Resident Evil 4 vs Resident Evil 4 VR

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Resident Evil 4 is a classic zombie apocalypse thriller game from 2005. While players back then could only experience it on the erstwhile second-generation consoles, the game gained a lot of traction since it was one of the best horror titles on home consoles such as the GameCube and PlayStation 2. However, the retro status of the game has led to it making a resurgence in the gaming industry as a virtual reality title. If you’re an enthusiast for classics like myself, you’re likely wondering what the differences are when comparing Resident Evil 4 vs. Resident Evil 4 VR.

In this article, I will discuss the key differences between the two titles and the things you want to keep in mind when you buy the new VR variant of the game. If you’ve played the old version, getting through the game shouldn’t be too much of a hassle, but sometimes it can feel like a whole new game. I’m here to help clear up the confusion, list out the caveats, and make this a thrilling VR experience for you.

Bottom Line Up Front

The two games aren’t particularly different as far as the plot and the main storyline are concerned. However, there is a change in perspective and a change in gameplay to quite some extent.

Gone are the days of the old GameCube controllers or DualShock 2s, and we’ve arrived at the age of the Touch Controller. However, this does not mean that the game fails to capture the nostalgic rushes you got from playing the first title all those years ago. You still play the same character, and the story is easy to move through.

Moreover, there is no removal of any elements from the original game. The story is almost an exact replica of the one from the original game, which means that you’ll be experiencing the complete tale and not a take-down version of the game that was made for the home consoles.

Now, the game is a remaster of an old game that isn’t made for a new console but for an entirely new technology altogether. It’s not perfect by any means. Cut scenes are still two-dimensional displays on your headset, and that means the entirety of the game isn’t as immersive as the gameplay. However, it’s much better than playing the original in this day and age because you’ll have the added thrill of experiencing a more immersive technology now than home consoles were back in 2005 when the game was originally released.

Key Difference Between the Two

  • The controls between the two games are different. The original game was a third-person shooter where players looked over the shoulder of the protagonist during the gameplay. The newer VR variant is a first-person shooter since the game is essentially a shooting game. A VR remaster means that it almost certainly has to move to a first-person perspective to offer the level of immersion expected from VR shooting games.
  • The dialogue in Resident Evil VR is modified in order to be more up-to-date with the times. Some of the suggestive dialogue has been cut to keep the newer VR version more in tune with the intricacies of time. The dialogue is different to make the game more accessible and more friendly to wider audiences.
  • The controls of the game have had to be modified for obvious reasons. The old DualShock and GameCube control schemes would not fly with VR users here. The controls have been modified to accommodate the first-person perspective. Movement controls have been updated. This includes the newly added ability to move laterally in the game, where previously you could at best turn while moving forward, making strafe shooting a much harder job.
  • The inventory of the players has been changed and now depends on the movement in the game and on the controller input, rather than the Tetris puzzle inventory box that you would otherwise have been forced to navigate through.
  • However, there is an option to disable the newly added controls and features for the true traditionalists. Users will always have the option to revert to the old way of playing the game with the same mechanics as the original Resident Evil 4 VR.

Resident Evil 4 vs. Resident Evil 4 VR

Story Mode Dialogue

Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4 vs Resident Evil 4 VR

The game story in Resident is largely the same as the original game. Some of the suggestive dialogue in the original game where characters were – let’s say- rude to other characters, particularly passing lewd comments towards female characters, have all been removed, replaced, or omitted. The first instance of this is Ingrid speaking to Leon, where he makes a comment about her being younger than he thought.

He also later makes a comment about her feeling lonely when she says she’s worried about him after the first mission.

There’s a stage in the game where Luis Sera makes a lewd comment about the figure of the President’s daughter.

There’s a cutscene in the original game where Leon is taking a jet ski to the Island to Ashley’s place, and she suggests they do some “overtime” once they’re back. However, he declines. In the new game, the entire sequence of these dialogues is cut, and the cutscene is shortened to Leon’s explanation of who the woman was.

The VR game doesn’t just make omissions from the actual game. There are also made after the game is completed. The most prominent of these is depicted through changes made to the post-credits cutscene at the end of the Original game. In this scene, Hunnigan contacts Leon to get confirmation of the mission being completed. He then flirts a little with her since she’s not wearing glasses and tries to ask her out. However, the VR version of the game omits this post-credits scene in its entirety.

