Games not designed with VR first have a tendency to be rather hit-or-miss, but the PSVR adaptation of DOOM 3 – the black sheep of the esteemed shooter franchise – is most definitely a hit. A shooter lives and dies by how the gunplay is, and DOOM 3 VR’s shooting is spectacular. While using the PSVR Aim Controller is definitely the superior experience, using a regular DualShock 4 is a surprisingly competent alternative. This holds true both in the actual controls, and in regards to tracking. Despite trying multiple setups, with multiple controllers, we didn’t run into a single tracking hiccup, which as PSVR gamers know, is a rarity. While the DualShock is better suited to seated play, the Aim is great for standing, even if some of the buttons that you need to use regularly are very awkward to reach.
Less successful is comfort while playing. DOOM is, of course, renowned for being a fast-paced franchise, and as such, the game is able to induce nausea easily. Even coming from someone who is almost never susceptible to motion sickness in VR, we highly recommend you leave some of the comfort settings on.
DOOM 3 VR is also able to breathe new life into one of the game’s more divisive facets: the horror. While jump scares are constant, and as annoying as ever, the VR succeeds in placing you on Mars in a way DOOM 3 has never previously been able to accomplish. This means all of the ambient audio, the lighting, the abrupt discomfiting silence – everything contributes to the creepiness of the experience to an unprecedented level. It provides an opportunity to appreciate all of the things that DOOM 3 did well all those years ago, without having to carry the baggage of defining the series moving forward. And it’s better for it. Just don’t expect much of a visual upgrade, as thanks to the headset’s limitations, things more or less look the same as when the game first launched.