When I think of DOOM, the words that instantly come to mind are heavy metal, violence, speed, and most importantly, demons. Now, we all know just how much fun slaughtering demons from Hell is, but how does that same experience stack up in virtual reality? Overall, very well, though it does have its fair share of problems.
DOOM VFR is not DOOM (2016) ported to the HTC Vive, instead it’s more like a condensed experience that leaves you wanting more. In DOOM VFR, you play as the last survivor on Mars after the demonic invasion that took place in DOOM (2016). Your mission is simple: restore the power to the UAC’s Martial research facility. Unfortunately, you have that pesky portal to Hell that opened up on the planet to deal with…
If you’ve had the chance to play any VR games, you’ll know that they typically aren’t very quick as they try to avoid making players feel sick. DOOM VFR is the first VR game I’ve ever played that doesn’t seem to care about motion sickness, which can either be great or awful, depending how sensitive you are to that kind of thing. DOOM VFR is about as close to DOOM (2016) as you are going to get. Of course, there are changes to the game that had to be made in order to accommodate VR - like removing glory kills - but the overall feel of DOOM VFR is spot on.
There are eight missions overall, each featuring a number of secrets and unique challenges. My playthrough lasted just over two hours, which seems reasonable, given the RRP of the game. Thankfully, there is very little filler in DOOM VFR and you’ll constantly find yourself on the move. I spent most of my playthrough using an Xbox One controller as it allowed me to react a lot faster compared to the Vive Controllers. As someone with a limited amount of space, I appreciated being able to play both standing and seated. There’s a Dash mechanic in DOOM VFR that allows you to make quick strafing movements, but this didn’t work particularly well on a standard controller as the dashes are assigned to the d-pad.
The Vive controllers in this game don’t feel as responsive as using a standard controller. When using Vive controllers, the gun position feels quite jarring. Unlike most VR games where the position of the weapon matches the Vive controller, DOOM VFR forces you to point the controller upwards when shooting straight forward. You also have the ability to dash using the left touchpad, however this mechanic is ruined because it focuses on the direction you are looking towards. Again, most VR games base this off of the controller orientation. There’s also no option to play DOOM VFR left handed, which is just baffling considering the amount of people that would’ve played this game before it launched. I know the number of left handed people out there is relatively low, but it’s hard to believe every single person involved in the development of this game was right handed. It’s clear that Bethesda have ignored all the progress made by other VR developers when they created DOOM VFR.
DOOM VFR VERDICT
DOOM VFR is one of the most action-packed games I’ve ever played using the HTC Vive. It’s a shame Bethesda ignored the huge amount of progress that has been made in VR development. DOOM VFR is a good game, but with a number of changes it could easily become a great game. Do not buy this game if you suffer from motion sickness as you simply won’t be able to play it for longer than five minutes at a time. However, if the locomotion issues don’t bother you, DOOM VFR is definitely worth picking up.
TOP GAME MOMENT
Teleporting around Cacodemons while blasting them with rockets.
One of the first VR games that doesn’t feel like it has any of the usual VR restrictions
If you suffer from motion sickness you probably won’t be able to play the game
Simple things have not been addressed, e.g. feedback in the Vive controllers when shooting weapons
A few bugs that caused the game to go blurry and crash now and again