DOOM is not a stop and pop shooter. In last year’s franchise reboot, developer id Software transformed the kinetic nature of the original games into a game mechanic, with Glory Kills forcing you to get up close and personal with your demonic adversaries in order to recover ammunition and health. It was a genius system, forcing you to sprint around its combat bowls.
With the PlayStation VR adaptation DOOM VFR, publisher Bethesda’s been presented with a problem, then: how can the game maintain the original’s sense of speed without prompting you to chunder all over your expensive coffee table? The solution is teleportation, but while it doesn’t work in all games, it makes sense here.
The story, as we understand it, runs concurrently with the main game. You don’t play as Doomguy, but instead a scientist who’s in the same facility. You also die within the first 30 seconds of starting the game, and revive yourself as some kind of artificial intelligence. This means that you’re able to – you guessed it – teleport around the environment. Narrative justification!
The controls with the PlayStation Move (the PlayStation VR Aim Controller will also be supported) are complicated, but essentially you’re able to aim your weapons and throw grenades with motion controls, while the various face buttons allow you to dash and turn in increments. Holding down the big Move button brings up your teleportation line, and that’s all you really need to know.
So the combat is as grisly as you’d expect, but it’s defined by one key feature: you can teleport into enemies in order to finish them off. This is genius because, while we’ve always found teleportation fiddly in combat scenarios, it keeps you on the move; there’s a rhythm to the game where you shoot an enemy, teleport into them to complete the kill, and then repeat the process.
The end result is a clever PlayStation VR game that constantly keeps you on the move without ever really threatening motion sickness. Now the controls are, as mentioned, far too complicated and we only really got to fight against one ground-based enemy type, so it’ll be interesting to see how it deals with Cacodemons and other aerial threats. But it’s a promising start for a well thought out adaptation.
Does destroying demons in DOOM VFR sound like your idea of an exciting evening in? Devastate the demonic threat in the comments section below.