Resident Evil Village is one of the best PS5 games ever, and its upcoming VR release will be one of the best VR games ever. During a practical session with RE8 on PSVR 2, I found myself enthralled by the world of gaming which offers levels of detail unparalleled among VR titles.
Earlier this month, I visited Sony’s PlayStation headquarters in San Mateo, CA to see PlayStation VR 2 in person for the first time. Of the four demos I was able to play, there were Resident Evil Village which is worn entirely on the helmet.
Check out our hands-on PSVR 2 coverage:
When I talk about the best graphics in VR, I would say the highest title is definitely Half-Life: Alyx. And while Alex Packed with detail, much of the game’s landscape is made up of crumbling buildings and debris or brutalist sci-fi architecture – not exactly the prettiest thing to look at.
Resident Evil Village, on the other hand, offers more lively (though sometimes crude and creepy) and earthy landscapes. Sure, you’ll crawl through seedy tunnels and abandoned basements – and don’t forget the various monstrosities you’ll face – but you’ll also encounter lavishly detailed interiors and perfectly animated characters.
In my time with the game on PSVR 2, I was dropped into the castle of Lady Dimitrescu, a hulking vampire matriarch together with three evil girls.
Even in the non-VR version of the game, the castle’s lavish interior is a sight to behold. In VR, it’s a real feast for the eyes; the interior is brimming with a density of detail simply unparalleled in VR.
The space is full of ornate wooden furniture, extravagant chandeliers, truly stunning interior architecture, and an array of surprisingly competent artwork hanging on the castle walls.
In the non-VR version of the game, everything looks great, but most players aren’t going to stop to really breathe. when they have nothing to do with the progress of the game. Frankly, the space is so richly detailed and interesting to watch that if you removed all the “game” parts of the experience to just let people explore the castle , it would easily become a great museum-like VR experience.
Case in point: I was walking down a hallway and stopped to look at a small picture frame on a bedside table. There was a painting of a crow silhouetted by a full moon. I had to sit there and stare at the painting for at least a minute – easily able to lean over with the headphones on to see it up close – and actually felt like I was sitting there enjoying a work of art the same way I would at A gallery. In fact, I found myself impressed by everything works of art on the walls of the castle. Not only were they apparently all unique, but they were also really good works of art.
Beyond the wealth of environmental detail, the game’s lighting is another reason why everything was so visually captivating. There are small detailed details on all glossy furniture that help sell their shape and materials.
Dark interiors were definitely helped by the expanded contrast range thanks to the PSVR 2’s OLED display. And while there weren’t many places where I felt like the headset was really “HDR” (as Sony claims) I’ll say looking into a fireplace had a more prominent sense of brightness, much like looking out of a lace-draped window awash in sunlight.
Thanks to the high detail of the lace and bright lighting, the curtains felt especially “real” in a way that definitely made me stop and stare at a window that had no gameplay relevance. I guess the ‘HDR’ effect of the headset works best with white light – which was the main component of the fire and the sunlit curtains – because all the sub-pixels are lit to render white (meaning that each pixel emits its maximum brightness).
And I haven’t even mentioned the characters…