After releasing a virtual reality mod for Grand Theft Auto V last year, developer Luke Ross is back with a similar project for its wild west cousin, Red Dead Redemption 2.
“Red Dead Redemption 2 is much more advanced than Grand Theft Auto V from a technical point of view,” Ross explained on his Patreon. “The graphics APIs it supports (Vulkan and DX12) are similarly more complex than DX11, on which Grand Theft Auto V was based. I had to create a whole new framework for VR injection; basically everything I had built for the Grand Theft Auto V mod was now useless and needed rewriting from scratch.”
As detailed by Virtual Reality Oasis in the video above, this mod provides a more immersive viewpoint of the action but without the independent, per-hand controls you’d expect in a game created natively for virtual reality. So, you can look around the world, rendered in extremely believable 3D, just by moving your head, but you’ll still have to control your character with a basic, Xbox-style gamepad. It’s the same compromise you always have to make when adding VR features to formerly 2D-only games.
That said, it still seems like an impressive piece of engineering. Since Ross had to completely scrap the technology they’d created for their Grand Theft Auto V VR conversion, it took them a whole year to get this new mod ready for its initial release.
If you follow VR gaming, you know that VR absolutely gobbles up graphical horsepower, so when you take a game like Red Dead Redemption 2 that still has fairly cutting-edge graphics, you can imagine that the GPU requirements for running it smoothly in VR are anything but trivial. Indeed, Virtual Reality Oasis tested it on a top-of-the-line RTX 3090 yet still reported significant judder and hitching. You can see it yourself in the footage: RDR2 in VR makes even an RTX 3090 beg for relief.
Ross has made this mod available to his Patreon subscribers as an early-access bonus for their support. It should be compatible with all major headsets via Oculus and SteamVR. If you like what you see, maybe consider sending a few bucks his way and trying it out yourself. Better have a strong GPU, though!