Rez may have started life on the Dreamcast all the way back in 2001, but veteran Tetsuya Mizuguchi's synaesthesia shooter has finally found its true home on PlayStation VR. Despite being released on dozens of platforms over the past decade-and-a-half – including, of course, the PlayStation 2 – it feels like those versions were mere dress rehearsals. Y'see, Rez Infinite is not only the definitive edition of a cult classic – it's also the first must-own virtual reality game.
Now you can certainly play this without looking like the long-lost third member of Daft Punk, but you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you did. The game looks great on a television, with spruced-up textures bringing fresh visual flare to this turn-of-the-century title – but allow its wireframe worlds to engulf you, and it's a different beast entirely. Crank up your headphones and let the beat pulse through you, and you'll border on an out-of-body experience.
Too much? Probably, but the point is that this title is able to elicit trance-like experiences. The gameplay itself is basic but brilliant; you move a cursor using the left analogue stick (or your noggin in VR), and hold the X button to lock-in the recipients of your heat-seeking missiles. Enemies move in waves, surrounding your metamorphosing main character, and forcing you to take them out in groups rather than individually. Oh, and every action that you take adds to the soundscape.
It's just an incredible all-around sensory experience: the controller pulsates, the visuals pulsate, the sound pulsates – and you'll be gleefully bobbing your head along in harmony. No more is this true during the boss fights, which occupy multiple stages, and range from a voxel-based human sprinting across a graphic equaliser all the way through to a giant octopus-esque creature with dangerous tendrils. The spectacle is unbelievable – again, especially with PlayStation VR.
But nowhere better does the new medium shine than in the all-new Area X environment, which is a kind of modern day reimagining of the Rez experience where you can fly freely rather than follow a set-path, and gaze upon the gorgeous chaos that's unfolding in front of you. It's a genius addition, and it gives us hope that Rez may finally get that full-scale sequel that it's always deserved – or at the very least some kind of spiritual successor from developer Enhance Games.
But in the here and now, there are few better titles that demonstrate PlayStation VR's ability to offer true escapism. While the action's intense, we never encountered any issues with nausea – this game just works, and no matter what else is going on in the real world, it takes you to somewhere different. The threadbare narrative may be a little over-the-top – culminating in the existential acid trip that is Area 5 – but it doesn't really matter, because this game's fiction is all about the way it makes you feel.
Magnificent many years after its original release, Rez Infinite finally feels at home on PlayStation VR – and virtual reality has got its first killer app. A sensational sensory overload, this sublime shooter may be short-lived, but you'll be hard pushed to find an experience more deserving of your attention this year.
Well, I didn't think I was going to buy this game today but here we are! What a great write up. I can't wait to experience this.
Sounds a lot like "Child of Eden", and I loved that on kinect! I can only imagine that this would be even more sensory and immersive.
Very well deserved the praise! Although on the nausea side I think the bossfight in level 3 is hard to take in, because it constantly rotates and you are moving sideways...
Anyhow, it's so great to see that the game has finally arrived at it's true artform!
If anything comes close, it must be Thumper! (My personal favorite of the year, especially in VR)
How short is it though?
Just shows how ahead of its time it was when it first came out on the Dreamcast!!
@Bad-MuthaAdebisi The original had a total of 5 levels, a score attack mode, an "all levels in a raw" mode and good esthetic unlockables. Pretty short in the "story mode" as all shooters are (60-90 minutes IIRC), but I remember I spent many many hours with Rez on PS2 and I bet the VR can only make it better; Rez is not just a matter of high scores, it's a real trip!
@0M3GA Both Rez and Child of Eden were created by Tetsuya Mizuguchi. You can consider Rez as the "fractal" and "acid" version of Child of Eden.
This is the only title that appeals to me as yet, will be picking it up for sure at some point along with a headset! I've got a problem with my eye and will be half blind for the next 6 weeks, can't see properly to play regular games at the moment so glad I didn't get a VR set at launch, I'd have been very disappointed lol
Can this be played without a VR headset?
Loved Rez on the Dreamcast but can't justify spending £300+ for one game.
Loved Rez on PS2! It was entrancing then, can't imagine how much better it must be in VR!
Bought this game last after watching sammys video started playing it but decided to wait until my VR comes in the post from Amazon roll on Tuesday for me
Very Good review sammy
As much as the beloved Rez has made a comeback, if this is the first must have game then I'm sorry but this launch lineup is pretty crap. Rez was good back in the day, but ask anyone and it doesn't figure in any long time gamers top 50 games. Prove me wrong but I'm pretty disappointed in this initial wave of games. Great write up as always Sammy.
@Smash41 As the video initially shows, you can play it the old way or with the "optional VR" (00:49). I checked the Store and the VR set is confirmed as optional, but that € 30 price tag killed my interest... Rez HD is less than € 10 but only on the Xbox Marketplace.
@andreoni79 There is a limited boxed release that i'm getting now I know VR isn't required http://store.iam8bit.com/collections/rez-infinite/products/rezinfinite-ps4physicalgame
@themcnoisy I agree in the sense that, as great as I expect this game is (sensory overload on par with being three pills deep in a packed smoke filled laser room rave up at 2am, I would hope), it doesn't have enough broad appeal to be "the killer app". People said the same about Resogun being PS4s best launch game. No doubt it was, but a side scrolling shooter just isn't going to attract a wide enough audience.
Edit: That said, day one PSVR buyers are likely to not represent mainstream gamers, so they'll probably lap experiences like this up
One of my favorite games of all time, now with it's only "issue", controls, being addressed with hyper accurate head tracking. Count me in.
@themcnoisy Prove you wrong? Ok, easy.
