Heavily anticipated after an 8 year absence, the latest incarnation of Rez has been brought to PlayStation 4 with the boosted capability of virtual reality. With an eclectic soundtrack and stunning visuals, the original Rez became a cult-hit with many gamers. And with recent events, the floodgates have been opened to new and exciting hardware that is pushing the interactive medium of video games with the PSVR. Rez: Infinite is an abundance with seemingly so little, and it showcases the promising factors of virtual reality with Sony’s newest hardware.
Rez: Infinite has 6 areas, one of which is exclusive to Infinite. In each area drifted from the original game, you follow a sequence of events similar to an on-rails-shooter. This usually leads to a satisfactory boss that introduces the potential of how scale can be translated in PSVR. The game starts you off with the the original 5 areas in sequential order before jumping into the exclusive level that is titled “Area X,” as it isn’t accessible until clearing the original Rez.
The original Rez areas are jaw-dropping with VR functionality. The polygonal art style is gorgeous with the enhanced textures. The last time I played Rez was on the PS2, and in no way did this feel like a port of that game. I felt new, different, and stronger emotions than the ones I had felt the first time that I had played Rez scrunched upon a CRT television.
Being surrounded by the world birthed in the mind of its creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi was exactly as eclectic as initially described to me. When I had spoke to him a few months ago, he had claimed that Rez: Infinite would be how he had always imagined the game would be without any limitations. Rez: Infinite emits enhanced creativity, polish, and feeling without missing a single beat of the sound-synchronized gameplay first introduced in 2001.
It took me around an hour to finish the first 5 areas of Rez. It’s short but it’s a massively replayable experience considering score-attacks and bonus modes (longevity is also subsidized with the inclusion of a really solid and fair trophy list). Being such a short experience, the focus lies within quality over quantity. There’s enough merit to balance an otherwise minimal experience. The inclusion of Rez’s original 5 levels are a proof of concept that show games that are almost 10 years old, can still feel fresh and exciting with even the slightest eagerness from developers.There’s a glimpse of where gaming is headed with Rez: Infinite’s “Area X,” and after playing it I hope that I live in the reality where technology and creators evolve alongside this PSVR hardware like Mizuguchi has. Rez: Infinite’s “Area X” is an expansion of the original Rez’s formula. The gameplay is mixed up and rather than being on-rails, I had full control over my character. My body felt as if there was a sensory overload as full control attributed to the VR applications even more than the original game. If the original Rez in VR was crawling for the first time, then Rez: Infinite’s “Area X” is like running at full sprint.
There’s a concept known as “synthesia.” Essentially it’s an interpretation for why sometimes our bodies feel strong emotions when attributing music and colors to other senses and even emotions. In place of simple and clean polygons, each character model was completely made of particles that exploded in a 3D space and engulfed me as they felt as if they were covering my entire body. The music was pulsating through my headset as I took in beautiful digital vistas. Sometimes the soundtrack was serene, it made me feel emotions that coupled with how impossible I felt the hardware was rendering in front of me. I felt synthesia from the moment I started “Area X,” and the second that I took off the headset and laid back in my couch it took powerful self-control for me to not start sobbing.Please, for the love of everything holy put your money towards making more experiences such as these. What Tetsuya Mizuguchi and his team over at Enhance games has concocted with Rez: Infinite is not only the best way to play Rez, not only the best PSVR game, but is single-handedly the most emotional interactive experience I have had to date.