Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

I finally play Doom in VR… twenty years later than I expected.

Posted by Rampant Coyote on December 7, 2017

Early attempts at consumer VR came out in the mid 1990s. We tried a couple of them at the game studio where I worked. I expected the Virtual Reality revolution to happen “any year now.” My dream was to be able to play Doom in VR. Of course, at the time, I had no idea how susceptible to motion sickness I was, or how it was going to be such a problem with VR. I just imagined playing a fully immersive Doom.  Especially on a laptop, on the bus, where I could freak people out. But it’s the bus. The drunks and ladies having loud arguments with both Satan and Jesus  did plenty of freaking people out, so I imagined I’d be pretty low-key on the bizarre scale.

Yep. Any year now…

“Any year now” turned into about 20 years. But now there is finally a Doom VR, called “Doom VFR“. I finally got a chance to play it a little… and they’ve taken pains to make it playable by poor guys like me who aren’t so great with VR sickness. It’s not something I’m playing on the bus, but it’s been years since I took the Provo-Salt Lake “express” late at night, and I’m willing to give up on that part of the dream.

I haven’t been able to play it very long. I keep accidentally dashing when I mean to teleport, and that can make me a little queasy after a while.  Having played the 2016 Doom, what I played was pretty familiar. 2016’s Doom is not classic Doom. It’s fun, it’s gruesome, and it’s action packed, so while it doesn’t scratch quite the same itch for me, it’s a good game. The VR version seems to be about as removed from the new Doom as far as gameplay is concerned as the new Doom is from the classic, even though the assets seem to have been cut & pasted in.

But yeah. It’s Doom, but not really.

EXCEPT…. apparently, once you beat the game, you unlock a couple of bonus levels. The bonus levels are reproductions of two levels from the original shareware version of Doom. HELLO! I have a goal now.

My biggest concern is motion sickness. Doom VFR doesn’t allow (as far as I can tell) manual save games… it’s all checkpoint based. If the checkpoints are more than 10 or 15 minutes apart, I may never beat it. I try to quit VR when I start getting “the sweats,” and they started hitting around 15 minutes in. Maybe once I master the locomotion that will be less of an issue, but I doubt it. Side-stepping / circle-straffing is still a big deal in Doom VFR, and given my smallish play area, the sideways dash capability is going to get some use. That means flirting with VR sickness for me.

But hey…. regardless, I’m checking this one off my “to do” list for life.


Filed Under: Retro, Virtual Reality - Comments: Read the First Comment

  • Modran said,

    I really like the time we live in. Plenty of scary things, but a real load of cool ones !