You don’t have to play the newly announced Rez Infinite in VR. If you do, though, it’s certainly... something.
The Rez Infinite synesthesia body suit is something of an experiment. Debuted during the PSX keynote, it’s a series of vibrators that rumble in reaction to what’s happening in the latest iteration of Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s beloved rhythm action game. So, to answer your first burning question: no, it’s not a weird sex thing. It could be used for that, I guess, but that part’s on you.
Playing Rez in VR without the suit? So far, not all that different from playing Rez normally. The sense of there-ness is cool, and it’s nice to be able to just look at enemies instead of targeting them with the analog stick, but otherwise it’s, well, Rez. You soar, you hold X to lock onto enemies, and you shoot. It’s simple. It’s musical. It’s great. But if you’re not sold on the concept of VR yet, well, this probably won’t change that.
The suit, meanwhile, does not change the way Rez plays, but goodness gracious do you ever feel it. Also, you look like a jackass.
I asked the person filming to do a horizontal shot. For some reason that did not happen. Oh well.
When I targeted four enemies, I felt a buzzing, tingling sensation ripple across my arms and torso. In more frantic moments, bass was pulsing in my legs while my shots sent melody and rhythm through my arms. It felt like being on a buzzing dance floor, except the feeling was surgically targeted and my eardrums weren’t exploding.
Taking on a boss was especially interesting, given that it really enjoyed going behind me. On a few occasions, I turned to face it. Then it started stomping on me. The whole encounter was so frantic that I nearly forgot I was even wearing the suit. Executive director Mark MacDonald told me that one person had used a chair to help them plant their hand and breakdance pivot toward the boss, while another started dancing mid-fight.
I find potential applications of this technology in other types of games even more exciting. Imagine a shooter where you get a small buzz depending on where you get shot. Or you walk into a storm in an adventure game, and you feel pitter-patter rumbles all over your body. I don’t want to suit up every time I play games, but having the option would be neat.
Now, the Rez suit is not currently set for release. Mizuguchi and co consider this showing a test; if people enjoy it, they might release pieces of the suit or something smaller and, er, less ridiculous with the goal of still conveying a sense of feeling in the game. Which is cool. I hope they do that.
Rez Infinite will, however, launch with VR (optional) compatibility for sure. Also, it’s more Rez. As Evan will attest, that is certainly not a bad thing.