Finally Played Red Matter VR

As it was clear Grounded was going to take a lot more of my time, I took a break to play and finish Red Matter VR. I bought it and the sequel not long ago and I’ve thought about playing them for awhile. From what I saw in trailers, it seemed to lean heavy on science based hand interactions which peaked my interest.

It was only the fact that it dropped as a time exclusive for Oculus that I ignored it for so long. The high praise the sequel received put it back on my radar, especially once they were both available on Steam. Although the graphics are a bit dated, the VR interactions are top tier.

The Red Matter Story

Red Matter VR space man in red suit through large window

The story of Red Matter VR revolves around a dystopian sci-fi future where the Cold War reaches space and other planets. As Agent Epsilon, an astronaut spy of the Atlantic Union (like space NATO), I was tasked with infiltrating a Volgravian (space Russians) moon base near a faraway planet.

My agent’s mission was to uncover what secret research the base held. As I went along, I learned more about the former staff. Sasha was their quantum physicist. Stas worked as the engineer. Olga was the communications officer. Irina worked as the biologist and Nikolai was the security officer, as well as head of the base.

The story unfolded via audio logs, photos, videos and confidential files. Everything was in the Volgravian language, requiring me to use a mobile translation tool. It was actually fun to unravel the language with Red Matter VR interactions to learn more about the base, the research and base staff.

Upon discovering a red mold (Red Matter), the research team experimented with its properties. After I came in contact with it, I started to see things like cosmonaut looking spacemen with red faces. Sometimes it appeared I was transported somewhere else.

In the end, some of the staff betrayed the others to continue work on a teleportation device based on the Red Matter technology. When I collected all the required Red Matter VR data, I ran into some betrayal of my own. Turns out all the things I saw were not to be trusted after all and ended in a great setup for the sequel.

Great Red Matter VR Interactions

Red Matter tools to interact with the environment

Although the Sci Fi story is interesting, the science based VR interactions are the star of this show. On each hand, there’s a multi tool. When in claw mode, they serve as the main interaction to grab and push things. The scanner downloads data, scans objects and translates Volgarian text. There’s also a flashlight mode, but that I maybe used once.

Smooth locomotion is happily in the game, but I really like the Jetpack teleport mechanic. Instead of blinking to a spot I pointed at, the jetpack activated and glided me to the spot. It’s an immersive and vertigo safe way to move to other locations. Some puzzles required using the jetpack, but I’m glad for the mix of smooth versus teleport.

The claw tools turn simple interactions from non VR games into immersive fun. Things like redirecting power, lever pulling, button presses, pushing and pulling items, all are fun and not monotonous in Red Matter VR. Other VR games do this as well, but I like the space and science spin.

So Much Gameplay Just to Restart a Reactor

One of the greatest examples was working on restarting the reactor. I had to scan various documents to learn the correct order, then press buttons, turn dials and pull levers. There was even a bit where I had to assemble a circuit using various types of capacitors.

I validated the circuits using one machine so that I could use the correct circuits to power a lift. My major in college was Physics, so all this lab work really appealed to me. When I completed all that science work to uncover the truth, I couldn’t wait to play more.

I jumped right into Red Matter 2, but that’s a conversation for another time. For now, I highly suggest playing Red Matter for anyone that has not already.

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