I never thought I’d be one of those people who’d prefer virtual reality over the real world. But then I played Rez Infinite.
The long-awaited PlayStation VR headset came out last week, carrying with Sony’s hopes of enticing PS4 owners into taking yet another pricey hardware plunge. The aspirational sales pitch for PSVR is a bit counterintuitive. Only one person can wear PlayStation VR at a time and the new headset doesn’t deliver a showpiece experience you can share. It seals you into a closed-off world; the uniqueness of the delivery system is an anti-social one. You can’t gather friends around PSVR to collectively ooh and ahh over how much more shiny things are.
However, that sense of isolation works to Rez Infinite’s advantage. Rez Infinite is the latest mutation of a 15-year-old video game classic, a beloved opus reinvented as a virtual reality game. The slight narrative premise of Rez casts players as an elite hacker journeying into cyberspace to confront the newly self-aware AI in charge of a future society. You’re supposed to feel alone, and the act of wearing the headset heightens that.