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Have You Played… Rez Infinite?

Fear is the mind killer

Rez has been around for almost 20 years at this point, blending block-rockin' beats with on-rails shooting and 4 a.m. ketamine-trip visuals. It's gone through a few iterations over the years, with creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi edging closer and closer to realising the rhythm game's full potential with each new version released.

In 2015, Rez Infinite reframed the then 14 year old game as a VR experience. All of the original levels were there, as well as a new VR-only level called Area X. Finally, it seemed that Rez had reached its final form, with the reticule mapped to head movement and the world rendered in full 3D space. Stepping into Infinite genuinely feels like entering another world, and after an hour or so in the headset, you forget that you're playing a game at all. Rez was always supposed to be a hallucinatory experience, created to mimic synaesthesia and psychedelic trips. Obviously it's not quite on those levels, but there is something spooky in the way colours, space and music start to blend together while playing.

The really amazing thing about Rez Infinite is its new Area X stage. After hours locked into an on-rails view, you're suddenly free to fly around in the space around you. It's stomach-churning at first, but as the lights and music build you quickly sink into a kind of bliss, strange and exciting in equal measure. I genuinely got chills playing through this section, and the crescendo of giant neon figures and ambient soaring strings at the end brought me close to tears.

There's definitely something special about VR. It seems like magic sometimes, and can even make a game like Rez, which you may have been playing for 20 years, seem brand new and cutting edge.

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