Cast our Minds back to 2002. Here is your humble blogger standing in what was the very large HMV building in London’s Trocodero. the reason were here? A chance to play Rez the on rail shooter developed by United Game Artists and finally released in Europe.
Rez was an original and I think still is an original concept on the on-rail shooter. Its not very hard, its quite hard to die with the game more interested in pushing the player forward in having you see all the wonders it has to offer, trying to express above all else the sense of sensory overload with a mixture of beautiful graphics the shapes popping in and out of existence, all to a relentless soundtrack maximising the feeling in tune with the game, to become a part of the whole rather than worrying about a high score or even seeing the end. It has a story of sorts but, its the usual you must do x to save y all very generic and like most video game stories of the time is just a reason to get the player to the start of the game.
How did it feel in 2002?
Not great. I read the reviews of course I did. I was ready for something special, something other worldly and all I got was some strange shapes dancing around the screen to music I couldn’t hear. HMV didn’t supply headphones and the sound was at 0 on the TV. This I now know was a mistake. Headphones are a must. Headphones are the magical gateway, the red pill of the game if you will. Headphones are the key that opens the door to Wonderland.
After playing through the game on the PS2 I left it alone. It was a good game but gimmicky limited it its appeal . That of course before I spotted it on the PS Store sale, another PS sale. So looking for another PSVR game I bit the bullet and bought the game for a second time.
If I have learned anything from this weekend it has to be that everything deserves a second chance. Firstly Wipeout a game that has truly delivered on its promise of in rivalled speed all those years a go has done so with its VR update, a truly exhilarating game if ever there was one and now REZ a game set to be forgotten as a Dreamcast and PS2 curio, is now reborn as an actual VR wonder.
Transcendent, that’s the only way to describe some of this game. its wonderful of the course I knew the original game its still there, its great, the added VR really helps, really adds to the experience, its very, very pretty. Its another added area that is the real meat on this package and that is called….
Area X has to be the closest that United Artists have ever come to truly realising their dream. It is incredible, a wonderful sensory experience and one that made my jaw fall to the floor as soon as I started to play. Yes with the headset on, coupled with a great pair of headphones, Area X is a sensory overload. Yes its short at only 30 minutes or so but its an absolutely joyful 30 minutes with even a bit of replay value if you decide to go back and take a different path for a couple of optional boss battles. Yes this is a wonder of a game, just seeing your Zen like avatar floating through the level is even great on the TV. The depth, the inclusion the VR headset all add up to an amazing experience and one of my favourite VR games.
For once the adverts didn’t lie.
The adverts nothing to do with me. Its just the way that it encapsulates the progression from the standard TV to VR headset is so perfect and in the case of this game that I had to show it.
Join me, be inside the sound