There aren’t many console games that PC players should covet. But among the ever-dwindling list of games we eye up enviously was Rez, one of most potent arguments for putting up with low clockspeeds and a basic GPU. We say “was” because now, nearly 16 years after the original made waves on Sega’s ill-fated Dreamcast, the game is finally heading to PCs.
Rez Infinite is incredible, but there are other VR games worth playing, too. Here’s our list of the best efforts.
Don’t worry, though, we’re not getting a Dreamcast port. The game’s latest iteration, Rez Infinite, is sublime and uniquely moving – its new level, Area X, made us well up when we first played it on PSVR – and it looks astonishing, too. So good is Infinite, in fact, that we’d happily settle for a simple conversion of the PS4 build. But Enhance games founder and Rez creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi intends to go much further.
“Rez is kind of timeless to me; it’s like a life’s work,” Mizuguchi tells us, after discussing his 27 years in the videogame industry during a session at Develop Conference 2017. “I’m really happy I can bring the Rez experience to a new audience. [Each time we] get new technology, we can update the experience to the next level.”
So what does that mean in real money? Well,true4K for a start, at 60 frames per second, of course, unrestricted resolution, and up to double the texture resolution seen in the PS4 Pro version of the game. There will be more control options, including customisable layouts, along with mouse and keyboard support, and Touch and Vive controller configurations. And PC players will be able to access every level and mode in the game without having to unlock it all – which means you can dive straight into the astonishing Area X.
A new viewing mode, meanwhile, allows you to pause the game, move the camera about and take photos – a pleasant way to really take in the visuals of this up-resed Rez.
It all adds up to the definitive version of Rez. Which, of course, the PSVR version was heralded as. And, indeed, Rez HD before that. Still, thisisanother big leap. But why on Earth has it taken so long?
“I don’t know. I don’t know why,” Mizuguchi says. “But our mission is, ‘How can we expand the Rez experience?’ [The original game] was just the beginning, right? We [updated it for] PSVR, and the PC is next. To me, the PC platform is kind of alternative and eternal. Well, noteternal, but you know what I mean. So if we can make a PC version, [the game] can live longer and longer. Many VR headsets are releasing now, too, and PC is the last frontier. The PC version has to be the best quality ever, so this will be the best version of Rez.”
The game’s gradual evolution, from Dreamcast curio to bonafide classic, has seen that original idea benefit from more than 15 years of iterative improvement. Despite this, Mizuguchi is still keen to court the thoughts of PC players to see what else can be tweaked. “This is the first time we’ve created a PC version, so we’re getting a little bit nervous,” he admits. “[PC] users and players are totally different, and I want to adapt Rez Infinite to PC gamers. We want to learn a lot from users’ feedback. We are now learning, but we need to learn more and more.”
Even VR isn’t enough for Mizuguchi. He has already dabbled in other areas with the PS2’s now infamous Trance Vibrator, and a prototype vibrating body suit that he demoed in 2015. So what’s next?
“We have many things we want to create,” he says. “Not only visible things, but invisible things that we have to explore, create and update. Like, how do we connect with the other people in VR? Personally I’m thinking about the future, expanding to not only VR, but AR and MR. VR is just the beginning, I think. Right now, I’m focusing on creating synaesthesia experiences. Then the next step is what kind of technology can we use? What kind of technology do weneed? VR is very strong, but we need more. I don’t know the future, but I’m very excited.”
Rez Infinite is out now for Steam and Windows, and is compatible with Vive and Rift. Interview conducted byJordan Erica Webber.