Sony first showed Western journalists the PlayStation VR2 virtual reality helmet and four games for it – Resident Evil Village, Horizon Call of the Mountain, The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution and Star Wars: Tales from Galaxy’s Edge – Enhanced Edition. The latter received less attention as it is a port from another helmet.
Reviewers note that the PlayStation VR2 is like a modified version of the first PlayStation VR – it sits well on the head and has unique features, such as the ability to set up a virtual play area and the activation of a “transparent” mode that allows you to view your room through cameras without removing your helmet from your head. The connection is carried out with one wire, the controllers have become more convenient and advanced, having received a tactile feedback system and adaptive triggers, there is a working eye tracking system.
At the same time, everyone unanimously notes that the games now look much better, and this allows the owners of the first version of PlayStation VR to rediscover virtual reality. If earlier there was a difference in the picture between the usual versions of games for the console and VR versions not in favor of the latter, now, using the example of Resident Evil Village, they didn’t see it at all. Capcom’s VR version of the horror movie feels like a mainstream PlayStation 5 game.
The flagship exclusive is Horizon Call of the Mountain. Reviewers write that the developers did a great job on graphics and interactivity. The study of various objects is felt differently, and in order to perform certain actions, you will have to try to imitate them in reality. For example, to tension an arrow, pull your hand back, when running, move your hands, and when climbing rocks, reach out with your hand, as if trying to grab onto a ledge.
The demo was short and started in a boat, where the hero had to fend off opponents with aimed fire using a bow. IGN noted that Horizon Call of the Mountain is not like a tech demo and feels like a full story game. However, don’t expect it to be as long as Horizon Zero Dawn and Horizon Forbidden West – it will run in about 7 hours.
Below are the PlayStation Blog’s first impressions of PlayStation VR2 games.
Horizon Call of the Mountain
The first time I played through the original Horizon Zero Dawn, I had a feeling of elation, especially in the moments where Aloy climbs on a long neck, followed by unlocking a new section of the map and showing off a visually striking landscape.
I felt the same way when I saw the long neck in Horizon Call of the Mountain, raising my head to appreciate its size and not get caught under the stomp of its feet. As soon as I put on the PSVR2 headset, I immediately realized that I had never before seen the world of Horizon in all its beauty and splendor from such a perspective.
The demo available to us was from the perspective of Rias, a Carja soldier who gets lost in the wilderness and has to survive on his own. Encountering the machines in this game is a real spectacle, especially considering their naturalistic proportions and sizes.
It is only when one of them tries to destroy your canoe that you can fully understand how big these machines are. In turn, the tactile feedback of the PSVR2 controllers allowed each action to be given an additional effect of credibility and weight, which gave the game even more color.
Somehow, only in the demo, a segment with rock climbing and archery began, the game surprised me again, but shooting at cars immediately reminded me of why Horizon is loved in principle. PSVR2’s precise hand tracking made it easy to aim and perform other actions, whether it was climbing the wall of an enemy camp or dragging a bow down the string.
And here’s something else. The absence of traditional interface elements greatly contributes to immersion – the health scale is located on the glove, and does not take up space on the screen. All in all, Horizon Call of the Mountain made my heart race, and now I’m looking forward to returning to this world again.”
Resident Evil Village
Capcom invited me to return to Lady Dimitrescu’s castle and re-live the nightmare through a special Resident Evil Village demo for the PlayStation VR2 helmet.
Thanks to the headset’s displays and 4K support, I was able to see in detail the carvings on creepy gargoyles and ancient vase ornaments. I had already played Resident Evil 7 in VR before, so this demo was perceived as a direct evolution of already familiar content. The expertise of the Capcom developers and the refresh rate of the PlayStation VR2 displays ensured a very comfortable immersion in the game.
Village gameplay from a first-person perspective on the PlayStation 5 was able to impress without virtual reality, but with PSVR2 the game gives a completely different experience. I also note the gameplay change tied to the knife: if before the blade acted as a last resort, now it can be used from a safe distance. And the ability to simultaneously use a knife with a pistol made you feel like a real hero – it’s very interesting what combinations of weapons will become possible in the full version.
Near the end of the demo, Lady Dimitrescu’s daughters appear and kidnap Ethan. At this moment, the PlayStation VR2 controllers actively vibrate, simulating the process of moving the body into one of the rooms of the castle. The star herself looks even more menacing in VR – I’m afraid to imagine how scary it will be to run away from her.
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution
The heroes of The Walking Dead universe usually survive thanks to their ingenuity and speed of reaction. It was great to see that these are the skills most needed when playing through The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution from Skydance Interactive for PlayStation VR2.
This is a first-person survival game that adapts the player’s different limbs to gameplay elements such as firearms, melee weapons, and a backpack. To look into the bag, you need to stretch your left hand towards your back, looking around along the way, so as not to miss the approach of zombies. This is a really intense scenario.
All fights with walkers are deliberately designed to keep you on your toes. I was very surprised by the accuracy of the tracking of the PSVR2 controllers, where I had to choose the most suitable angle in order to deliver an accurate blow with an ax to the head of one of the zombies. Accuracy in combat is of great importance. For example, in the game you can meet zombies equipped with armor, and in order to kill them, you will have to attack carefully aiming at weak points.
Firearms are also great – revolvers, submachine guns, assault rifles, shotguns, bows and much more are waiting for you. The developers paid a lot of attention even to routine mechanics, like the reloading process. Loading a two-table gun, you involuntarily begin to feel like a star of an expensive action movie. Managing a whole arsenal of weapons, combined with defense against waves of walkers, gives very strong emotions, captivating for a further return to the game.”
43 minutes of Eurogamer PlayStation VR2 gameplay:
PlayStation VR2 releases in early 2023.
See also: Sega introduced Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name – the new Yakuza with Kazuma Kiryu will be released in 2023.