Resident Evil 4 VR review

You are Leon S. Kennedy in this VR remake

Resident Evil 4 VR keyart showing Leon looking out a a horde of villagers
(Image: © Capcom / Oculus)

TechRadar Verdict

Resident Evil 4 VR is not only the best horror game we've played on the Oculus Quest 2 but one of the best VR games we've ever played. If you own an Oculus headset and can handle being frightened this is a must-play game for fans of the series and total newbies.

Pros

  • +

    Immersive gameplay

  • +

    Great comfort options

  • +

    Excellent remake of an iconic game

Cons

  • -

    Occasional clunky controls

  • -

    Very frightening moments

  • -

    Graphics could be better

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Review Information

Time played: 7 hours
Platform:
Oculus Quest 2

Resident Evil 4 VR is, simply put, the best horror game available on the Oculus Quest 2

The classic game from Capcom has been marvelously remade in virtual reality. Fans of the original will feel right at home and will adore the chance to finally explore the game’s iconic locations in first-person – while newcomers to the game will be impressed by the updated graphics and textures that make you forget you’re playing a game that's over a decade old.

If you come to VR to be immersed, the gameplay of Resident Evil 4 VR will deliver exactly the experience you desire – the immersive item management straps essential tools to your body so you can slickly swap between and reload weapons as you battle hordes of infected brutes.

And even if you’re inexperienced in VR you can Resident Evil 4 out, as its comfort options are absolutely fantastic. Even over many hour-long play sessions, we didn’t feel any motion sickness with the comfort options we chose.

If you can handle a fright, Resident Evil 4 VR is a must-play game on the Oculus Quest 2 platform.

Price and release date

  • What is it? A remaster of 2005's Resident Evil 4 in VR
  • Release date? October 21, 2021
  • What can I play it on? Oculus Quest 2
  • Price? $39.99 USD / £29.99 (around AU$55)

Only improvements here

The story of Resident Evil 4 in VR is identical to what players first experienced back in 2005 when the GameCube version of the game was released. Leon S. Kennedy – one of the protagonists from Resident Evil 2 – has been sent out on a mission to Spain in order to rescue the US President’s kidnapped daughter.

While searching for Ashley, Leon discovers a strange village filled with violent villagers and terrifying monsters who are being manipulated by a parasite known as Las Plagas. While on his quest Leon is injected with Las Plagas himself, turning his adventure into a race against time as the parasite fights for control of his body.

The VR port doesn’t just keep the story of the original game, but the core survival-horror aspects as well. You’ll enter the game armed with a few basic items, a handgun, and some bullets but these won’t last you long. To survive you’ll have to explore areas thoroughly and be efficient with your ammo if you don’t want to fall prey to the game's enemies: Los Iluminados.

Screenshot from Resident Evil 4 VR

(Image credit: Capcom / Oculus)

However, Resident Evil 4 VR does mix up the formula too, this time bringing you into an immersive first-person view. Using the touch controllers you’ll be able to interact with objects in the environment like levers and doors, and you’ll have to manually reload weapons as brutes are staring you down.

If you want to really feel like Leon, you can play with various weapons and items attached to your body. Your handgun is at your hip, knife on your chest, and healing spray on your shoulder, giving you easy access to them as you fight for your life. The feeling is absolutely amazing, truly putting you in the shoes of this expert fighter.

The only issue we faced with the gameplay was that picking up loot dropped by enemies can be clunky. Around 50% of the time, we end up grabbing a pistol magazine instead, forcing us to reload our weapon fully before it can be fired again – and in battles against overwhelming forces you really don’t want to be in this situation.

That really was the only issue, as the biggest bugbear players had with Resident Evil 4 – the frustrating AI companion Ashley – when it first came out has been fixed in this VR installment.

Thankfully the VR remake of Resident Evil 4 gives her some much-needed buffs. Enemies now preferentially target Leon, and if they do deal damage to Ashley it’s significantly less than what Leon would take. Ashley’s behavior has also been changed, giving the players an easier time during segments of the game she features in.

Screenshot from Resident Evil 4 VR

(Image credit: Capcom / Oculus)

Making the most of VR

Resident Evil 4 VR is one of the most immersive yet comfortable VR games we’ve played on the Oculus Quest 2.

When you first boot it up you’ll be given a variety of options about how you want to experience the game, starting with whether you’ll be playing in a seated or standing position.

Next up you’ll choose your preferred style of movement. We opted for Comfort Mode which allows you to move through the world via teleportation; this choice didn’t impact our immersion at all and let us tell you there is nothing scarier than teleporting around a corner straight in front of an enemy.

Alternatively, VR aficionados (or those who don’t get motion sick easily) might want to opt for Full Motion. This fluid experience uses analog sticks and will match up with the kind of movement players will recognize from the original Resident Evil 4 game.

If you select Full Motion you’ll subsequently be given the chance to alter the Tunneling, Turn Angle and Turn Style to tweak the settings to best suit your needs and reduce the effects of motion sickness.

It doesn’t stop there though, when you come up to the Del Lago Lake Monster fight you’ll again be given different comfort options to make sure this iconic battle leaves you feeling epic rather than seasick.

Last but not least we want to commend Resident Evil 4 for how it tackles its cutscenes and more acrobatic moments – like when Leon dives through a window or kicks foes. At these times the game swiftly yet smoothly transitions into a cutscene that plays in third-person then reverts back to first-person. 

This could have very easily felt jarring, but works incredibly well and doesn’t take you out of the experience at all. To help keep you involved some of these moments – including when Leon is grabbed by an enemy or is running from a boulder – require you to move the controllers to keep you engaged with what’s happening in front of you.

Screenshot from Resident Evil 4 VR

(Image credit: Capcom / Oculus)

The scariest game VR has to offer

Resident Evil 4 is an absolutely superb experience that any horror fan with an Oculus Quest 2 should add to their library as soon as they can. 

Everything that was great about the original game has been kept, but minor tweaks to Ashley and the new first-person perspective help to make this experience a good mix of fresh and familiar.

Capcom and Oculus have also managed to perfectly blend immersion with comfort. Thanks to the care taken you can focus on feeling like an undead-slaying machine instead of feeling queasy. 

Whether you've been a long-time Resident Evil fan who has played everything the series has to offer (including the most recent Resident Evil Village) or you've never touched the series before, this VR entry makes for an excellent jumping-in point.

Hamish Hector
Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.