A New Bar for Graphics & Interactions on Quest 2

Out in two weeks, Red Matter 2 promises to take it up a notch from its already highly regarded predecessor, this time built from the ground up to look its best on Quest 2. We got a taste of the game to see what it looks like before it comes out .

Developer Vertical Robot has boldly claimed that: Red Matter 2 will be the best looking (realistically styled) game on Quest 2, and as we’ve played so far, they seem well on their way to making that happen. in many ways Red Matter 2 running on Quest 2 looks just as good or sometimes better than many smaller PC VR titles, which is no small feat given the platform’s performance limitations.

‘Good graphics’ is a very broad term; it’s not just about the high resolution of the textures or the number of polygons on the screen. It’s a synergy of both technical and artistic efforts that make images look great.

And Red Matter 2 it really does. Not only is the game sharp and full of graphic details such as reflections and lighting, there is also a very well executed artistic direction, with some spaces looking so visually distinctive and with such a great lighting composition that you’d swear the studio hired an architect instead of a game environment artist.

The game has a decidedly retro-futuristic vibe, mixing 1960s sci-fi sensibilities with brutalist architecture, leading to many impressive-looking spaces that would be the perfect villain den from an old international spy thriller.

Image Courtesy of Vertical Robot

But when it comes to VR, it’s never just about looks. For the world to feel immersive, it also needs to be interactive. And this is another place where Red Matter 2 clearly understood the assignment.

Vertical Robot has continued to lean on their ingenious ‘grab’ tools – which they pioneered in the original red fabric—as the basis of interaction in the game. Simply put, in the game you have a multi-tool that looks like looks a lot like the controller you hold in your hands in real life. The tool can switch between grabbing, scanning, hacking and a flashlight. It’s surprising to say, but having ‘grabs’ that look like your controllers feel much more immersive then using virtual ‘hands’ to interact with things in the game.

The reason for the added immersion is twofold: first, because there is a tool between you and the object, you don’t expect to feel the kind of haptics you would feel if you were grabbing the object with your real fingers (thus becoming realism). kept). And second, because you can’t conveniently manipulate virtual objects and aim accurately with you factual fingers, the grippers reflect much more accurately the coarse input limitations of your VR motion controllers. Honestly, it’s amazing that many more VR games don’t use this approach.

With your multi-tool in hand, almost anything that looks like you could work with it can indeed be picked up and played with. And that’s a big plus because, simply put, the core gameplay of red fabric 2 is indeed Interaction.

And if you can not actually picks up something, chances are you can use your scanner tool to scan it for additional information. And aside, Red Matter 2 has arguably the best paper physics I’ve seen in a VR game yet – such small details really add up!

To that end, the studio has done a great job of creating satisfying interactions that are fun to perform. You push buttons, turn knobs and pull levers, all in the service of solving environmental puzzles that guide you through the game and continue the story.

The game is not only puzzling… there’s also some action in it, but I can’t talk about that just yet.

From what I’ve played from Red Matter 2 so far (about a quarter of the game by my estimation), it’s been a very impressive experience that stands out from the rest of Quest 2’s mostly arcade-y library. It feels a lot like a PC VR game that happens to be running on Quest 2. And for Quest 2 players who wanted it lonely echo would have taken the headset, Red Matter 2 feels like the next best thing considering the pace and focus on immersion and interaction.

If I had to give the game a rating of what I’ve played so far, it would be an obvious thumbs up. But the big question is whether the gameplay will stay fresh or stale throughout the game, and whether the story will be an integral part of the experience or just a superficial background to puzzling.

You can read in our full review when: Red Matter 2 launches on Quest 2 and PC VR on August 18.

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