Further, in the original game, Leon comes across a corps impaled to the wall with an ax in one of the initial missions. The corpse can be seen to be one of a female NPC. A note attached to the corpse in the original reads, “Guess there’s no sex discrimination here. Better find ger fast!” However, in the VR version of the game, the note reads, “I guess no one’s safe here. Better find her fast!”

Resident Evil VR

The new VR game removes the first three of the aforementioned dialogues outrightly from the story since they are considered suggestive dialogue. These removals also include the removal of the dialogue from Mr. Sera. This comes as a welcome change since the President’s daughter is a university student and Mr. Sera is a much older man with terrible tendencies.

Now, all of these changes (in my opinion, improvements) can be attributed to changing times and reducing the exposure of young players to casual sexism and harassment. These things got easily overlooked in the early 2000s when media companies would not think twice before making these additions to appease a less than sensitive male-dominated audience. However, in today’s day and age, VR is a very diversely used technology and more so since the addition of such playable classics. The variety of users is also much more diverse, meaning younger users that are impressionable and a sizable chunk of female users. This means that companies would do well to keep sentiments, sensitivities, and the tone of the time in mind when creating a game. I know that this opinion will get me a fair amount of hate from traditionalists and cult fans of the game, but in my head, this seems like a necessary change, and I’m happy the studio took some time to consider the questionable dialogue and to make changes to it.


Resident Evil 4

Now, that’s the story covered; let’s move on to combat controls and movement controls.

In the initial games, Leon could not shoot as he moved. He did not have the ability in the original game to attack and be in movement simultaneously, which meant that there were a lot of instances where cover and dynamic gameplay were an issue. The protagonist could only move in the original game while he wasn’t actively firing. This meant finding cover, relocating, and strafing could not be done if you wished to fire your weapon.

Resident Evil VR

The most major change that’s made it to the VR version of the game is the newfound ability of Leon to move as he shoots his weapon. However, the new VR game remedies this by allowing Leon to move side to side as well as back to front while firing his weapon. This gives the game a more FPS-type feel, making it feel closer to classic shooters like Call of Duty.


Resident Evil 4

The original games had a traditional style of firing gameplay. This meant that you would have to fire where your cursor took aim. This is how a vast majority of shooting games are designed. The crosshair determines the destination of every bullet that you fire.

Resident Evil VR

The VR controls also mean that you can use the touch controllers to blind fire. This means you can take cover behind a wall and turn your hand inward inside the wall to get some shots off. That makes the game much more enjoyable. This isn’t an option that is ever implemented well in shooters that you can play on the PC or on gamepads. However, with VR controllers, it’s easy to implement the motion of turning your hand to get blond shots off inside an area that is covered.


Resident Evil 4

The original game did not have gimmicks or fun features for the players to interact with when they were not actively exploring or progressing the story. There was no scope for free play, and the players were restricted by the story mode requirements of the game.

Resident Evil VR

A cool feature now is that the game allows players to have fun in the more empty parts of the game map. Players can throw their weapons upwards and catch them. Remember that one guy who’s always tripping in the Counter-Strike: Go lobby and hurling that DEagle up and catching it for no reason? Yeah. You can be that guy in Resident Evil 4 VR. You can even criss-cross throws and switch hands for double-wielded weapons like handguns and knives. While this feature does very little actually to add to the gameplay, it allows users to experience a cool VR feature that’s exclusively enjoyable with touch controllers.


Resident Evil 4

The original games had an inventory box that used a Tetris-like system that allowed users to use the grid slots in the box to fill it up with inventory items. However, this complex inventory system meant that users could not switch weapons with ease in the last game. It wasn’t like the convenient dial-type inventory of GTA that allows you to change weapons in active combat. The system was convenient and very concrete in terms of storage. However, it wasn’t the best for in-game immersion and changing equipment while actively in combat in the game.

Resident Evil VR

One of the coolest features that make the game more immersive is the new inventory access. To access the weapons, you can make movements with the VR controllers to access different types of weapons. For example, the protagonist gets a knife out to protect himself if you slide your hand. Similarly, reaching behind your back will allow Leon to get his shotgun out for landing bigger blows. This makes inventory access much faster than navigating the case every time you need something new. Further, this makes the game more immersive since you don’t need to halt actual gameplay to get a different weapon out. It allows you to truly experience combat uninterrupted while also getting acquainted with the protagonist and how he stores his weapons and uses them. This is one of my favorite features in the game.

