Capcom's recent remake and virtual reality port Resident Evil 4 VR has been met with praise from fans of the original 2005 game. While some questioned the relevance of remaking a game that's over 15 years old, other players and fans of Capcom's previous VR version of another game in the franchise, Resident Evil 7, were keen to experience the survival horror shooter through the immediacy of a headset.
Resident Evil 4 VR is not just a straightforward remake. Capcom faced some criticism and controversy before the game's release when it was rumored that it would be cutting some content from one of its most popular Resident Evil games, in addition to making the shift from a 3rd person perspective. While some of the content cut had little to no impact on the larger game, the omission of other elements such as Mercenaries Mode, Separate Ways, and Assignment Ada at the time of the game's release was felt more keenly by fans.
Lost In Translation
While some fans were hoping for a ground-up remake similar to Capcom's treatment of Resident Evil 2, they will have to be satisfied with a remaster and translation to VR for the time being. Although large amounts of the game remain the same, there were still some changes in the newest port from the original fourth installment in the popular franchise. Once the game was released in 2021, players were able to see that most of the changes were simply cuts of slightly sexist and outdated dialogue and actions, particularly with regards to the characters of Ingrid and Ashley.
The main change was a welcome one, with perspective shifting from 3rd person to 1st during gameplay (other than some key instances, like when Leon delivers a knockdown move to an enemy). Putting players directly in the action through a 1st person VR perspective is always a popular mechanic for horror games, even if this proves just a little too much for some gamers. The change that left a lot of fans of the franchise disappointed was the decision to not include Mercenaries Mode, Separate Ways, or Assignment Ada. That was until Oculus confirmed that Mercenaries Mode will be added to Resident Evil 4 VR in a free update coming in 2022 – welcome news to gamers that enjoyed the popular mode and its various characters that saw them mowing down as many enemies as they could within a time limit.
Ada Missions Still MIA
With the announcement that the previously cut Mercenaries Mode will be making a reappearance, it's possible that Ada Wong's storyline Separate Ways and minigame Assignment Ada may also have a place in Resident Evil 4 VR. Separate Ways, a story expansion in the original game that was made available to players after they completed the campaign, followed the exploits of enigmatic spy Ada concurrent to the game's main narrative. Assignment Ada also follows Ada but is a non-canon extra mode that was a little lighter on plot. Players controlled Ada as she collected Plaga samples and reported back to Wesker, providing a fun and challenging quick extra along with the other content.
The addition of the Ada-centric add ons would certainly be a plus for the overall Resident Evil 4 VR experience. Enabling gamers to play through these levels in immersive and palpitation-inducing VR would be an improvement to the original versions, and would add more content to the game for players to enjoy. Providing an additional story mode like Separate Ways would flesh out the narrative for players that may only be experiencing Resident Evil 4 for the first time in its VR iteration, and would provide a nice counterbalance to the more Leon-focused main campaign.
Resident Evil 4 VR is out now, exclusively for Oculus Quest 2.
Resident Evil 4 VR succeeds in making a 16-year-old gaming experience feel completely brand new and delivers Oculus Quest 2 its first killer app.