DOOM VFR Review (PSVR)
Gibs in VR. It's kind of beautiful
*Review was played completely with PS VR Aim controller. All opinions and impressions given are based squarely on its use and not on any other control scheme*
DOOM VFR is a first person shooter virtual reality version of DOOM and is developed by id software and published by Bethesda Softworks.
Doom and virtual reality. These two thing's are concepts that you'd never dream you would have back in the day of putting your DOOM floppy's into your computer or popping a Doom cartridge or disc into your gaming console. But that's all changed here and now,however,is it something we always wanted and never got? or is it something that shouldn't of been made in the first place?
If you've played the story campaign of the recent console release of DOOM on Switch,PS4,PC,XB1,then please do not expect to be playing the same story you got in that game. Instead you're treated to an actual new story, a brand new campaign that is completely stand alone from its console brother release. It offers a fresh new experience for anyone that's a fan of the series.
In DOOM VFR you have a campaign mode that offers new levels that span over the course of a 6 hour long storyline. With the 6 hour long storyline,that mean's that DOOM VFR is one of the longest PSVR experiences that a consumer will get to experience currently on the market. But with the game being 6 hours long,it is best to play it in an hour or two spurts so you can reduce the overall chance of motion sickness.
Of course while you do have a 6 hour campaign story, don't expect anything too in depth to come from it. It starts off with promise,but ultimately leads next to nowhere and honestly really shouldn't even be in the game in the first place. But hey beggers cant be choosers.
As mentioned in the disclaimer at the beginning of the review, I played this game with the Playstation VR Aim controller exclusively. All my impressions are based off the use of this controller and this controller only. To me it felt the most natural way to play the game and this is in part due to Far Point being such an immersive experience for the first person shooter genre on PSVR. That game really set the bar for FPS.
With the PSVR Aim controller you're able to move in various different ways. Some of which I'm fond of and other's I had a hard time getting used to or flat out didn't like. The means you have to move around the world are with Teleportation,side stepping and free movement controls. I will try to explain these a little in detail without going over board.
Teleportation in this game requires you to aim your controller in a specific direction you wish to move and then use a green marker indicator to show where you wish to go. Confirming your direction will send you in a jolt and immediately send you flying to that designated area. This is extremely useful for wanting to move to specific points a lot faster and also is mandatory to use on stunned enemies if you wish to get an instant brutal kill on them. When it works it can feel greatly satisfying.
Side stepping can used by people who enjoy what we call ''Strafing''. Everyone knows this term, but what I used to remember it from was the good ol days of Team Fortress Classic. Using side stepping to move quicker or at an angle that still gives you a forward momentum. Side stepping in this game can be used to achieve that same effect,however, it will have to be used in conjunction with your camera switches for it to be effective. Other wise it's only good for dodging attacks and projectiles only.
Free movement is the form of movement I prefer to use in game. This is the same style of movement that is used in Far Point. You move around with the middle joystick which moves you around the world as if you were walking yourself. The turning of your head along with your weapon will also let you be able to move in any direction you want as well. If you want the most out of your experience,this is the best bet of any of the play styles available.
All the movements I named above are thing's you are taught just in the games tutorial mode. It can seem like a lot to grasp early on but you'll find yourself catching on pretty quick. But then you finally enter the games campaign mode and your entire perspective changes,which makes you have to re-think everything you thought you just learned previously in the tutorial. Oops!
All enemies in the campaign that you come across behave in the exact same way that you experienced in the regular console version of DOOM. They have the same attacks and same movements and come at you from every direction. Using free movement control you will have to aim your gun with the aim controller and fire at enemies in front of you,but you will also have to manage your side stepping + switching your 180 degree camera angles at all times to avoid getting hit from the side or behind.
Combining running,aiming,camera angle switch and stepping along while also looking around naturally with the VR headset, can give you the feeling of, ''Holy shit, I'm really part of the DOOM universe'' and it will get you both immersed or scare shitless. This sounds great and all and this an actual great feeling to have, but it also has its cons and might not be an experience for everyone to be had.
Doing so many things at once and using so many movements with teleporting to brutally kill a stunned enemy to running and spinning your character around will give a lot of people a feeling of extreme dizziness or nausea,not everyone,but a lot maybe. I was affected this way at first by doing all the the things mentioned above. It initially got me sick to my stomach or disoriented, but after about an hour of playing in between a few minutes of breaks to gather myself here and there. I found myself not getting sick anymore and being fully immersed into what I was doing, so this seems to be a person to person problem it would seem and hell it might not even effect anyone reading this,but it was worth mentioning.
Once you are passed the sickness stage, its time to raise hell and this game offers everything you got from the other console releases,but from your own perspective. Enemies come at you from all directions and you must shoot,run,kill your heart out to survive. Shoot demons in the face with your rifles or shot guns or dash at them with hide speed teleportation to kick and stomp them into a pile of a bloody mess.
For a Playstation VR game,the game holds up relatively well. While not up to its main console brotherens level(obviously) it still keeps a hold of the gritty and dark looking level design from the original, that still keeps your mind set to that specific universe and world. Sure there noticeable jaggy textures or pop ins here and there,but nothing that truly took me out of the experience and nothing that ever stopped me from thinking I wasn't part of the games world.
My experience with DOOM VFR was a surprisingly good experience. I use the word surprisingly because there are not many game's that can use the PSVR Aim controller comfortably and effectively and maintain a good game on top of it all. DOOM VFR manages to do this,but also manages to do it with some mishaps like texture problems,non interesting story or motion sickness.
But while there can be issues with motion sickness,at times awkward feeling controls before you get used to it,some jaggy or spotty graphics here and there and much to be desired story line, overall, DOOM VFR offers a solid FPS experience, but not only that, it also offers a fantastic new way to play DOOM in the virtual reality realm.
If you go into this game wanting to just be apart of the DOOM universe and kill anything that walks,then you will be extremely satisfied with this purchase and I highly recommend picking this one up.
*Review code provided by Bethesda Softworks