Quick Time Events

Resident Evil 4

Quick-time events in the original game would be based on the environment and the type of fight you were engaged in. These would involve inputting a series of controls in to get out of the quick-time event successfully. This meant a type of play very similar to the early God of War games. For example, you’d have to mash a button to evade a boulder in the original game.

Resident Evil VR

Quick time events in the new game come with a slow-motion semi-cut scene which then notifies you that you have a quick time event occurring. You can then react to the quick time event by moving the touch controllers in a way that is required to get out of the event. For example, if a boulder is hurtling towards you, you can wave your controllers as if you’re in a running motion in order to make Leon run faster and avoid the boulder.

Boss Fights

Resident Evil 4

The original game had a different way of going about some of the fight scenes with boss monsters in the story mode. When faced with the De Lago monster in the lake, players would throw a hook into the monster’s back to attach their boat to it. Similarly, for the El Gigante monster, the player would have to mash a button to damage the plaga growth growing from the monster.

Resident Evil VR

Some of the boss fights have been updated with respect to how users interact with creatures. For example, the De Lago monster in the lake needs to be harpooned with a newly added harpoon gun rather than the old method where the player would throw hooks into the monster. This makes it particularly more thrilling as an FPS experience as it’s yet another usable weapon in the game. Similarly, for the El Gigante monster, the player no longer has to do a God of War-esque button-mashing action after climbing and trying to damage the monster. Players can now use their knife to slash at the growth emerging out of the monster.

Game Modes

Resident Evil 4

While the above-mentioned aspects of the game have seen improvements and seen the classic make some strides in terms of gameplay, content, and controls, all of the modes from the game have not been subject to the same treatment. The original game had game modes such as the unlockable mercenaries minigames. This allowed you to participate in minigames which would then help you unlock things such as weapons and collectibles.

The original game also included a Hand Cannon gun that was unlockable through the above-mentioned minigame challenges.

Other game modes like Assignment Ader and Separate Ways were also included as shorter stories, playable for the completion of specific reasons like investigation and short stories.

Resident Evil VR

In this regard, the most prominent loss is the omission of the other game modes from the game. In the VR version, you can only play the core story mode, which means that the unlockable mercenaries minigames and the other game modes playable from the 2005 version have not made the cut into the final version of the updated VR title.

This also means that the unlockables from the original game that was obtainable through the above-mentioned minigame have also been lost in the present VR version. The most prominent loss here is the Hand Cannon gun which is the very definition of over-powered as far as the Resident Evi 4 game is concerned. This gun has no mention of availability in the VR version of the game.

Game modes like Asiggnment Ader and Separate Ways have also not made it onto the VR version, and it’s a sad loss to see them removed. I believe the issue here is that it was particularly hard for the developers to make the original story for VR, and classic fans of the game would not be expected to refrain from buying merely due to the absence of additional modes. This seems like an executive decision made from the business perspective, where the developers and marketing team were of the opinion that the removal of the game would not cause as many losses as the costs that would be incurred from developing the additional modes for VR.

Additional Game Modes

Resident Evil 4

I’ve already listed the additional game modes from the original game above. Those didn’t make the cut to the newer VR version of the game.

Resident Evil VR

However, there are additions to the VR version of the game, and it isn’t merely the plethora of removals I’ve inadvertently made it out to be in my article. The best feature for me is the shooting range that you can access directly after booting up the game and heading to the menu. After the Salazar’s Castle segment of the game, you can also access the range within the game, allowing you to compete with mercenary scores and try your hand at obtaining unlockables in the game. However, this part cannot be done through the main menu, and users need to be in the game to access the shooting range to obtain unlockables.


Resident Evil 4

The original game had the graphics you’d expect from a game made in 2005. The edges were rough, gameplay graphics were low rendering, and the textures for elements that users wouldn’t interact with weren’t very sharp or realistic.

