Review of Red Matter 2 VR Rating *****
It was complete serendipity that the very first VR game I ever played was Half-Life Alyx. I was so blown away by that experience that I find myself comparing every VR game that I have played since then to that first VR experience. I have to say that Red Matter 2 is the closest that I have come to the awe that I felt the first time I put on a VR headset and entered the world of City 17. And they managed to pull it off with a staff a fraction of the size of the team behind Half-Life Alyx.
Having played and reviewed the first Red Matter, I was hoping for a few improvements from the first title. Most of my minor complaints about the first title, such as the jump motion, were addressed in the second version. Not only does this version have smooth motion, but they added a clever backpack jet propulsion system to the mix. You don’t need to play the original Red Matter to play this version, but you will find that there are enough similarities to make this version go a bit smoother if you are familiar with the original.
The graphics in this game are exceptional. The sound effects and soundtrack add texture and ambiance. Every room, tunnel, or spaceship you enter shows attention to detail. You’ll spend a lot of time just looking around.
This is the first game that I’ve played where I didn’t have to go online to find the answer to a puzzle. That’s not to say that the puzzles were all easy. My personal way of approaching puzzles is that I’ll make three attempts. If I can’t figure out a way forward after three separate attempts, I’ll search for an answer online. There were perhaps three puzzles that I didn’t solve until the third attempt.
There are a couple of scenarios that require you to battle defense drones and laser weapons. The developers found the perfect balance of first-person shooter elements and puzzle-solving. There were a few scenes where there was an endless supply of drone attackers, but they provided a solution to that problem.
Two puzzles required maneuverable drones. It took me a while to figure out what I was supposed to do, but once I figured it out, it was pure fun completing the task.
I have just a few minor complaints. I would have liked a save game feature. The game provides autosaves after the completion of each level. It appears that it only saves the last level completed. I didn’t see a way to go back to an earlier level. On at least three different occasions I didn’t nail the landing after a short jetpack flight. This caused me to enter a space below the playing level with no way to recover. The only solution was to quit and load the last save. My total time to complete the game was 32 hours, with maybe a quarter of that time spent on the three puzzles that had me stumped.
Don’t hesitate to get this game. It was up for the best VR game of 2022. It would have gotten my vote had I played it last year. I’m looking forward to the next game from this company.