Resident Evil Village VR: Immersion on a Whole New Level

When Resident Evil 7 launched with a PSVR exclusive mode, I knew I immediately needed to pick up a PSVR headset and check it out. I was not underwhelmed, Resident Evil 7 was the series’ return to horror, and given its first-person perspective, it was a perfect experiment for Capcom to provide us with a more immersive experience in Virtual Reality. But you could also tell that VR was a late-game decision in its development. Without the implementation of the move, controllers made moving around and interactively stiff compared to other VR titles. That’s not to say it wasn’t scary. The opening scene with Mia and the chainsaw was terrifying in VR, but it ultimately didn’t change the experience that much.

 Then when Resident Evil Village was released, many PlayStation users were surprised to see that it wasn’t immediately available for play on PSVR. But rest assured, once the follow-up to PlayStations VR headset was announced, Capcom went ahead and announced not only a reconfigured Resident Evil Village for the PSVR2 as well as a still upcoming VR version of the Resident Evil 4 Remake

 Being completely re-tooled for VR, Resident Evil Village blows Resident Evil 7 out of the water regarding its VR mode. There is this more profound sense of immersion, and it’s primarily due to the Sense Controllers. Being able to physically move Ethan’s arms around and inspect items up close does an excellent job of making you feel like you are Ethan Winters. That being said, there is some weirdness that is prevalent throughout the game that I never really thought about during the base game, Ethan is on the ground quite a bit, and that makes it feel a little weird when you are standing in a room, and suddenly your character is face to the floor. It’s a bizarre moment of disconnect that doesn’t ever last long, and it’s awkward. 

 What the PSVR2 manages to do is make every encounter with the ever-present Lycans much more terrifying and combat more frantic as you wave your arms around, trying to aim and block. I love the combat in Village, and giving us more freedom when it comes to how we take on the encounters is one of the most refreshing experiences I’ve had. Even the opening ambush gave me a rush I hadn’t felt in Resident Evil before. Having to deal with Lycans as well as the big boy simultaneously, I was sweating with fear as enemies lept at me. I swung my arms wildly, trying to shake them off, and aiming afterward with shaking arms was damn near impossible. But not in a complex way. In fact, I have never felt more fun being pressured to conserve my ammo and healing items. I was constantly teetering on that edge of needing to make every shot count and not get hit because I did not have the ammo or herbs to spare.

 The VR immersion also made two excellent game sections stand out even more. Even during the base game, it is easy to look at the overall playthrough and notice that the first half of the game is more enjoyable and intriguing. While there are some saving graces from the Heisenburgs factory in the form of an almost terminator-like enemy. But the main standouts are obviously Castle Dremetcu and House Beunivito. Firstly, the castle is awe-inspiring when you see it up close, being able to really get into the environment and scope it out and standing in the entrance hall with ceilings that seemingly go on for miles with the decorative statues that lock you in. There was something special about seeing it in that way because the castle is easily my favorite location in the game. This was the last I was most excited for. 

 Then the whole Tall Lady thing happens, and we see Lady Dimitrescu up close with her daughters. It was legitimately terrifying. Having her and the daughters chase you around the castle was thrilling, the fights even more so as you have to get them stuck in the light. You get a true sense of just how imposing of a character Lady Dimitrescu is as she towers over you. The other thing that needs to be mentioned is House Buenivito. More importantly, the baby. Hands down the most terrifying moment in the game here in VR. It is even scarier. This was my hurdle, and it was the moment I didn’t know if I would be able to play to, because I knew what was coming, and hachi machi did it deliver. 

 In my opinion, Resident Evil Village on the PSVR2 is the best way to play Village and one of the best VR games. It’s a shame it’s stuck on the PSVR2, but I am excited to see how they re-tool Resident Evil 4 Remake into it. And yes, for any Tall Lady people, I get it now. 

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