DOOM VFR Review

I should begin by clarifying that DOOM VFR is not a VR version of the latest DOOM game, but another game entirely that was specifically designed for VR. The basics of the premise are the same, a mining colony on Mars has been overrun by demons after it accidentally opens a portal to hell. In this case you're not a marine, but are instead a UAC employee who almost meets his demise at the hands of a demon. You get hooked up to some sort of Avatar-style VR setup that allows you to remotely pilot a power suit and off you go into the UAC facility to close down the latest open portal to hell.

DOOM VFR screenshot 5

There are three ways to control the game, on one end of the spectrum it's easier to control movement and on the other it's easier to control your weapon. You can play with a DualShock controller, which gives you the movement options of teleporting or directional dashes with the D-pad. Teleporting involves holding a button which makes a light arc appear on the screen from you to the destination spot. Once you've moved the destination spot where you want it, you release the trigger and you teleport to the spot. It's a little disconcerting, especially at first, but it works well enough to get you around when demons aren't surrounding you. Teleportation is also used to perform Glory Kills - soften up a demon with weapon fire until it becomes dazed and a faint glow appears around it and you can instant kill it by turning it into a shower of gibs by teleporting right through it.

The next method of control is using PlayStation Move controllers. These give you a more realistic feel with weapons, but you're stuck using teleportation as your only method of movement. I found it difficult to fight a number of demons in close quarters with teleportation as my only movement option. To keep you from getting completely trapped by demons, the game gives you a pushback power that will knock all surrounding enemies back and give you a window to teleport out of the crowd. This felt more like a workaround for the issue than a genuinely new and useful power added to your skillset.

Lastly, the game supports the Aim Controller. This gives you the most intuitive feel for handling a weapon, but the virtual hands you'll see won't match what your hands are doing. The Aim Controller is a two-handed weapon but that's not the case with the weapons in the game so you'll have to get used to that visual disconnect while playing.

DOOM VFR screenshot 3

Seeing the environments in DOOM in 3D VR is phenomenal, and there's an increased level of tension that comes from your complete immersion in DOOM's world that you just don't get when playing the non-VR version. What the VR version fails to deliver, though, is that lightning fast shooter gameplay that's the series' hallmark. The teleports and quick dodge moves break the fluidity of movement in the game and the fast-paced run-and-gun style of play suffers for it.

I found DOOM VFR to be more of a novelty than top-tier shooter experience and if you were hoping for a true FPS experience in VR, then you'll probably be disappointed. The movement is awkward enough that you're always aware of it and so it detracts from the action. It will probably be more appealing to those who have played DOOM before as it will fully immerse you in world that you're familiar with, but even in that case you'll probably wish that you could move without thinking about it while shooting demons.

Final Rating: 66% - It's hard to be immersed in DOOM VFR when you're fighting the controls as much as the demons.

 



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