Rez Infinite VR for Daydream review: Psychedelic techno bliss

Have you ever played a game that just stuck with you? Perhaps you only had a limited time with it, yet years later you still occasionally find yourself daydreaming about it.

For me, that game is Rez. Originally released for the PlayStation 2 and Sega Dreamcast way back in 2002, it was and is still the most unique game I've ever played — a mash-up between a rail-shooter and a music game set in a trippy cyberspace world.

I remember first experiencing the Rez demo on a disc that came with a PlayStation magazine and it blew my mind, but I could never track down a full copy of the game and I wasn't about to overpay for a used copy off of eBay.

This is by far the best VR experience I've had with my Google Daydream!

Then I learned Rez Infinite VR had been released for Google Daydream and realized my life is complete. Hyperbole aside, this is by far the best VR experience I've had with my Google Daydream. While I had a blast playing this game on a CRT TV in my parents' basement 15 years ago, this game is so perfectly suited for VR I can't handle it.

The gameplay in this game is just unreal. You use the Daydream controller to aim your targeting icon, pressing the touchpad to lock onto targets and releasing to fire. Everything is kept to the beat, so it's like you're controlling the music with every enemy you shoot down. As you progress through the different areas in each level, everything intensifies. The music gets louder and more intense, the visuals get brighter and more explosive with colors, and the enemies arrive in larger numbers and faster. It's brilliant and just sucks you right in.

Rez Infinte VR includes the original game recreated for VR, along with time attack modes and other quick-play options when you beat the core game. There's also a new mode, Area X, which ditches the rail-shooting aspect and lets you freely roam around the environment. I haven't spent a ton of time playing this mode, but it's definitely fun to cruise around the Rez universe on your own — in VR no less!

The problem is that it's really hard to describe this game in words to someone who's never heard of or played it before. You can show them playthroughs of the HD remake from 2008 or compare it to that trippy Star Gate scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey. But until they've experienced the game for themselves, it's still too abstract to fully comprehend or appreciate.

That's why I love watching the reaction when I introduce Rez Infinite VR to friends. While you can't see exactly what they're seeing, you see the smile spread across their face and their head start bobbing along to the infectious beat. Yes, this game has still got it going on in 2018, and is perfectly suited for virtual reality.

There is a narrative underpinning the game here that deals with the world of hacking and some heavy-handed metaphors about technology and life, birth and death, and other philisophical musings. It's there for astute gamers to dwell upon... but really the main draw here is the crazy visuals and catchy music. Just like the original stuck with me for all these years, this game leaves an impression on anyone who plays it.

Rez Infinite VR is available as a free trial in the Google Play Store, but you should absolutely unlock the full game for $10. It's well worth it and a great title to show off your Daydream headset to friends and family.

Download: Rez Infinite VR ($9.99)

Marc Lagace

Marc Lagace was an Apps and Games Editor at Android Central between 2016 and 2020. You can reach out to him on Twitter [@spacelagace.