During the Sony conference at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2018, Capcom revealed the the long awaited Resident Evil 2 remake with a stunning trailer that showcased the title off in all of it’s (horrific) glory. What is most interesting though about the reveal was an opening sequence, featuring first-person footage from the perspective of a rat. This, along with the success of Resident Evil 7 Biohazard in virtual reality (VR), could we possibly see a VR experience set within Resident Evil 2?
When Resident Evil 7 Biohazard was announced, it came with a big reveal of the shift to first-person rather than the traditional fixed camera of early entries in the series which later become a third-person view. The move to first-person was done to allow the title to be completely playable from start to end within VR using the PlayStation VR headset. It was an outstanding success with the title selling over five million copies by the end of March, 2018 and (at the time of writing) having been played by 450,000 VR users, as according to the titles global stats website.
This is even more impressive when you bare in mind that 88,000 of those VR players did so within the first 7 days after the title had been released. Following the release of Resident Evil 7 Biohazard, Capcom announced that they would be putting a focus on VR content development as well. It is then a surprise that with the reveal of the remake of Resident Evil 2 that there is no mention of any VR support or experiences.
Going back to the showcase for Resident Evil 2, the opening moments of the rat was a nice way to build up the tension of the trailer and keep viewers guessing until the moment that series favourite Leon S. Kennedy appeared on screen. From here, it is a montage of shots that fill viewers with excitement and terror as the title is shown off within the same engine that powered Resident Evil 7 Biohazard. This is again another element that raises questions as to why Capcom seem to have opted to leave out VR in this new release. We know for a fact that the engine is more than capable of delivering an outstanding and immersive VR experience and yet, nothing.
There are many things that could be playing into this move. Firstly, Resident Evil 2 is a remake, not a new title. Capcom is not trying to do anything overly new or adventurous here. They are limited, to a degree, by the creative vision of the original release and changing to much risks putting a bad taste in the mouths of players. Second, could Capcom have just moved away from VR content development? Sony revealed in late May of this year that the PlayStation VR had performed ‘below exception’ despite the head-mounted display (HMD) surpassing 2 million units sold as of the end of 2017.
Regardless of the reason behind Capcom choosing to leave VR out of Resident Evil 2, the reveal showcase and the success of Resident Evil 7 Biohazard shows that it can be done and would look amazing. With the classic title being brought to current generation hardware with stunning visual fidelity, it is a shame that players will not be able to experience this in VR. Of course, there is still hope that a standalone experience within the title could be revealed in the coming weeks or months.
No matter the outcome of VR within Resident Evil 2, VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest from Capcom and their VR offerings in the future, so stay tuned for more on those and E3 2018. You can see the reveal showcase below including the opening first-person moments.