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Rez Infinite PSVR2 review — “Hear the colors, see the sounds”

Rez was a trip when it came out in 2001 for the Dreamcast and PlayStation 2. It was re-released on the Xbox 360 as Rez HD, and then came in VR form to Meta Quest, PCVR, PS4, and now finally PS5. Now the game has come to the PlayStation VR2, and frankly I cannot imagine going back. VR is truly the best way to experience this odd little shooter, and PSVR2 may just be the ultimate version of it thanks to a few tricks up its technological sleeve.

Rez is a rail shooter focused around music. Built entirely of vector and polygonal art, the team wanted to try to introduce something called synesthesia – the perceptual phenomenon where stimulating sensory pathways can trigger reaction from your secondary sense. One example, and likely the team was aiming to achieve, was being able to hear sound. Whether you achieve that state of consciousness or not is debatable, but what does happen is a completely mind-bending trip through…well, honestly it’s hard to describe. Here’s the first level – watch it and see if you have any more luck with it than I have:

Rez Infinite on PSVR2 - Area 1 [Gaming Trend]

The official synopsis is that you are a hacker and you are trying to reach a malfunctioning AI to…I honestly don’t know. Free it? Kill it? Free it by killing it? I’ve beaten this game several times and I still can’t tell ya. What I can tell you is that it’s a lot of fun, and the PSVR2 version brings a completely fresh approach. Frankly, now that I’ve played it on Sony’s new headset, I cannot imagine going back to the PC version.

Amidst the controls for Rez Infinite you’ll find a brand new control scheme that takes advantage of a central feature of the PlayStation VR2 – eye tracking. Rez has always been on rails, with the controls being the primary differentiator. On the PS4 you can flip between stick controls and the PlayStation Move. That was a huge improvement, as was using the wands on the HTC Vive. While that raised the bar, there’s a new sheriff in town. On the PlayStation 5, we can enable gaze-based aiming. That’s right, you can now aim with your eyeballs! It’s frenetic and crazy, and it somehow works.

Rez Infinite on PSVR2 - Area 2 [Gaming Trend]

Flipping back to the Sense Controllers, you’ll feel a thumping great amount of haptics, joined by the haptics built into the head. Once again we are trying to induce synesthesia, and one more direct vibration nudge might do it.

One thing you’ll immediately notice when playing Rez Infinite is that, despite the rudimentary graphics, you can tell that the team spared no expense ensuring that this game looks its very best here. With the higher resolution lenses in the PSVR2, as well as HDR support, you’ll be getting all of the madness blasted at your eyes looking its very best. It may not make it make any more sense than when it was low-rez, but it’s never looked better than it does here.

One of the biggest upgrades necessary to ensure you don’t come away from Rez completely nausea was literally doubling the framerate. The game now runs a silky smooth and unflappable 120fps, with the thumping ever-evolving soundtrack now coming at you in 7.1 surround sound.

Rez Infinite on PSVR2 - Area 3 [Gaming Trend]

There is a second game mode in Rez Infinite called Area X, as well as a handful of bonus features. Area X feels like it could have been the start of the canceled sequel brought to life. It’s bumped up the gameplay of Rez and gives it all a fresh coat of paint. It hints at what the team could do with the property in the future, and I hope they get that chance.

Rez comes from a specific era of time when we were just getting analog sticks. Music was midi or stereo at best, and nobody was asking “How long does it take to beat this game?”. No, it comes from a place in time where beating the game repeatedly was what was necessary to unlock new features, visuals, modes and more. In fact, there is a huge list of secrets to uncover in Rez Infinite, often with a high degree of accuracy required to unlock them. Not trying to brag here, but if you want to see how it’s done, my score is 100% synthesis, 99.2% monsters destroyed, and 98% special items collected. Enjoy me making it look very, very easy.

Rez Infinite on PSVR2 - Area 4 [Gaming Trend]

There are really only two hitches for Rez Infinite on PSVR2 – one quick wobble with nausea, and the price. The game is launching alongside the PSVR2 and it’s priced at $29.99. While the game will only take you about 3 hours to experience everything the first time around, you are looking at about a dozen hours to complete. Whether you find the levels compelling enough to play repeatedly to unlock all the things is up to you. The other issue came in the sequence between 4 and 5. During a moment before you fight the boss, the camera turns (something it does frequently) and faces the armored tube that conceals the final boss, but for some reason it unhinged my brain, gave me a headache, and made me feel nauseous immediately. I recovered quickly, and despite a ton of game time, never encountered anywhere else in the game. It’s something the team could iron out, but this segment required me to close my eyes every time I saw it lest it put me off VR for the rest of the day.

Rez Infinite on PSVR2 - Area 5 [Gaming Trend]

Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief | [email protected]

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming.

Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter.

Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 28 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes), and an Axolotl named Dagon!

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Rez Infinite

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Rez Infinite is a throwback to an amazing 2001 on-rails musical shooter made fresh once again with an entirely new way to control the action. The PSVR2 version’s new features make it new and exciting again thanks to the hardware’s new features.

Ron Burke

Unless otherwise stated, the product in this article was provided for review purposes.

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