prefers his meatsack intact
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.