What were the challenges of recreating the suspense of Resident Evil in VR?
Our biggest challenge, and focus of all our efforts, has been to ensure a highly responsive, refined and user-friendly implementation of motion control. Resident Evil 4 is a great game, full of fun action, an exciting story and a truly memorable cast, but if moving around the world and handling weapons was not a hugely enjoyable experience, then it would not matter. Many of us in Armor clearly remember first time we played Resident Evil 4 on GameCube, and it’s a great privilege to be able to work on such an important franchise. So it was extremely important for us to honor the Resident Evil 4 legacy by making the VR version as refined as possible. In addition, we wanted to ensure that as many players as possible could experience Resident Evil 4 gameplay in VR, so we added a wide range of accessibility and customization options: from alternative motion controls to comfort settings to details like adjusting the position of the equipped objects on the body.
What’s new in the Mercenaries update for Resident Evil VR?
Mercenaries was completely rebuilt into virtual reality by Armature Studio in collaboration with Meta and Capcom. The goal is the same as always: eliminate more Ganados in the shortest time to get a high score. We have the full original state of The Mercenaries, which we call “Classic “Mercenaries, where you can play in four levels with five different characters. In addition, we have also added a lot of new features exclusive to the VR version of the game. First, we have added 20 new challenges that the player can get through. A challenge can be introducing new weapons or enemies, changing the level of graphics, or adding changes to the rules of the game. For example, in the Time Rush challenge, you start with a minimal amount of time, and instead of placing pickups in fixed locations on the map, they will appear in random new locations each time you gather a new amount of time. We have also implemented online leaderboards so you can compete with your friends or the whole world to see who can achieve the highest score. In addition to the new gameplay found in Challenges, we have added a variety of games that can be unlocked, which you can earn by getting higher scores in Challenges. Unlockable ranges from new costumes and weapons to major visual and gameplay changes to the campaign.
Can you see virtual reality becoming mainstream in the next 5 years?
I certainly think virtual reality is spreading much faster than it was two years ago. There are two main factors that contribute to the expansion of the VR audience. The first is the demolition of the barrier of entry. This means not only making it easier to access the experience, but also making it easier to share the experience. Meta Quest was a huge push in both of these directions. Users no longer need to set up a complicated camera layout or have a dedicated personal computer connected to the headset – they can grab a Meta Quest and start the gaming experience right away, at. a much more affordable price. The second factor in the spread of virtual reality is to provide higher quality experiences – the games and applications that are available. Many of the early experiences built in VR were what people considered “mini-games”, “festival games” or demos. There was a lack of deep, long-lasting experiences that players from other gaming platforms were used to. Resident Evil 4 is just one example of the types of games that will help attract new users to the virtual reality platform.
Do you want Resident Evil to be part of the Metaverse that Meta (Facebook) builds?
The concept of Metaverse as a world where people work, play and interact together is of course interesting to many people in the field of entertainment and gaming. For me personally and in relation to action / horror games, it is particularly interesting to think about what the future might look like. I think that Much of the story of horror games has been centered around the single-player experience. In a way that makes sense, horror is often about isolation, fear of the unknown, or your place in a world that is somehow unbalanced. People think of horror experiences in VR and immediately think that they are immersed alone in a dark room. I believe that VR with its level of immersion can do extremely exciting things in this regard, many of which have not yet been explored and many of them will be enhanced by the technological advances that come to VR in the future. So there is a lot of potential in horror and VR as a solo experience. That said, the concept of horror also interests me as a social experience. It can take many forms, whether it is working together or against each other, confronting some scary dizzying creature together or being chased by your friends in the dark. It’s a way of making video games in horror titles, which has largely remained unexplored until recently. In recent years, some developers have started to dive into this social aspect, but I think the unique combination of the incredible immersion of virtual reality and the growing social connections built into the system has a huge potential for video games as a whole, as well as for the horror experience.