When we first reviewed Red Matter on PSVR, we said this:
“Red Matter is nothing short of a textbook example of how to do VR adventure games right. It emphasizes design and experience, putting immersion front and center, making a bullet-proof case for why it needs to be seen and played in VR. Short length and some troublesome puzzles betray its winning streak to some degree, but don’t change the fact that this is one sci-fi story you shouldn’t miss out on.”
Normally, when a game makes its way to Oculus Quest, we’ll find what we loved about the original version holds up but visuals/performance have taken a hit. That’s really not the case here; as we’ve reported already, developer Vertical Robot has done an outstanding job retaining the game’s graphics on Quest.
Red Matter might not have been the most visually distinctive game on any of its previous release platforms but simply holding its own on Quest is an impressive feat unto itself. Crisp textures stay true to even the PC VR version, but special mention has to go to the game’s lighting effects. Whenever you use the game’s laser-pointed scanner, lights will realistically bounce off of any nearby surface. In some rooms, window lighting convincingly melts onto the floor and then moves with you around the room.
Again, on a PC these are things you take for granted, but in terms of Quest ports these kind of features are a step ahead.
Elsewhere, this remains the same compelling adventure it did on other platforms. Red Matter is a first-person puzzle game in which you’re sent to an abandoned facility in the midst of a sci-fi-era Cold War. The planet you arrive on is barren and lifeless. Over the course of an hour or so, you trek through the sprawling complex, solving logic-based puzzles and finding out more about what happened. From a gameplay perspective it’s often tight and focused, but what makes the game stand out is its commitment to immersion.
From the measured space hop movement to the way your virtual hands replicate your real ones grabbing the Touch controllers, Red Matter has VR rooted in its very core. Every interaction carries expected heft and Vertical Robot does well to avoid anything that could ruin the authenticity.
Some of the more trying puzzles remain and, yes, it’s still a little too much on the short side, but Red Matter remains a great choice no matter what platform you’re on. That said, the Quest version is especially easy to recommend thanks to the presentation. Vertical Robot deserves a pat on the back; we can’t wait to see what it does next.