DOOM VFR

DOOM is one of the most iconic franchises of all time and the latest installment may be the most impressive in its rich history. It was one of the biggest PSVR releases in 2017, but does it live up to the hype?  

Objective

DOOM VFR puts you in the shoes of a space marine who is searching for a way into Hell in order to defeat a cyberdemon.  Along the way, you will need to kill hoards of demons and collect various items and information to put together the pieces of portals that will lead you to your destination.  

Controls

DOOM allows the player to use the dual shock controller, move controller or aim controller.  All work slightly differently, but ultimately the best experience is based off personal preference.  Regardless, you will need to alter the default settings to open up the full potential of the controls.  Once you begin, go to settings, then controller then do two things.  1) check left stick movement (when using aim controller).  The default settings do not let you move in the same plane as your character, hence, your only mode of movement is teleportation.  This change will allow you to use the left toggle to move.  2)uncheck motion.  This will allow smooth rotation rather than the make you turn in only 30 degree turns.  Granted, if you get motion sickness you may not be able to withstand these controls, but if you don't get sick, this will allow you to have full control of your character and provide you with the most control to go on a demon killing rampage. Other than that, I think the controls are good.  The aim controller makes everything intuitive and I have very little to complain about in regard to controls. 

Gameplay

DOOM's gameplay is quite possibly the most fun I have experienced in PSVR.  It is so satisfying killing demons and telefragging them into bits.  The game is gory and bloody and provides you with a multitude of ways to cause destruction.  Unlike many of other first person shooters, DOOM never gets repetitive.  You will be begging for more enemies to show up so you can unleash your fury upon them.  

Tracking works very well and allows you full control to fight.  In many battles you will need to strafe while shooting and the controls work perfectly.  The graphics are fantastic and extremely detailed.  Just take a moment to look at your gun because it looks so real and has scuff marks, imperfections and wear on it.  I was extremely impressed with the attention to detail given on all enemies, accessories and environments.  Because the setting takes place in the future I knew the entire time that I was playing a video game, but it felt right and didn't prevent the immersion of VR.  

The campaign progresses in logical order and is pretty straightforward.  For all tasks, a diamond emblem hovers over either theh item you need to pick up or area in which you must travel to.  This prevents the player from walking around aimlessly and keeps you from feeling lost during gameplay.  The plot isn't very deep and pretty lacking.  But no one plays DOOM and expects a thick storyline, so I don't think this is a big deal.  Just don't expect a huge storyline when beginning. 

I want to go back to how enjoyable it is to play the game.  It is difficult to explain but it is so fun bashing heads and dominating the demons whether you are using the chaingun, plasma gun, grenades, pistol or shotgun.  There are a ton of guns with various upgrades available, power ups such as invincibility and quad damage.  My favorite power up is berserk, in which you forget the gun and just go full ham on the demons with your fist.  DOOM's gameplay will be something that sticks with you because it is so intense and so satisfying.  You are truly in for a treat playing this game. 

This game has five different difficulties.  Even on the medium difficulty it was quite challenging.  There are two specific areas I remember that were just very hard so on the harder difficulties it will be sure to challenge you.  This game isn't a walk in the park, but is fun enough to keep on testing your skills. 

There is so much I enjoy about this game and quite possibly my favorite aspect is the unlockable old DOOM maps.  During the DOOM VFR campaign there are little DOOM character dolls that are hidden in secret areas.  When you find these dolls it opens up old maps from the earlier DOOM games.  This adds an immense amount of replay value to this game, because you want to keep playing the campaign to find all these dolls because it is like having 2 games in one.  The DOOM VFR campaign is short (about 3 hours) so having replay value and extra levels is fantastic.  The old DOOM maps are pixelated environments with the same gameplay of DOOM VFR and the newer better resolution enemies.  It is really funny to see these futuristic enemies in these old school levels.  It is pretty obvious Bethesda is trying to appeal to our DOOM nostalgia, and it works perfectly.  

Improvements

As I mentioned above, DOOM VFR is only about 3 hours long.  This is pretty short and it is apparent that this is the type of game meant to play many times.  The addition of the extra DOOM levels, upgrades, level-specific objectives and 5 different difficulties helps alleviate this problem, but obviously the longer the campaign the better. 

The only other complaint I have is that the enemy encounter rate is way off.  Either you see no enemies whatsoever or you get ambushed by a ton of them.  There is little to no middle ground.  This makes it very predictive when you will see enemies and makes the gameplay flat when there are no enemies.  You don't have to be on your toes because you know no enemies will be present.  

Conclusion 

DOOM VFR will be on top of my must play list for all PSVR owners.  The gameplay is addicting and extremely fun.  The controls are good and provide multiple choices in terms of playable controllers.  There is a ton of replay value due to the unlockable levels, objectives, upgrades and just shear fun of demolishing the demons.  DOOM VFR exceeded my expectations and will be a game I will be playing for a long long time.  DOOM has always been about blood, gore and killing demons.  Throughout the years it has been nice to see that vision remain and DOOM VFR keeps true to its roots.  And because of that, we as a PSVR community get to reap the benefits.