Multiple games are getting 9's and 8's across the board. Just because this might be edging out the other titles, doesn't mean the ones who scored slightly less aren't worth playing. Even a single 9 for the launch of a system is astounding, none the less multiple. I'm not sure how many console launches you've lived through, but the amount of titles for the PSVR release combined with the amount of well scored titles among that batch, points to a very successful group of games. If you want to wait, that's you're thing. But saying games like Battlezone, RIGS, or Thumper are crap because their scores are .5 or 1 point less than this one, which is just a Dreamcast port, is absurd.
@0M3GA Child of Eden looks like Rez because they're both made by Tetsuya Mizuguchi.
@Smash41 Someone over on Eurogamer says their shipping date has pushed back to december, if you haven't pushed the button yet.
And some thought PSVR might struggle to find it's killer app. This for me was the biggest surprise at PSX last year.
@themcnoisy They're launch games, most launch games are poor, or age badly. These have been scoring pretty well, not sure what you were expecting. As I recall the PS4's only memorable launch game was Resogun. And yet here we are, the PS4 a huge success.
Bought it based on the review & suffice to say I have not been disappointed. The 9 is well deserved, I'm having an absolute blast with it. Hope the game sells well enough to warrant DLC. Already at area 3.
I really admire how everything comes together so wonderfully. I don't really know what quantifies as a '10', but I do think this is a must play.
@deathofpsygnosis "Multiple games are getting 9's and 8's across the board."
Other than Thumper an endless runner rhythm action game at 81 and 16 year old Rez at 91 on metacritic Battlezone is high 60s, rigs is high 70s and they are the standout games.
'I'm not sure how many console launches you've lived through"
I'm 35 - so maybe 7/8 generations so far
" the amount of titles for the PSVR release combined with the amount of well scored titles among that batch, points to a very successful group of games."
Other than the above mentioned games they are expensive tech demos or very short in length. But hopefully they do enough to cement a following so the games can get better and better.
" saying games like Battlezone, RIGS, or Thumper are crap because their scores are .5 or 1 point less than this one, which is just a Dreamcast port, is absurd."
I'm not judging the lineup on the scores - I'm judging it on what I would want to play. If rez is getting the ace award, thumper in second and other games relegated down the pecking order then I cant warrant paying the cash for what we have at launch. Will I buy one? Probably but I will wait it out. Hopefully Eve is fun, I'm more disappointed in DC being pants and the other games are all short and I believe (maybe wrongly) most of them lack replay ability. I've tried the new wave VR and am definitely excited by what the tech can bring to the table but right now I'm happy to play caveman like for the next 6 months and relook at VR come Easter next year.
@kyleforrester87 Hopefully your mum doesn't read your posts mate haha. The good old 1990s how I miss them.
Resogun is great though.
Um, "dozens of platforms"..? Hardly. Rez has appeared on exactly 4 platforms: Dreamcast, PS2, Xbox 360, and now PS4. So, short of even 1 dozen, let alone dozens.
Am i doing it wrong or are you realy supposed to be bumping your head to the music as you aim & play?
I'll end up with super neck muscles if I buy the full title.
Sigh, when I say they're getting 8's and 9's across the board, I'm talking about websites with gaming reputations people trust. For instance, if I trust a site like Destructoid, and they give a game a favorable score, I'm not going to let a site I've never heard of or don't respect sway me too much before I try it for myself. For example, the Metacritic for Driveclub VR is in the 60's. However, the score that knocked it down to the 60s, despite every other score being higher than a 60, was a review from digital spy, who gave it a 20/100. A site who has admitted that for multiple titles they simply can't stand playing them due to motion sickness. Even on games other review sites aren't complaining about.
Agree to disagree on the games being "tech demos". Are many of them like that? Sure. But I see many of these games as what they are...full fledge games. Just because Battlezone or RIGS isn't Uncharted or Call of Duty, doesn't make them tech demos. In my era they were called arcade games, and with added focus on online, make them very much like titles like Rocket League, which you could also argue are "tech demos", but are simply repetitive online games that you can play for hundreds of hours and not even notice. Batman is a tech demo. There's a difference. I can't replay that countless times and pretend to be shocked that I already knew the answers to the detective work. RIGS though is as much fun the 100th time as it is the 20th.
If you're judging just because you don't like the titles, that's fine. Maybe you came off the wrong way... doesn't matter. I hope you get the type of titles you're looking for. For a gamer like me though, where I'm honestly completely unexcited for another Cod, Battlefield, Gears, Uncharted, The Order etc... (ie: games that are either the same old fps or games that are story driven graphical adventures that hold your hand through mundane gameplay to get you through what is essentially just an interactive movie), this is more my speed. I prefer gameplay focus games, and these fit the bill. I think titles like Robinson: the Journey might be more your speed if you want something story based. If you're excited for Eve... well, temper your expectations. If you hate the idea of RIGS and Battlezone, it's a similar idea but in space. Single player missions are largely repetitive, like Battlezone.
@deathofpsygnosis I was initially commenting on the article as it states at the end of the first paragraph that Rez is the first must have game. As I stated its good and I have thrown it on a few times, but for me its not this unbelievable experience everyone has banged on about for 16 years, but you like it and that's fine. But its certainly not what I really want to hear when it comes to blowing £400 on a headset I'm unlikely to use much of. In many ways if the must have game was Cod or Battlefield, that's a complete turn off too. I was hoping for the likes of Elite, the white swan, Gran Turismo, Rapture, an rpg - basically stuff with more meat. I'm glad your enjoying it, as I said the techs good - but for me Thumper would be put down quite quickly (I would prefer runner future of rhythm alien) and Panzer Dragoon would have been preferable to Rez but that's just me. Here's hoping Lemmings and Wipeout make it in the next vr batch
@themcnoisy @deathofpsygnosis WIPEOUT. That would make ME buy PS VR...
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