We reported on the announcement of Rez Infinite, a remake of the classic Dreamcast/PS2 title, for the PS4 back in December. It was revealed that it’s being remade as a title for the upcoming Playstation VR system. The game and VR system are currently being demoed at a media art exhibition in Tokyo (Media Ambition Tokyo), so I went along to try it out.
This was my first chance to try out the Playstation VR system and the first time I’ve played Rez in many years, but as expected, the ‘Tron’-like game world is a perfect fit with the VR experience. I felt like Rez’s abstract visuals help with the immersion, making it easier for me to ‘dive in’ and take things as they come, not worrying about realism or graphical fidelity.
The gameplay is pretty much the same as it ever was, but the added freedom of movement allows for quick looks over your shoulder to pick off any lingering enemies or ‘missed’ powerups. I suppose making more use of the second analogue stick could replicate much of the gameplay improvements, but it is probably more fun with the VR.
In addition to the Playstation VR unit, this event also features the ‘Synesthesia Suit’, developed by the game’s creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi, for players to wear. I’m sure many readers will remember the existence of the ‘Rez Trance Vibrator’ back when the game was originally released.
The Synesthesia Suit is a clear evolution of that idea, moving from one vibrating unit to a bodysuit made up of 26.The core idea is still just about ‘feeling’ the music and the action rather than just seeing/hearing it, but now that feeling can wash over your entire body, not just one spot.
During gameplay, the different units vibrate in time with the action (e.g. some vibrate in-time with the underlying beat, whilst others go off with your shots, etc). When you shoot the cube eight times to upgrade levels, the vibration swells from your feet up through your arms and chest. As a longtime fan of the game, it gave me goosebumps.
The light-up suit, same as the one that was used during the announcement event last year, is also on display at the event. It can’t be worn but it is linked up to the game, with the lights coming on and off depending on what’s happening in the game.
The demonstration area also has these eight cubes/seats which light-up and vibrate along with the game’s action, meaning even spectators can get involved.
Readers who are in, or will be in, Tokyo between now March 21st, might want to head to the 52nd floor of Roppongi Hills to try it out. Though the game and the VR system will be available eventually, opportunities to try it out with the suit will probably be limited. Access to the MAT event is ‘free’ with entrance to Tokyo City View (1,500JPY pre-sales, 1,800JPY on-the-door). The Rez demonstrations start at 6pm each day and operate on a in-person reservation basis.
The release date of the game itself has not yet been announced. The suit itself will not go on sale. Mizuguchi has said it would be way too expensive for commercial production, but some kind of enhanced trance vibrator may be on the way.