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How Does Resident Evil 4 VR Differ From The Original?

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Gamers have a new way to experience the classic Gamecube horror title "Resident Evil 4," which has been remastered to function as an Oculus Quest 2 VR experience. While a short trailer for the adaptation showed some remarkably recognizable gameplay, early reviews have indicated that there will be some noticeable modifications to the game.

"Resident Evil 4" was first released in 2005 and saw players once again step into the boots of Leon Kennedy, an agent tasked with rescuing the president's daughter, Ashley Graham, who has been abducted by a sinister cult. Upon its release, the title was celebrated for its fresh approach to the survival horror genre and its innovative use of the third-person perspective. As Venture Beat observed, "Resident Evil 4" "reinvented the third-person shooter," and its over-the-shoulder viewpoint would soon be seen in some of the most important games of the 2000s, such as "Gears of War" and "Mass Effect."

Translating "Resident Evil 4" to a VR setting required moving the game into the first-person, which will be a significant shift for players to adjust to. However, the developers have made adjustments to other aspects of the game, ranging from visual improvements to modified dialogue. Here is how "Resident Evil 4 VR" is different from the original.

Resident Evil 4 includes modified controls to accommodate VR

While critics have generally reacted favorably to "Resident Evil 4 VR," it is worth noting that the new format has necessitated specific changes. The most obvious of these is the game's new first-person viewpoint, which alters the player's perspective for some key moments, but does allow for a new appreciation of Leon's signature fingerless gloves.

Upload VR documented some of these changes in their glowing review of the game and noted that "the content of the game might be the same, but actually playing it is a fundamentally different experience." For instance, managing the player's equipped items has been modified by making weapon changes movement-based instead of requiring navigation through the original game's sometimes clunky inventory screen.

However, perhaps more significantly, "Resident Evil 4 VR" has added functionality that was absent in the original, such as the ability to move in a sideways motion instead of only allowing Leon to move forward or backward depending on the current camera angle. Upload VR explained that many of these changes feel natural for the VR setting, but it does have the effect of making "Resident Evil 4" feel "fundamentally easier than it ever has."

While these changes may help the game adapt to a first-person virtual reality perspective, dedicated "Resident Evil 4" fans may find them off-putting. If that is the case, Upload VR noted that there is an option to disable them.

Popular Resident Evil 4 game modes have been removed from the VR edition

While some of the alterations to the control scheme of "Resident Evil 4 VR" can be seen as adding functionality, other changes have removed parts of the game that veteran players may have been expecting. IGN reported that the Oculus Quest 2 adaptation of "Resident Evil 4" arrives without some of the additional game modes included in the original.

These missing modes include Separate Ways, The Mercenaries, and Assignment: Ada. The Mercenaries, unlocked initially by completing the game's primary storyline, turned the deliberate survival horror title into a points-based shooter. In Assignment: Ada, which IGN notes is a non-canon part of the "Resident Evil" story, gamers had a chance to play as Ada Wong while collecting plaga samples for analysis.

Separate Ways was not a part of the original "Resident Evil 4" but was added to the game when it was first ported from the GameCube onto the PlayStation 2. This mode also focused on Ada Wong and allowed the player to navigate through the entire single-player campaign while controlling the enigmatic spy.

Resident Evil 4 VR alters some questionable dialogue and scenes

As reported by Bounding Into Comics, "Resident Evil 4 VR" has cut certain scenes that might be deemed offensive. These include lines of dialogue that reference parts of the character Ashley Graham's body, some interactions between Leon and his contact at F.O.S., Ingrid Hannigan, and some suggestive animations.

A statement provided to IGN by a Facebook spokesperson read that the changes to the dialogue and select animations were made to "update 'Resident Evil 4' for a modern audience." While some fans have found these changes to be upsetting, IGN saw them to be within the acceptable bounds of good taste, writing "Ogling Ashley isn't really a core part of the 'Resident Evil 4' experience so it's hard to say that this substantially changes the game."

The changes to the in-game dialogue between Leon and Ingrid are also subtle and likely only noticeable upon close comparison. In general, some of the more overt advances Leon makes are covered by static, and The Verge noted in their positive review of the game that "the developers have removed a few (honestly cringeworthy and missable) lines from the cutscenes."