oculus Quest 2 exclusivity, that would be the next big step to victory for this already amazing game. After all, we firmly believe that more people should be able to enjoy the Shacknews Best VR Game of 2021.