VR has done it again. Resident Evil Village VR is a new way to enjoy this fantastic survival horror entry from Capcom. Two years after reviewing Resident Evil Village, I never thought I would experience it again from a new perspective. After dozens of solo runs, all it took was a PSVR 2 headset to relive Village‘s brand of horror and make the game feel new again. The only difference is that all the scares are up close and personal, thanks to Capcom’s ingenuity.
Resident Evil Village rolled out its VR mode via an update on the launch day of PSVR 2. Unknown to players, a simple toggle transforms the game into a whole new experience. This comes with preserving what made Village an authentic haunted house experience. The 2021 survival horror sequel still holds up with a fun mix of scares and action.
It recalls the scale of adventure that Resident Evil 4 provides and takes players on a gothic ride through hell. The story keeps things moving along a path filled with werewolves, ghouls, and vampires out for your pound of flesh. Resident Evil Village still holds true as a self-contained fable for new and casual players. Veterans can appreciate a comforting classic, spurred on by its greatest-hits approach to enemy and level design.
Down to the mechanics. Capcom did more than tack on an immersive view for players. They’ve taken advantage of the PSVR 2’s motion controls to make protagonist Ethan Winter’s hands interactive with the world. Resident Evil Village feels incredibly authentic as a VR title, thanks to its lifelike response. Players can open drawers, shift puzzle pieces, climb ladders, pick locks and even grab supplies from the floor. Resident Evil Village nails these simple gestures while adding a new level of detail players only get in VR.
Ethan literally becomes a vessel for players with a new inventory system in VR. Pockets are the name of Capcom’s new game here. Players find the knife strapped to Ethan’s forearm. Shoulders and hips are now holsters for weapons and medicine. Taking a page from Resident Evil 4 VR, the left thigh is the one-stop ammo pouch for reloading. My favourite VR addition included opening Ethan’s jacket for more compartments (a nod to 2008’s Alone in the Dark).
“Without exaggeration, Resident Evil Village VR lets you punch werewolves in deadly immersive combat.”
It’s incredible to see Capcom introduce players to this VR gameplay with a simple, fun tutorial. While Resident Evil Village VR boasts a far superior and engaging control scheme over the base game, in true VR fashion, players will be surprised at what they can do—or want to do—with their arms. I highly recommend players keep their guns in their holsters and start punching werewolves, zombies and vampires for fun.
Without exaggeration, Resident Evil Village VR lets you punch werewolves in deadly immersive combat. It’s a gleefully obvious addition from Capcom as they push the interactivity in their virtual reality to the max. During Chris’s superpowered sequence, players are sure to crack a smile as they hurl lycans across the map with their boulder-smashing forearms. Combat, of course, is relegated to firearms, and Village in VR delivers a very satisfying simulation.
Handguns, shotguns, grenade launchers, and rifles all become replicas for die-hard Resident Evil fans window-shopping for airsoft replicas. It’s an unparalleled feeling to wield, aim and fire these life-size weapons. VR players also manually reload their weapons, which added to the tension as the werewolves came in for a kiss.
Players who’ve gone through this exercise with a DualSense controller will find combat much easier in VR. Lining up shots feels incredibly quick and intuitive, but that takes away the tension of holding enemies back as they close the distance. Most of the time, werewolves, vampires, and ghouls were trapped in the village with me as the monster. Those looking for the true VR experience should try the Hardcore or Village of Shadows difficulty to feel some sort of desperation. Otherwise, Resident Evil Village VR nicely blends its fun controls with an equally consistent flow of enemies to keep players on their toes.
Under the OLED headset, Resident Evil Village looks best when you’re in the world. Players don’t have the safety of a couch or a screen. I realized how much bigger the game felt when I stepped out of the forest and stared at the Resident Evil Village‘s iconic castle overlooking its inhabitants. It’s awe-inspiring to see Capcom turn this nightmarish world into a 1:1, life-sized world. VR players will constantly be moving under its tense atmosphere, literally looking over their shoulders.
The VR mode doesn’t translate well with its first-person cutscenes. Ironically, the VR camera takes a life of its own during these dialogue-heavy bits. Players will lose all control as the camera swivels into motion-sickness territory. It’s incredibly awkward to step out of this first-person plane and see Ethan’s disembodied character model. VR players can also turn around to see other characters hilariously frozen until it’s their cue to enter a cutscene. Such nitpicks are a given with VR’s unpredictable oversights.
But Capcom also lets players turn off these stereoscopic 3D cutscenes to watch them over a flat presentation. As for accessibility, Resident Evil Village VR puts enough comfort in mind for new players. Lefties and righties can play the game their way. Those looking to sit can opt for that seated mode. The thumbsticks also allow for turning if players have tight VR spaces. Capcom leaves little to no excuse for PSVR 2 players to not try this mode out.
Resident Evil Village’s VR mode also runs from the PS5 console. Somehow, the VR visuals feel more enhanced with upscaled resolutions bringing the best out of PlayStation 5’s next-gen hardware. Capcom simply does more with less. Though I could beat the game normally in under four hours, the VR run took me almost double. This comes from wasted moments examining details on chem fluids, handgun ammo, gravel on walls and even Ethan’s poor hands.
Capcom has somehow created a brand new game by literally throwing players into Resident Evil Village. Developers have gone through pains to make this survival horror adventure a believable one. Capcom rightly takes the hard way to make all of Village’s VR mechanics work. In fact, players won’t just be sitting in VR with a controller as they did in Resident Evil VII. This isn’t Capcom’s first attempt at bringing Resident Evil to VR. Village benefits in similar design choices from Resident Evil VII and Resident Evil 4. Its latest Resident Evil game fits neatly into VR’s newest platform with the PS5’s specs to back it all up.