As part of a Bethesda event, I played most of the company’s releases over the next few months (I even played Skyrim on Switch!), all of which you’ll be able to read about over the next couple of weeks. Despite enjoying them all, I have to say one in particular stole my heart, wouldn’t let it go, and scrunched it up until blood and chunks of heart gushed between clawed fingers. This game was Doom VFR, the Virtual Reality version of 2016’s Doom, and I think it could be the game I’ve been waiting for my entire life. Would I like to physically enter the world of Doom? HELL YES I WOULD RIP AND TEAR RIP AND TEAR
Our review of Doom 2016! We loved it!DOOM VFR Is Bethesda's Latest Trip Into The VR Space!
After a little mishap with the HTC Vive controllers I was ready to plunge into the world of Doom. First, controls. There’s shoot, throw grenade which you have to manually do by miming, change weapons, dodge in four directions, and teleport. Teleport is the main way of getting around, as well as doing something else that’s awesome that I’ll talk about shortly.
The most important part to realize about Doom VFR is that demons come from everywhere, meaning literally all around you. This is not an on-rails shooting gallery, it’s a proper Doom game and you have to treat it as such, moving constantly and being aware of attacks from all angles. It’s very difficult in that regard but it’s also incredible amounts of fun, and totally feels like Doom.
The other important thing you need to know, Doom fans, is this is an original Doom game. It’s not a port. You’ll revisit some areas from Doom 2016 but overall it’s an original game with an original story – you don’t even play the iconic “Doom Slayer” Marine. If you’re the level of fan like myself that needs to play every single Doom game, including the likes of Doom 64, Doom RPG 1 & 2, and Doom Resurrection, then I’m afraid you’ll need to have a VR kit in your Christmas stocking this year. I’ll say this once though: Doom VFR is worth it.
Set after the initial invasion by Hell (that just keeps happening, doesn’t it?), you play the last human survivor… except you’re not a survivor anymore. Your consciousness is transferred to a cybernetic robot suit and sent off to fight demons invading the UAC facility. Because the UAC are nice like that.
After a quick zip around the lab where I woke up, I headed up to the equipment area where I could get weapons and that lovely cybernetic combat suit, modelled on the iconic Doom Slayer armour. Then all hell broke loose, literally. Glancing backwards over my shoulder – something I absolutely really did in real life – I saw fireballs and explosives shooting back and forth in the corridor. What the, erm, heck was going on down there?
After teleporting to the doorway to get a closer look, it was here I discovered the two things that make Doom VFR a real, proper Doom game. The first is Demon In-Fighting, which has been a thing since Doom 1993, and that was exactly what was going on in the corridor – the demons, specifically Imps and Possessed Soldiers, were fighting each other. Awesome.
The second thing concerns that cool Teleport function I mentioned earlier. You know how in Doom 2016 you can Glory Kill an enemy after you weaken them, which nets you ammo, health and an awesome gory screenshot? The Doom VFR version is the Telefrag, which you can perform once you’ve weakened an enemy so they glow blue. Then just Teleport into them and they’ll explode in a shower of blood and gibs. Again: awesome.
I fought down a horde of Imps and Possessed using only the basic weapons available including Shotgun and Plasma Rifle, looking back and forth as they swarmed me from all sides, dodged fireballs and Telefragged as many as I could in order to get kudos among my peers (well, the nice PR lady watching me). Then several of the fat fire-shooting Mancubi started closing in and I thought my time was up… then I was transported to Hell. Properly this time, and towering over me was the epic image of the Icon of Sin from Doom II. Sadly I didn’t have a rocket launcher, or I would’ve shot at it.
I did, however, have a chaingun. Doom Chaingun is fun enough in straight boring first-person, but VR? Actually using it to charge up and mow down Cacodemons, Imps and Hell Knights? That’s the funnest thing ever. There was even a bit of platforming while I did so, and I was startled by a Baron of Hell leaping at me. Fortunately a bit of Plasma Rifle to the face did him in while jumping.
Eventually after being swarmed from all sides I made it through, killing everything in my path while exploring the bowels of Hell, and was promptly eviscerated by a Pinky Demon. As endings go, that works for me.
Doom VFR is out on December 1 and can be found on Steam, priced £19.99/$29.99.
If I could play one game for the rest of my life, it would be Doom VFR. I’ve been a die-hard fan of the Doom series for my entire PC gaming life (since the mid-90s) and have loved every single game in the franchise, but doing it all in VR could well be my ultimate fantasy. And now it’s about to come true… well, if someone would kindly send me a UTC Vive or PS VR. Bethesda? Feeling generous and want a probably-guaranteed 10/10 score? Hit me up and I’ll give you the address to send it to.
Seriously though, Doom VFR was immense amounts of fun, and if you do have a VR headset I suggest getting it. It’s a quite-literally killer app for VR, for sure. Oh, and the name ‘Doom VFR’? What’s the ‘F’ stand for? Well, it’s the same one that’s in BFG. No, not “friendly”… the other one. Definitely not “Force” either. It ends in “ing”. Oh, you’ve got it now? Good.
Doom: Virtual F***ing Reality will be out December 1.
Most Anticipated Feature
Getting to play Doom in VR? As soon as it happens my existence will be complete and I’ll vanish in a puff of logic the second I’d finished playing.