Resident Evil VR

The game has naturally seen a visual improvement. Considering the fact that the game is going to be physically much closer to the user, the developers have made sure that the graphics get an upgrade worthy of a proper remaster. This means that the image is sharper, naturally. However, it also means that the elements within the game stand out more since textures and detail in the environment have seen massive improvements made to them. Apart from this, elements that users can interact with have also seen great change in detail, contrast, and textures, allowing them to stand out more.

The minor changes to gameplay also include a change in how you interact with elements in the game that players can handle through Leon. These need to be controlled via the touch controllers, making simple tasks such as turning keys in locks much more thrilling and allowing you to feel a little immersed even when there are the rare slow moments in the game. This also includes fewer text-based puzzles and allows the VR to enhance its full capacity by allowing users to aim at and press buttons or control elements with Leon’s hands.

That’s the gist of most of the updates to the game in the updated VR version of the game. Now, I believe it’s been a while since I played the game, so I may not have covered the extreme nitty-gritty of the changes to the environment in specific stages or one particular element that may have seen a modification. However, I believe the above-mentioned changes cover everything you’d need to know as a caveat going into the game and if you plan to purchase it.

Which is Better?

Winner: Resident Evil VR

In my opinion, this answer is very subjective.

Traditionalists will always stand by the original game, claiming the nostalgic value, the more ‘rugged’ look and feel of the game, as well as the crude dialogue add to the likeability of the game and make it alluring.

However, I believe that hindsight will always benefit game developers and this VR remaster is no exception. If you consider the newer aspects of the VR games, particularly the changes made to gameplay and mechanics in order to make the game more immersive to VR users, I don’t think there’s any contest. I’ve made it clear that I’m also a big fan of the dialogue cuts.

The new textures and the improved graphics also make the new game much better in my opinion, and far more in tune with the time.

Because o the above reasons, largely being improvements made in the new VR games, there is no doubt in my mind that Resident Evil VR is better than Resident Evil 4.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: Is the Story Mode in the Old Version and the VR Version of Resident Evil 4 Identical?

Answer: No. The story mode is largely the same, and the plot that it covers moves in an almost identical manner. However, some of the more suggestive and insensitive dialogue from the original game has been cut or replaced in the VR version to keep with the times and also to appease the more diverse and sensitized audiences that now consume VR media. It also ensures that younger audiences are not subject to suggestive dialogue.

Question: Is the Inventory System in the New VR Version of the Resident Evil 4 Game as Slow as the Old One?

Answer: Yes and No. The inventory is designed to accommodate items the exact same way as the old games. This means that the game has the same inventory grid and placement system. However, the VR version of the game allows you to access inventory while in gameplay, as well as during combat, by allowing you to take weapons out through particular gestures. This makes the new version more thrilling as well as far more action-packed and immersive than the original.

Question: What Platforms are the Resident Evil 4 VR Version Available on?

Answer: Presently, the VR version of Resident Evil 4 is available only on the Oculus Quest 2. You can’t play it on other VR headsets, including the original Oculus Quest.


The original Resident Evil 4 game was released in 2005 as an action-packed zombie thriller. The game had excellent characters with great depth and a gripping story arc.

The game recently saw a resurgence as a VR title, meaning that it saw a complete remaster for the Oculus Quest 2. The game has accolades, such as being the Best VR/AR game at The Game Awards 2021. It’s fuelled by the same story that users play in the first person instead of the third person. Naturally, the hands of the protagonist are controlled by the touch controllers.

Moreover, the story of the game has remained almost identical, apart from the suggestive dialogues being replaced or removed. The game has also seen improvements to movement and combat controls, inventory access, and the interaction with elements and puzzles in the game.

The developers have also seen to it that boss fights and the way the user interacts with the improved textures and visuals of the VR environment are both improved and more immersive.

All in all, I believe the VR version of the game is thrilling and more immersive than the original, to say the least. While some game modes have been cut, the thrill of gaming in the first person within VR is excellent, and the story-driven experience beats the original since there are improvements to almost every aspect of the story mode.

This is a great purchase, and if you’re an Oculus Quest 2 user, it’s one of the best story-driven action games you can buy. It’s thrilling, immersive, action-packed, and very well designed.

I hope this article helps shed some light on the differences between the two games.

Happy hunting!

Continue reading: 

Best Zombie VR Games

Games that Need VR

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