Doom VFR

prefers his meat­sack in­tact

Hyper - - CONTENTS - David Willd­goose

Doom VFR is Doom with vir­tual re­al­ity sup­port, specif­i­cally on PC with HTC Vive and on PS4 with PSVR. But it’s not, as you might be for­given for think­ing, a tweaked ver­sion of 2016’s Doom ported over with a few VR bells and whis­tles. It’s ac­tu­ally a brand new game.

You don’t even play as Doom Guy this time around. (That’s his name, isn’t it?) You play in­stead as Doom Sci­ence Guy, a lab­coat from the BFG re­search project who dies un­der mys­te­ri­ous-but­gib­tas­tic cir­cum­stances and finds his con­scious­ness con­ve­niently up­loaded to the fa­cil­ity’s com­puter sys­tem. So you’re an AI sci­en­tist in a VR game, which is pos­si­bly the nerdi­est thing ever.

It’s still all about shoot­ing demons in the most spec­tac­u­larly grue­some man­ner imag­in­able, though. As an ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence you’re able to hack into var­i­ous droids, machines and even good old Doom Guy’s space ma­rine suit, and as a re­sult you still have ac­cess to the wide range of shot­guns and plasma ri­fles you’d ex­pect to find in a Doom game.

What’s re­ally dif­fer­ent here is the way you move around. Like a lot of first-per­son VR games, Doom VFR uses a tele­port sys­tem to get you from A to B. Hold­ing the left trig­ger slows time and lets you place a tele­por­ta­tion marker where you’re aim­ing; re­leas­ing it in­stantly zaps you to that lo­ca­tion in a fash­ion highly rem­i­nis­cent of Bethesda sta­ble­mate Dis­hon­ored’s blink abil­ity. We’re not sure of the re­stric­tions placed on tele­port­ing - i.e. how far or high or of­ten you can do it - but what we’ve seen sug­gests the idea is to en­sure you can use it when­ever or how­ever you want to. It’ll be in­ter­est­ing to see how a game se­ries built on a foun­da­tion of straf­ing to dodge en­emy fire can sup­port a com­pletely dif­fer­ent move­ment sys­tem. Early in­di­ca­tions are that it re­tains the fast-paced feel, if not the same mode of travel.

We do like how VFR adapts the “glory kill” melee ex­e­cu­tion moves from Doom 2016 by let­ting you tele­port lit­er­ally in­side of a stag­gered en­emy. Only one of you sur­vives this close en­counter with their meat­sack in­tact. We also ap­pre­ci­ate how this echoes the long-for­got­ten FPS con­cept of tele­frag­ging.

Away from the all the killing, there are qui­eter non-com­bat in­ter­ludes. Tak­ing ad­van­tage of your sci­en­tific prow­ess, and the ir­re­sistible “Doomba” pun, you can take con­trol of a lit­tle cleaner ro­bot who can not only squeeze into nooks and cran­nies (i.e. ven­ti­la­tion shafts) but also en­gage in some light puz­zle solv­ing. There’s even a hack­ing minigame for those who play a Doom game for the world sim­u­la­tion.

At thirty bucks, we think it’s wise to ex­pect a solid chunk of game, but not a full Doom cam­paign.

Doom Sci­ence Guy can still go toe-to-toe with the worst demons from space hell.

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