Every time I would sit down to play Red Dead Redemption 2 (RDR2) I would wonder what it would be like to be seeing that world in VR. If you’ve spent just a few minutes in RDR2 then you know it can be a beauty to behold. A landscape that captivates and makes one forget about the game itself. I played it on an ultra-wide 49” monitor that made the colors pop but... it begged to be explored in VR.
Now, thanks to Luke Ross and his R.E.A.L. VR mod we can do just that. Luke is known for his GTA VR mod, so he is not new to modding or to VR. This is my first time banging around with his tech and I have to say it has delivered.
I was never expecting to see the graphics that I was used to with my Titan RTX-driven monitor, but I was surprised at how good things looked through my second-generation Samsung Odyssey in Windows Mixed Reality and the original Oculus Rift. An Xbox game controller is required so you can leave the VR controllers out of the way and start the game directly.
I love that part. All I had to do was launch the game (from Epic in my case) and the mod did its thing eventually opening another window on the desktop and linking to either headset with no problems. I was unable to test the old HTC Vive as it is still out of commission with Windows 10 refusing to recognize it.
Being a mod, its installation is not automatic but it's far from difficult. To get it you have to become a supporter of his Patreon account for R.E.A.L. VR mods as a VR friend. It’s $10 per month and according to his Patreon page:
As a "VR friend", you will support my work, and you will get immediate access to all my early development prototypes (including my new RDR2 VR mod).
You will also have dedicated assistance for mod installation, usage and in general any problems you might encounter, and you will be able to steer the direction in which my future work is going by making your voice heard in comments and polls.
Support for development
Early access to my new VR mods
The actual installation for me was copy and paste to the game directory and set the folder permissions needed with the right-click menu from the root folder icon. That was it.
I started it up waiting for the inevitable fight that some VR mods can be but was pleasantly surprised to see everything work with the opening shotgun blast blaring bright and clear in the headset. The first time… with the Odyssey the viewing area jumped down to the floor and I had to restart but it has never repeated that behavior since.
While my system will run in Ultra… I backed off a step and it seemed to stop the jittery, jumping around that sometimes shook the screen. If you are susceptible to motion sickness this could be bad.
And… speaking of motion sickness… it is a whopper for me with this title. I can do good for a while then something happens, the brain hiccups, and the queasiness hits. Bad enough to quit for the night and have to take it easy for a bit. Yes… that bad.
For those that don’t know already… I’m very susceptible to VR motion sickness. So much so that I hired out testing VR products for feedback. I’ll have to say at this point… I’m not giving up. I just have to be prepared for it and set the graphics to a stable level where things don’t jump around. I combat it with teleporting in other games. On the ground is rough for me. Horseback not so much as long as I keep my eye on the area of the path and not stray far from it.
As to the gameplay I did get to enjoy… it was immersive, entertaining, and just about everything I thought it would be. The only thing better at this point would be a real holodeck in the house.
It took a while for me to get used to the controller but once that was done this ole’ cowpoke had a blast. I went down into a mine, where I was stunned by the detail, the lighting, and the miners until my first VR sickness bought hit. That was it for the night.
The next time I was on horseback and looking at almost 90 degrees from the front when the screen jumped, and it set off that queasy feeling that got worse until I stopped playing. None of this has anything to with the mod but it is a consideration for a few people.
Big question… if you get VR sickness… is it worth trying? At $10 to get started… yes. I think it’s worth that much to see the landscape, the lighting, to go horseback in the rain on a cloudy day even if VR sickness eventually hits but that’s just me. You‘ll have to decide that for yourself.
Based on ease of installation and use I give this mod a big thumbs up and if you are not a VR sickness wimp like this author and you love RDR2… then… what are waiting on? Get over there and get mounted up. You got country to see and people to rob… err… help along the way.
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website.