After more than two years of tinkering with the RE Engine, master modder Praydog is close to releasing a VR mod for the Resident Evil 2 remake that boasts motion controller support and the ability to play through the game in either third or first-person.
While this mod is yet to be released to the general public, myself and a handful of other VR fans have been given access to an incredibly impressive early build, which you can see in action in this week's episode of VR Corner.
Rather than playing through Leon's campaign, which has been featured heavily in other videos about this mod, I've decided to slip into Claire Redfield's signature red leather jacket for this Let's Play in order to show off a fresh perspective. In it, I make my way through the Gas Station and Raccoon City Police Department portions of Claire's chapter using the mod's first-person mode for added immersion.
As you'll be able to see, while it is still in need of some polishing, Praydog's mod often comes close to making it feel like the Resident Evil 2 remake was made with native, first-person VR in mind. It wasn't, of course, but that just makes the mod even more impressive and I'm pretty sure it's going to be something that both Resident Evil and VR fans will be excited to try out for themselves in the future.
So how does this mod compare to Resident Evil 4 VR, the Quest 2 exclusive VR remake that released a couple of weeks ago? Well for a start, thanks to the fact the mod isn't running on a stand-alone headset, the level of graphical detail that I experienced was incredibly high compared to that of Resident Evil 4 VR.
The fact that Resident Evil 4 is about 14 years older than the Resident Evil 2 remake obviously makes a huge impact on the graphical qualities too, but either way when you're jumping from one to the other in VR, the improvement in visuals makes Resident Evil 2 look almost photorealistic at times.
The zombies themselves feel very life-like in VR, mainly thanks to Resident Evil 2's realistic wet gore effects and the real-time bullet damage. In flat the undead are scary enough but in first-person view these effects really bring the visuals to life and, as each zombie is perfectly scaled in VR, you can almost feel a physical presence from them as they lurch towards you.
The way a zombie's flesh peels off in exactly the right place as each bullet hits them is gorgeously grotesque and viewed from a first-person perspective it was probably some of the most realistic feeling zombie combat I've ever experienced.
While movement and shooting in the Resident Evil 2 remake mod is fully motion controlled, reloading and interacting with objects and menus is not. Resident Evil 4 VR had some really neat ways in which you could physically navigate the menus and interact with the environment but, as you'll see in the video above, menu and object interaction in the mod is done with button presses only. Just like it is if you were playing in flat, with a controller.
There's no planned public release date for this mod yet, but Praydog has also managed to add VR support into the Resident Evil 3 remake, plus VR support (with no motion controls as of yet) for Resident Evil 7 and Village. Also in the works are VR mods for Devil May Cry 5 and Monster Hunter Rise, although those will probably stick to third person viewpoints.
With big VR releases feeling a bit few and far between this year, it really does seem like the future of VR is in the hands of modders at the moment. People like Praydog, KITT and Luke Ross are leading the way here and showing developers how VR could not only be implemented into their standard flat games, but also how it can radically transform these experiences and turn them into something even more immersive and special than they already were.
If you enjoyed this episode of Ian's VR Corner, you can catch up with my previous adventures over on YouTube in our VR playlist, where I've covered Valheim VR's motion controls mod, Doom 3 VR Edition and everything we know about PSVR 2 so far. You can also read our list of the best VR games.