A friend shared with me some threads that Digital Foundry’s John Linneman was posting about Gran Turismo 7 and Resident Evil Village on PlayStation VR2.1 They way John was talking about both games makes me all the more surprised that PlayStation did not find a way to provide these games to press for the initial review embargo. Perhaps it was a combination of not being quite ready and wanting to have a rollout of positive game impressions during the launch period.
OK, GT7 in VR is unbelievable. One small detail that literally caught my eye – the HDR glare of headlights in your mirrors during night races. It’s bright to the point where it closely resembles reality in a similar situation. I’ve never seen anything quite like this in a game.
They really nailed the world scale in this. It just feels natural. I keep reaching for the wheel as visible through the headset when the racing wheel I’m using is, in fact, slightly smaller. This is one of the most immersive VR experiences I’ve encountered to date.
Also, steep corners and hills, such as at Laguna Seca, suddenly feel towering. I legit felt my stomach drop as if riding a rollercoaster when I first tackled that hill. Plus, you can see your helmet reflect in the steering wheel’s metallic pieces as you move your head around.
This sounds so unbelievably lifelike. I was streaming GT7 last week in preparation of PS VR2. The simple notion of being able to turn your head to look at traffic or look ahead while riding a tight line in a turn should be transformative for races. John has me looking at steering wheels again. Lord help me.
I mean, we are talking about helmet reflections, headlight HDR, and proper scale of hills and valleys. I’ve never experienced this in VR. This sounds transformative.
Well, RE Village VR is also tremendous. Proper black levels really elevate the tension. It looks super impressive in VR and the completely reworked interface brings it closer to something like HL Alyx. It’s a separate mode with its own saves for a reason but it’s brilliant.
The one weird caveat with Village are the cutscenes – they keep the original camera motion and it’s clear they weren’t made for VR so I suspect some might get motion sickness from it.
I noticed the cutscene camera movement in the previous trailers. I recall a scene where one of the vampire daughters drags you away and thinking that had some motion sickness potential, since you are not lying down. I’ve curious to see how I will feel.
The more important part is the true blacks and John’s comparison to Half-Life: Alyx. I was talking with Logan yesterday and he remarked how Alyx is still the landmark, must-play VR game: He was talking about how slow marquee VR game development is slowed. My counterpoint was that I think Alyx may have new games entering its hallowed halls with both Village and GT7. If John’s impressions are any indication, I think VR on the whole has two new must plays, experience defining games on its hands (head?).
1. Don’t worry, I am and have been sticking with my departure from Twitter. I’ve actually enjoyed my time away for the most part. Some days I wish I could scroll, but most of the time I feel free. I have noticed some unhealthy trends to fill that time—more Discord and YouTube—but I have been reading and writing more. And I have certainly spent more time focus on and playing with my daughter. I consider this decision a major, major win.