Red Matter was always one of the most impressive titles that I played on the original Quest, with the slick visuals and excellent storytelling making for a memorable sci-fi experience. Naturally then, expectations were high for Red Matter 2, which doesn’t only continue the story from the original game but also looks to better the experience with fancier visuals and fresh gameplay mechanics.
It manages to succeed on every level too, with Red Matter 2 offering an engrossing adventure that manages to exceed the high standards of the original game.
Check out some screenshots down below:
In the interest of keeping things spoiler-free for those who might not have played the first game yet (what are you waiting for?), I’ll be keeping story details to a minimum here. Just know that Red Matter 2 takes place directly after the events of the first game, with the research into the titular red matter as well as the receiving of a distress signal from a presumed-dead friend providing the crux for the tale. The most significant events from the previous game are recapped when you begin, so you’ll have a nice reminder to keep you up to speed on the events taking place.
Much like the original game, the storytelling is one of the highlights of Red Matter 2. Not only does it offer an intriguing mystery that you’ll be eager to get to the bottom of, but there are also plenty of little twists and turns that’ll keep players guessing until the end. The sci-fi setup gives the developer plenty of freedom with their storytelling and it’s embraced fruitfully to ensure the narrative remains enjoyable and mysterious.
“This is without a doubt one of the best-looking games you will play on the Quest 2, with the rich detail of the world, the creative sci-fi designs, and the atmospheric sense of presence simply feeling unrivalled on the platform.”
It’s all complemented by clever gameplay mechanics that blend together exploration and puzzle-solving in a variety of neat ways. A lot of your actions are tied to the special claw-like devices you’ll use with each hand, with each offering a variety of tools that’ll help you progress through the game. Whilst some of their functions are simple to understand (such as scanning objects or providing light), there are also more complex functions they provide that tie into some of the game’s more intricate puzzles. They’re satisfying to use, whilst the fact that they actually look similar to the Quest 2 controllers gives a stronger sense of immersion to the experience.
I’ve got a lot of love for the puzzle design in Red Matter 2, with the game finding that nice balance of obtusity but without leaving the player stumped for too long. Nothing is ever too difficult to solve thanks to the breadcrumbs of clues left around, but there’s still a need for the player to investigate everything in their surrounding and carefully think things through if they’re going to progress. Of course, there are also more simpler puzzles that just require players to find specific items or mess around with levers and buttons, but nothing ever felt dull or like it outstayed it’s welcome. And sure, it could also be argued that the game could do with better sign posting to point the player in the right direction at times, but for the most part everything feels cleverly designed and fair.
You’ll also find yourself in instances of combat in the game, though these are the weakest elements of the experience and do feel a little tacked on. It’s not that the showdowns with foes are bad in any way, but rather that they felt a bit bland and brought a change of pace that felt out of place. Encounters just felt a little bit unimaginative, and whilst it’s nice to do something a little bit different in the game, there’s a definitive disparity between the quality of the action and the puzzle-solving.
Check out some screenshots down below:
One thing I will give a shout out to is the greater sense of freedom offered by the jetpack this time around. Whilst the jetpack was in the original game, the player has more control of it now and it allows them to really explore their surroundings. It even lends itself to some neat platforming sections in-game, and whilst they’re mostly simple enough to get through, it always good to fly around. Personally, I would have preferred if the jetpack had a bit more speed, but at least those who aren’t so comfortable in virtual reality will have an easy time using it.
Whilst the narrative delivers plenty of intrigue and the puzzling is satisfying and clever, it’s with the visuals that Red Matter 2 REALLY shines. This is without a doubt one of the best-looking games you will play on the Quest 2, with the rich detail of the world, the creative sci-fi designs, and the atmospheric sense of presence simply feeling unrivalled on the platform. I was always blown away by just how good the original game looked, but everything here looks even better. Believe me, some of the landscapes of space that you encounter in the game are simply jaw-dropping.
Red Matter 2 Review
Red Matter 2 is a gripping sci-fi experience that blends together satisfying puzzling and beautiful visuals into one mighty fun package. I was constantly in awe of the sights I saw in the game, the puzzles were head-scratching without being frustrating, whilst the narrative kept me intrigued right until the very end. It betters the standard set by the original game in almost every way, with the experience a more varied and meatier one overall.
There were some areas where the game could falter a little, most notably with the combat and one particularly tedious stealth section, but there’s simply no denying that Red Matter 2 is another excellent virtual reality release from the team at Vertical Robot. Whilst I’d certainly recommend playing the original game first, this is a title that Quest 2 owners won’t want to miss out on.
Developer: Vertical Robot
Publisher: Vertical Robot
Platform(s): Meta Quest 2 (Reviewed), PC VR