The fast-paced psychedelic rail shooter Rez gained cult-status when it released on the PlayStation 2, although it released a year earlier on the ill-fated Sega Dreamcast. Independent developer Monstars collaborated with members of the original development team, producing the absolute best way to blast waves of enemies and massive bosses in Rez Infinite. Although Rez wasn’t originally designed with virtual reality in mind, there is no denying that the sharp lines of cyberspace seem almost made for VR. Through the power of the PlayStation VR, Rez can finally fulfill its destiny.
A PlayStation 4 exclusive, Rez Infinite may be the showcase PSVR game to share with your friends and family. The five visually unique areas/levels from the original game feel familiar, even though it’s been over ten years since I’ve last played through them. Thanks to the incredibly improved textures, and visual clarity Monstars has breathed new life into this old-school rail shooter. All of the game’s unlocks, and additional game modes have been preserved, but more impressive is the newly developed “Area X” powered by the Unreal 4 engine.
Playing through the game the first time unlocks each of the levels for use in the other modes. The rhythm-based rail shooting gameplay is engaging, and when combined with the hypnotic musical score in each level, you can get lost surviving against waves of enemies. Simply attempting to complete the area is the easiest way to play through the game, which lasts roughly an hour if you don’t die. As you try and target immediate threats and the weak points of larger enemies that move through the environment, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Eventually you’ll collect power-ups to level up your character. As you level up, you’ll change forms, evolving from a pulsating ball of lines to a completely formed figure sitting indian style inside a sphere. Overcharge will automatically clear the screen of enemies for a few seconds, making it highly useful during boss battles. You can target multiple enemies before firing, so you’ll be able to take out groups of enemies at once.
When you are playing for the highest score, you’ll want to ensure you are grouping enemies in order to maximize your points. Simply targeting a single enemy will not be as effective as destroying groups and keeping your combo chain going. Eventually, you’ll learn the formations and patterns for all the enemies types.
The only new content in Rez Infinite is the highly impressive Area X. Instead of lines building basic geometric shapes, it feels like you are floating through an ever changing environment populated with exploding sand. In the original levels, you are contantly moving forward, you are free to fly throughout the 3D space in Area X as you wish. It adds a new dynamic to the traditional Rez formula, as you can stop and move away from enemies or get as close as you want. Now, I played through the game multiple times, but the first time was without the PSVR. It is still an enjoyable game, but playing with the PlayStation VR is undoubtedly a different experience. Playing through Area X with the PSVR is without a doubt one of the finest VR experiences. Combined with the 3D audio coming from the electronic soundtrack, and Rez Infinite is a game that I can play through multiple times without getting tired.
Rez Infinite is a must-have game for anyone with a PSVR, but even if you don’t it is still the best way to experience a beloved classic title. The unique gameplay found in Rez Infinite is enhanced by the incredible art style, which is something that you don’t see in recently released games.
Note: The review for Rez Infinite is based on a digital PlayStation 4 copy of the game, provided by the publisher.