When I first heard about Rez Infinite I honestly didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. The game looked fine. But not having played it, I couldn’t understand why people were so excited when the game launched on PS4 and PlaystationVR last year. However, after it won Best VR Game at last year’s Game Awards, I had to start taking it seriously.
So since Rez Infinite from Enhance Games was released for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift yesterday, I got my chance to see it up close for myself. At first glance, the game looks like a simple on the rails shooter as you guide an avatar in third person view against predictable enemies. Even the premise of the game isn’t really new. Though it was considered ahead of its time when the game released for Playstation2 all the way back in 2001. In Rez, you have to find and free an AI who gained consciousness and locked itself away out of fear or something like it. Humanity now needs its help so you enter the mainframe and have to battle various viruses and self-preserving systems designed to keep interlopers out.
If you somehow haven’t heard of the game before, check out the Rez Infinite trailer below:
So if you watched the trailer above, you’ll see what I too saw before entering the game, a simple shooter with a music element and a very minimalist yet colorful design style. But no video can explain the sense of wonder and aural input that the game ignites upon entering it through VR. I cannot speak for those who have experienced Rez Infinite on normal flat screens, however, in virtual reality it’s simply glorious. The mix of visuals and sound was nothing short of genius. I loved that I could subtly add to the music through the enemies I was highlighting and destroying with my ‘laser’.
Through The Infinite Recesses Of Data
The game includes the original 5 levels. These have been enhanced graphically and also a new mode called Area X which has been created specifically for VR. I tried both and it took me a little over an hour to complete all of the current content available. The original 5 levels felt somewhat constricting to me. Even though I was constantly moving and the point of view sometimes changed to the sides and behind me. While the Area X mode was momentarily confusing due to it’s more open feel. The momentary confusion was short lived, though, as I soon stared in awe at my almost ethereal new surroundings.
With the lights dancing delicately around me, I set my eyes on my targets again. This time feeling like I’m in a strange symphony deep underwater where luminescent creatures dwell. Another change is that instead of shooting with the trigger like in the normal mode, it’s used to fly here and the trackpad is used for shooting.
So only one controller is used throughout the game and the gameplay, while simple, is quite unique. The crosshair (and thus where you shoot) can either be controlled by your controller, where you look, or both. I played with both options on and it was a great experience. Somehow, my hand and head just started working together intuitively to produce the results I wanted. Rez Infinite supports the Vive and Rift controllers, as well as normal gamepad. Then there are also different ‘styles’ to choose from, which influences the camera movements in the game.
However, I finally understand why the original Rez, as well as Rez Infinite, has earned itself legions of fans, and I now count myself among them. So if you’re looking to add one of the best experiences you can have in VR to your library, then make sure to give Rez Infinite a try.