Rez Infinite Review – PC / VR

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Rez has been around for 16 years, originally released for Dreamcast and PS2, then remastered for Xbox Live Arcade in 2008 and PSVR in 2016. It would only take another year before PC gamers could experience this phenomenon when Rez Infinite finally arrived on Steam in its ultimate form with glorious 4K visuals as well as mind-blowing immersive support for VR.

Rez Infinite takes everything you loved from the PSVR version and amps it up exponentially based on the power of your PC, especially when it comes to VR. The game is perfectly playable in non-VR and still a fun and gorgeous game, but nothing can prepare you for when you slip on a VR headset and totally immerse yourself in the world of Rez. This game was meant for VR and quite possibly stands out as one of the few must-play VR experiences for anyone who has the hardware. System requirements are higher for VR, but if you have a GTX 1080ti you can crank the rendering up to 150% and all the detail settings to Epic and melt your brain.

Whether you play on a screen or in VR, the Rez Infinite plays the same as it always has with you floating and flying through cyberspace attacking all sorts of cyber-enemies with your lock-on swarm missiles. Playing with a controller, you press and hold the fire button then move the analog stick over the enemies to lock on then release the button to fire. The sound of weapons and explosions often add to the game’s already-energized soundtrack like a digital soundboard. But things get much better when playing in VR using either the Vive wand or the Oculus Touch.   Your targeting reticle is much more responsive controlled both by your head movement and your hand. This is a one-handed game able to use either controller, so it’s perfect for southpaws. The target cursor makes large general movements following your gaze, and then you can refine your target selection by moving your hand to “paint” the targets before releasing the fire button and unleashing your missiles.

Rez Infinite also includes a secondary game called Area X, a visionary new way to play Rez that takes you off the rails of the original and offers a full 360-degrees of freedom giving you control over forward and reverse movement through the VR space by looking where you want to go and pressing the trigger or grip button.   Area X definitely scales up the graphics with some truly mind-blowing visuals  thanks to the Unreal Engine, but I did feel the game lost a bit of its energy without the constant speed and directional changes of the on-rails gameplay from the original. Area X is still a bold vision of where a possible sequel could take us.

Rez Infinite is the perfect VR game; a game where you don’t need to think but merely act. It is an experience than you can appreciate both visually and aurally while your hand waves around under an almost-subconscious control, painting and destroying all sorts of fantastical enemies and frightening bosses. There was never an instance of motion sickness, even when the bottom would drop out of a level sending you plunging deeper into cyberspace as the world spins and twists around you. The music is both energetic and hypnotic and fuels the rhythm of combat. Some of the original tracks have been replaced in this new version – probably licensing issues – and while purists might complain, I found these new tracks just as engaging and suited for gameplay as any of the missing ones.

Rez Infinite was a nearly perfect title on the PSVR and it only gets better with the added horsepower of a good VR-ready PC. The added visual clarity of post-processed effects, as well as the ability to render at 150% then sample it back into the headset combined with rave-worthy music will create a virtual experience you will never forget.

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