Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Cyberpunk 2077 in VR

Posted by Rampant Coyote on September 21, 2022

As a long-time fan of the dice-and-paper RPG for Cyberpunk, designed by Mike Pondsmith, I was absolutely thrilled to learn that CD Projekt Red was tacking that game universe. That was back in 2013 or something when they did this absolutely amazing concept video.

They nailed the “feel” of the game world… which of course borrowed liberally from genre stories by authors like William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Walter Jon Williams, and George Alec Effinger. When the game finally released, I enjoyed it a great deal. While the consoles struggled and nobody denies that the game was released a bit earlier than “when it’s ready,” after a couple of emergency patches it was a pretty good experience. Meaning I no longer got trapped in an uncompletable quest or forced to restart when a “relic malfunction” would never quit. I guess I’m not one who thinks seeing a character go into a t-pose makes a game unplayable, but some people out there are more demanding than me.

The game world was pretty ridiculously detailed and fun to explore. That’s how I like it. No, I’d never want to live in the horrible dystopian nightmare of a setting, but it’s fun to play and explore. It makes for good drama.

Anyway… it turns out Luke Ross has made a mod for the game that makes it work in VR. There’s also a free one by VorpX, but the Luke Ross one is ten times better. Seriously. Or at least it is as of this weekend. Before that, my particular combination of headset and video card were not recognized by the mod. And now?

Well, let’s just say that those with a low tolerance for glitchiness need not apply. You also should not be afraid to tinker with your PCVR, and you should have at least a moderate tolerance for VR. If you are prone to VR sickness (like I was when I first started), this is NOT the experience for you.

It’s far from perfect. Got it? Okay.

Beyond that… holy crap, it’s an amazing experience. Just walking along the streets of Night City, taking in all the incredible detail they jammed into this game, is incredible. This is the crap that was in my imagination back in the early 90s, tossing dice with my friends. Yeah, it was way cool in pancake mode when I first played it, but being there in VR is something else.

Gameplay-wise, it seems fully playable from start to finish, but there are clearly some rough spots. Since the game was never intended for VR, a lot of things just don’t translate well. Melee combat is weird. When you shoot, it feels like you are holding your gun on your lips, and pointing your nose at whatever you want to shoot. Ironically, the Braindance sequences–the high-end Virtual Reality of the Cyberpunk 2077 world–are one of theĀ  most uncomfortable parts to play in VR. I found myself closing my eyes a few times to avoid getting sick.

I really hope CD Projekt Red does a sequel to this game, and builds in native VR support. It’s unlikely… we VR fans are still a niche audience.

If you are interested, the mod is available to patreon members for Luke Ross. Fortunately, his VR mod works for several other games as well, and he’s constantly adding new ones. YMMV, as usual.

R.E.A.L. VR Mods by Luke Ross

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