Doom VFR makes its way to PlayStation VR
Bethesda didn’t have to do a lot to make Doom VFR a good Doom game. First-person shooters are a natural fit for the PlayStation VR, but so far there aren’t that many. Games as fast and visceral as Doom, are virtually non-existent—until now.
Sporting some sweet looking visuals, a rock‘in soundtrack, and a budget price tag, let’s take a look and see if Doom VFR deserves a place in your PlayStation VR library.
Platform: PlayStation VR (PS4)
Developer: id Software
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Genre: First-person shooter
ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)
Stop the onslaught of demons
Doom really isn’t known for its storyline, and Doom VFR won’t be either. It’s pretty bare bones, you play as a scientist. After dying during an invasion on Mars where the monsters of Hell are unleashed, you come back as a form of artificial intelligence who can inhabit robots. You embark upon a quest to get rid of the monsters and put the station back into functional order.
I did find the concept of switching between robotic bodies to be interesting, but sadly enough it was never really explored more throughout the game. After all, the main focus of Doom games is to crack skulls and take out evil demonic demons. After a strangely necessary tutorial, you get dropped into Doom’s world and long time fans of the franchise will feel right at home.
You can expect to complete the game’s story in about three to five hours, which in my opinion is the perfect length. I usually game for about an hour to an hour and a half on the PlayStation VR at any one given time. So, I was able to complete the game in about two to three gaming sessions.
Two methods of travel and three different control schemes
Before Doom VFR launched, every video showed teleportation as the only method of movement. I was shocked and pleasantly surprised when I got my hands on the game to find out that I can play Doom VFR just like every other first-person shooter. I can sit on my couch and play with full locomotion and smooth turning.
You have the choice between three different control schemes when playing Doom VFR. You can play with the DualShock 4 and use your head to aim, use PlayStation Move Motion Controllers like pistols, or use the PlayStation VR Aim Controller to take down any enemy that gets in your way.
Personally, I found the DualShock 4 to be the best option for control in this game. It seemed the most comfortable and the most accurate way to play. You use the left stick to move while the d-pad dashes and the right stick looks. Head movement also works for looking and is far more natural. I found that head tracking for aiming is far more accurate than using a stick.
Even when using full locomotion and smooth turning, teleportation is still part of the gameplay. You will use teleportation to easily access higher ground and to telefrag your enemies. This can be done when an enemy becomes staggered, you’ll be able to teleport inside of them and blow them up. Although it might not be as brutal as the Glory Kill, watching chunks of demons go flying from a successful telefrag is totally worth it.
While the majority of the game is centred around taking out the baddies, there is also a small part of the game where you will be completing puzzles. It’s nothing too complex and it helps break up the gameplay.
A beautifully immersive experience
Everything that has made Doom great over the years has made its way into Doom VFR. The environments and enemies are all suitably updated to look absolutely stunning on the PlayStation VR with a PlayStation 4 Pro. Playing with a stock PlayStation 4 still looks great, although not as sharp and crisp.
I loved the fact that id Software went with a colourful art direction in Doom VFR. It is such a stark contrast to the drab greys and browns that most first-person shooters adopt. You can even unlock the original Doom levels in all their glory. All the scenery, pick-ups, doors and even explosive barrels are straight from the original 1993 game. If you have been a long time fan of the series, you’ll go bonkers when you see this on your PlayStation VR, it’s totally awesome!
Doom’s music does what it needs to do, and that is get your adrenaline pumping. It’s a perfect mixture of metal and dubstep that really sets the mood for the game. There is nothing quite like having a horde of demons coming at you and then the soundtrack kicks into high gear and your blood starts pumping. Kudos to id Software for absolutely nailing the music.
Running around Hell and blasting satanic creatures has never been so much fun. Doom VFR is one of my favourite games on the PlayStation VR. It’s totally over the top and is almost everything I could ever hoped and wished for in a Virtual Reality Doom game.
Upgradeable health, weapons, and even a time slowing mechanic all add to the depth of Doom VFR’s gameplay. Add to that some hidden collectables that unlock some retro Doom levels, and it’s clear to see that id Software set out to design a VR experience unlike no other.
+ Visually impressive and immersive
+ Gives you the full Doom experience without any corners being cut
+ Bonus items and extras to unlock
– No multiplayer content
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5