Over the past few years, we’ve received several VR titles from Bethesda. From Skyrim VR to Doom VFR and Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot, Bethesda has shown that they believe in VR. And even if that just means reselling their older games, I’ve always looked forward to what they have to share in the VR scene. As their large range of titles can be experienced in a new way with Virtual Reality. But it still came as a shock when Doom 3 was announced at the start of March. And now after a few short weeks, we have it in our hands; so, is Doom 3: VR Edition any good?
Doom 3: VR Edition brings the classic game from 2004 and adds a new perspective to it with VR. This specific version of Doom 3 is a remaster of the original, as it adds updated textures, visual effects, and sound effects to the game! These improvements are nice, but it’s not at the point where it feels like a brand new game. This version still maintains the classic feel of the original. Which is something I’m a fan of, as I love these type of visuals, but if you’re looking for something more realistic, or are hoping for a more drastic change to the game, then that could be a drawback for you.
Before getting further into the details of the game, I must mention that I’m far from a Doom expert. I know little about the series, and this is my first real experience with any of the Doom games. But from what I’ve heard, Doom 3 is quite different than the other Doom games, as it focuses more on horror and has a greater focus on the story.
And to briefly touch upon the story, it’s nothing special. It follows a similar plot as games such as Half-Life—you’re having an ordinary day in some sort of station, something goes wrong, you shoot some bad guys, and figure out how to escape or stop the problem—so it’s nothing too special and is really just there to set up the gameplay.
As for the gameplay, it mainly consists of running, gunning, and the occasional puzzle-solving. While it takes some time to get going, Doom 3 turns into an exciting fast-paced shooting game. You’ll spend most of the game making your way through a station on mars, as you collect new weapons, open new routes, and find things such as clips, health stations, armor, or files that add to the plot of the game. The fast-paced shooting is broken up by the occasional puzzle or by having to backtrack, which honestly killed the excitement. I completely understand the need to break up the gameplay from getting repetitive, but these moments could’ve been done better.
The game supports both the aim controller and the DualShock 4. The DualShock 4 works just fine, but I much prefer the aim controller, it’s a must for this game and works extremely well!
Now as for the horror aspects of the game I mentioned earlier, Doom 3 has a lot of jump scares, monsters and demons, and dark areas in the game. I found that after playing for a while, you get used to how they try to scare you; if you’re not into horror games, I wouldn’t necessarily stay away from Doom 3. While it has some creepy aspects, I found the game to be exciting and scary in a fun way throughout the game.
Doom 3: VR Edition contains the full game, as well as the two DLC expansions that released after the original game. So overall there’s a solid 10-20 hours of content in the game, depending on how fast you play and if you’re into the collectibles.
Before I share some of my issues with the game, I have to say that most of my issues I’m about to say and have said already can be said about all versions of Doom 3; so I’ll discuss issues relating to the VR version after I talk about the general issues with Doom 3 as a game.
My first issue with Doom 3 is that the difficulties feel unbalanced. I played the game on the normal mode, but I’ve been able to blast through the campaign with one gun and have only died a handful of times. Which leads into my next issue, as I feel the guns are unbalanced. I used the same weapon throughout most of the campaign, which is the shotgun, and that was only the second weapon in the game. Each time I received a new weapon to use, they all felt varied in their usefulness, instead of a gradual progression in power. I must be honest when I say that I haven’t fully completed the campaign, but unless things change in the last few moments of the game, both the difficulty and weapon progression feel off. I also have to say that I would’ve liked more variety in the environments, as I felt too much of the game was inside of similar looking rooms or hallways.
As for my issues relating to this VR version of Doom 3, I’ll start by saying that some of the graphics and scaling felt strange to me at first. Though this was only noticeable for me during the slower moments of the game, every time I got back into the fast-paced shooting, I never really thought about it. Another issue is that the game suddenly pauses for loading screens and save points, which aren’t a big issue, but it would’ve been nice if they could remove the loading screens, and have the game save in the background. If I were to get into some of the other issues with this version, I would really have to start nitpicking and tearing apart every inch of the game. Most of the issues with Doom 3 and this version really weren’t apparent for me while playing.
So overall, Doom 3 VR Edition is a great game! Whether you’ve played Doom 3 before, or have never tried it like me, this game is a blast to play in VR. It has a few issues here and there, but overall the exciting gameplay and fun moments make this a lot of fun when playing with an aim controller. And when coupled with the cheap price tag, I would highly recommend this version of Doom 3 to anyone looking for a fun VR shooter!