Hands-on with four PlayStation VR2 titles

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Hands-on with four PlayStation VR2 titles

We had a chance to pick up the PS VR2 Sense controllers and play immersive games set in the worlds of Resident Evil, The Walking Dead, Star Wars, and Horizon.

We kicked off 2022 revealing the design of the PlayStation VR2, complete with its sleek headset and innovative PS VR2 Sense controllers. Following that, we shared more details on the user experience of PS VR2, like the illuminating see-through view and the customizable play area. 

A stylish design and new features are excellent, but playing is believing when it comes to VR, and our team at PlayStation was pumped to have the opportunity to go hands on with upcoming PS VR2 titles. Read on to discover our experiences playing games from Guerrilla, Capcom, Skydance Interactive, and ILMxLAB.

Horizon Call of the Mountain

There’s a feeling of awe I remember having in my first playthrough of Horizon Zero Dawn when Aloy first looks out atop a roaming Tallneck to reveal both a new portion of the map and a majestic, ever-reaching view. That sense of scale takes on a whole new meaning the first time I craned my neck up to watch a Tallneck tower and stomp through my path in Horizon Call of the Mountain. From the moment I slipped on the PlayStation VR2 headset and set off into lands that felt so familiar, I realized I had never really experienced the vast beauty and mounting dangers of Horizon’s environments quite like this. 

My hands-on demo brought me into the first person perspective of Ryas, a captive and disgraced Shadow Carja soldier that soon gets thrust into the wilds to fend for himself. Encountering machines in full realistic scale through his eyes was a constant thrill. You simply don’t realize how big a Snapmaw really is until one is chomping away at your canoe! Haptic feedback in the PS VR2 Sense controllers made the weight of each moving machine feel so real, and had me gasping when a herd of Grazers moved past me. 

Things really fell into place once I started scrambling up cliff sides and got my hands on a bow and arrow. Drawing my bow and letting arrows fly in combat with a Watcher made me feel the power I’ve come to love from the Horizon series. Hand motions and aim feel so accurate and real to life with the PS VR2 Sense controllers, from the precision placement of my hands scaling an encampment tower to the tension in my bow when I let an arrow loose. The world never feels interrupted, with my health bar appearing as decorative scales on my right hand glove rather than taking up space in a HUD. Horizon Call of the Mountain transported me in a way that made my heart race, and has me aching to hop back in.

– Kristen Zitani

Resident Evil Village

Capcom invited me back to Castle Dimitrescu for an even more immersive survival horror experience with a bespoke PlayStation VR2 hands-on demo. The gothic world of Resident Evil Village pops thanks to the OLED, 4K PS VR2 displays, accentuating the details of carved gargoyles and ornately painted vases. Before Village, I spent lots of time in RE7’s intense PS VR mode, and playing this sequel in PS VR2 feels like a natural evolution of that experience. The dev wizards at Capcom appear to have cracked the code thanks to PS VR2’s high refresh rate and vivid visuals, as I felt comfortably immersed within the eerie castle walls.

Village’s first-person gameplay was already a thrilling experience on PS5, and PS VR2 offers an even deeper experience. I was delighted to discover that the trusty knife – often a last resort option – can be flicked at enemies from afar. Dual wielding the pistol and knife also ups the feeling of becoming a heroic survivor, and I can’t wait to tinker with more akimbo options.

Later in the demo, the daughters of the notorious Lady Dimitrescu attack and kidnap you. The haptics within the PS VR2 headset subtly rumble, simulating the experience of being roughly dragged to their mother’s quarters. As Lady Dimitrescu stands, the immersive nature of PS VR2 makes her towering stature all the more imposing. If being chased by her was intimidating before, it’s going to get even more harrowing in PS VR2, and I can’t wait.

– Tim Turi

The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution

The characters of The Walking Dead universe get by thanks to their resourcefulness and quick reflexes. I was delighted to discover the same skills are rewarded when playing Skydance Interactive’s upcoming PS VR2 sequel. The survival FPS pulled me into its dangerous world by digitally strapping guns, melee weapons, and a backpack to different parts of my in-game body. Reaching over my left shoulder to pull off my pack and rummage for health supplies in real-time as walkers close in is a pulse-pounding experience.

Combat encounters with walkers are deliberate and tense. I was impressed by the accurate tracking of the PS VR2 Sense controllers as I handled a fire axe, trying to find the best hand position to execute a meaty swing at a walker’s head. Accuracy counts in combat, too. I encountered walkers wearing bits of armor, requiring some surgical precision with a katana to target vulnerable spots. 

The ranged arsenal is just as fun to wield, including revolvers, SMGs, assault rifles, shotguns, bows, and more. Skydance’s attention to detail and player expression transforms routine game mechanics like reloading; I felt like an action-movie hero when I flicked my double-barrel closed with one quick motion. Juggling your arsenal in real-time while managing incoming walker swarms feels appropriately badass, and has me excited to dive into the full survival adventure.

– Tim Turi

Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge – Enhanced Edition

After nearly 40 years of gaming, it’s easy for me to feel overconfident in a virtual firefight. Decades of muscle memory make reaching for the right weapon a simple task in just about any adventure. But when I leapt into my first encounter with the Guavian Death Gang on Batuu, PS VR2 headset firmly attached, I found myself literally reaching for the right weapon, flustered and hectic as I glanced across all my pockets, pouches, straps, and holsters for the right weapons as immersive sound and haptics further pulled me into the experience.

Naturally, I mean this in an exhilarating, positive way! The sense of “oh crap I’m surrounded” is totally different when your actual body needs to coordinate movements and inventory management. This created a wonderful rush as I ducked for cover, scavenged leftover blasters from fallen enemies, and pushed past the gang in search of my lost cargo. Furthermore, moments like manually reloading blasters and using the accuracy of the PS VR2 Sense controllers to manipulate tiny buttons on my wrists were intuitive and satisfying. As with any new controller or experience, there’s a lot to take in initially. It all quickly felt like second nature, however, and left me excited to see where else these tales would take me.

This early Batuu mission is just one scenario among many, as the game spans different eras and disciplines. In this adventure I was a droid repair technician in search of cargo, while other stories cast the player as a Jedi or even IG-88. Some tales will involve encounters with iconic characters like R2D2, C-3PO and Yoda (voiced by Anthony Daniels and Frank Oz, respectively), while the central cantina and cast of characters help build upon the experience in the actual Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge park in Disneyland. Talk about virtual reality!

– Brett Elston

Dive into a gallery of screenshots from this collection of PlayStation VR2 games below:

Horizon Call of the Mountain

Resident Evil Village

The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution

Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge – Enhanced Edition

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