Doom VFR, Id Software’s made-for-VR Doom franchise game, is launching soon on PSVR and HTC Vive via Steam. PSVR users better dust off their PS Aim controllers from the last time they played Farpoint (2017) though, because Doom VFR is putting its iconic guns in your own two hands.
Bethesda, Id Software’s parent company, confirmed with us that the game will support DualShock, PS Move, and PS Aim at a special Sony event yesterday, and gave Road to VR executive editor Ben Lang a chance to go hands-on with the PS Aim integration. Lang says that the newfound ease in two-handed shooting was a clear highlight.
Compared to playing Doom VFR with motion controllers, I quite preferred the feel of the PS Aim controller which brings more intuitive aiming and makes wielding some of the game’s massive two-handed weapons, like the Plasma Rifle, feel far more natural. Holding a weapon like the Plasma Rifle in a single hand hand (with Move controllers) just feels wrong from an immersion standpoint since (in VR) it lacks the mass implied by its form.
Although Lang calls its game engine “well suited from a performance standpoint for Doom’s classic speedy gameplay,” there are a few niggling bits that may take some time to get used to when moving around the virtual hellscape with Aim.
In my time with the game I felt like the supremely awkward control scheme on the PS Aim controller—which equally blends buttons, sticks, head aiming, and controller aiming—prevented me from feeling in tune with the fluid gameplay pace that the developers are trying to build. Sure, more time with the game would make me more capable with the controls, but there’s an immersion penalty for unintuitive interactions in VR, and it felt like a total overhaul of the user interaction design would greatly benefit the game.
To its credit, according to Lang, Doom VFR “looks absolutely gorgeous on PlayStation VR, easily qualifying as one of the system’s best looking titles.”
We first saw Doom VFR at E3 2016 where it was featured alongside Bethesda’s other big release heading to headsets soon, Fallout 4 VR (Skyrim VR was announced a year later). Doom VFR represents Bethesda’s/id’s first made-for-VR title which doesn’t retroactively support VR headsets. The story is a unique addition to Doom (2016) that lets you play as a cybernetic survivor who is activated by the UAC to fight the demon invasion, maintain order, and prevent catastrophic failure at the Mars facility.
Doom VFR is launching December 1st, and we’ll be bringing you our review then, so set your calendars for what promises to be the hottest winter on record.
Update (11/01/17): It was originally stated in a previous version of this article that ‘Doom VFR’ was heading to Rift. While the Steam version will likely include preliminary access to Rift-owners thanks to SteamVR, the listing makes no such claim.