New Footage Shows ‘Red Matter 2’ Pushing the Limits of Quest 2 Graphics


In its announcement of Red Matter 2 earlier this year, developer Vertical Robot made the ambitious claim that it would deliver the “best graphics on mobile VR to date.” And now a new video shows the studio backing up its claim with some evidence.

While the Quest 2 library certainly has some great looking games, most have targeted a low-poly art style to match the headset’s limited processing power. Games aiming for a ‘realistic’ art style have a much harder time delivering the little details like lighting, reflections, shadows, and particles that add a sense of realism.

With the release on Red Matter 2 next month, targeting that challenging realistic art style, developer Vertical Robot aims to deliver the “best graphics on mobile VR to date,” and it looks like they might just pull it off. A new video released this week shows some of the visual details the studio has optimized to look great and still run well with Quest 2’s limited power budget.

As far as Quest 2 games go, we have to admit this is looking very impressive.

Most of the features shown in the video are taken for granted on console and PC games, especially in non-VR games which use a method of rendering that makes such visual details easier to run. But on Quest 2—which is powered by little more than a smartphone processor—it’s rare to see things like ray-traced reflections, volumetric lights, reflective transparency, and the like.

Red Matter 2 is set to launch on August 18th on Quest 2. It’s also coming to PC VR on the same day, and we’re curious to see how much further the graphics can be pushed with that extra PC power.

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  • NL_VR

    Looks great

  • Octogod

    Astonishing for mobile

  • Love the glass bottle shader work going on here. Nice little nod to Valve. It would be kind of funny if liquid containers became the Wilhelm Scream of VR.

  • Rosko

    I really enjoyed the first game.

  • Guest

    Anyone can pre-render the hell out of the graphics to get more realism, but the trade off is going to be less free roaming.

    • ViRGiN

      prerender what?

      • VrSLuT

        That Macintosh font is a big hint where all those textures were generated…

      • Trekkie

        I think he means is pre baked lighting. The limited texture memory for lightmaps will limit scene size. Can do very small good-looking scenes but not large open world levels.

        • ViRGiN

          so.. just like alyx? it’s a corridor shooter too, with very few open spaces, and even then they are open, but playable part is confined to small areas.

    • MeowMix

      Anyone can pre-render the hell out of the graphics to get more realism, but the trade off is going to be less free roaming.

      ala – Half Life Alyx

      Yes, go back and play Alyx, you’ll see they use a mix of real-time dynamic lighting/shadows and baked lighting/shadows. And it’s pretty much agreed that Alyx is a ‘Hallway Shooter’. That said, Alyx still looks great, is fun to play; thus I’m looking forward to Red Matter 2

  • Kenny Thompson

    If you think this will ship on Quest 2, I have ocean front property in Dakota to sell you real cheap.

  • Very cool! I can imagine how they did a few of them, but for the others… wow

  • Cless

    Awesome to hear its coming for PCVR too! Nowhere near as many compromises there :D

    • shadow9d9

      The biggest compromise of all…wires.

      • Cless

        Nah, not really. Depends highly on how shitty your setup is and the games you play, or activities you do in VR

  • It’s really impressive-looking. Haven’t played the first one yet as I haven’t decided whether to play through on PCVR or Quest, and this makes that decision harder

  • polysix

    I’ve got a quest 2… but am kinda getting tired of dull and unrealistic graphics in VR in general. It’s tiring after years of VR (I started with DK2 rift when everything was new and amazing… hey at least it was oled without god rays and good blacks ;) )… then had Vive, PSVR, Rift CV1 and now Quest 2…
    While i think it’s amazing how far we’ve come with the quest 2, self contained, slick interface, hand tracking and CHEAP price… I also feel that VR will forever be held back while we toy around with cheap/cartoony gfx… and sadly that’s all Quest 2 can offer in standalone mode.

    I’ve been into VR since the 90s and am building software for it (for when the hardware gets better) and I strongly believe VR will never ‘take off’ as more than a gimmick in the general consumer’s eyes until we get PROPER virtual “REALITY”.. that is, photorealistic graphics, perfect sound and great black levels, HDR, no god rays and super lightweight… it’s a lot to ask I know, but until the hardware arrives that can do this ‘standalone’ then we’re holding VR back… chasing a model like smart phones did to get a billion casual soccer moms in waaaay before it’s ready… only to be abandoned when the novelty wears off because restricted FOV, low res, Bulky HMDs and CARTOON or overly abstract GFX is not compelling enough… it’s a step back vs the best flat screen gfx (even though VR beats pancake gaming on immersion and empowerment). The problem right now even for super VR nuts like myself is it’s hard to suspend disbelief while facing crap gfx that look like a PS2.. even if we do have the ‘novelty’ of being IN that world.

    Gonna be another 5 years yet before we even start to get where we need to be… top quality UE5 level (UE6 by then) with full raytraced VR is when we can finally say VR has arrived… then we desperately need to sort out locomotion and traversal cos it’s another glaring issue that makes VR more of an occasional bit of fun instead of the true world changer it can be one day!

    • xyzs

      Don’t be too hopeful. 5 years ago, they were all claiming we would be enjoying 4K per eye graphics and highly immersive games by 2022. And here we are with Nintendo Wii content on our single lcd screen/fresnel lens vr hardware…

      VR will take off when Apple will enter the arena with an expensive flagship solution that will serve as proof of concept and direction to follow for the other companies.

    • Jonathan Winters III

      you’re a fan of the polysix synth?

    • Major T

      I agree with some of that. Some PCVR titles look outstanding when backed by AAA studios e.g. HLA, Lone Echo. What does pee me off is META’s insistance on making indie devs support Quest 1 throuigh app lab, whilst it was a good move to continue support for Q1 it has a masssive impact on the quality of the games being released.

    • kool

      I think they psvr2 will be the launch point for high end VR. They already have most of what your looking for and the gfx on everything they’ve shown so far is aaa.

  • Love how Indy dev teams are pushing the limits of mobile VR computing while Ubisoft can’t even get a full VR game out, fantastic XD

    • kool

      Ubisoft has 6 VR games out…

  • xyzs

    It’s nice to have good graphics but the ambiance in the first opus was so dead I didn’t enjoy it at all. I hope they improved that.

    • Manochang

      exactly. It was a bit of a slog.

  • Major T

    They guys are a bunch of wizards, most PCVR titles dont look this good!