How Doom 3 VR's devs shaped its combat

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Doom 3 VR is out today on PSVR. Before you go diving in to take on the demons of hell head-first, let’s take a look at how the developers developed and optimised the game for PSVR. In a post on the official PlayStation Blog, Executive Producer Ken Thain goes into detail about how the game was ported for VR, including how weapons handle and how players can interact with the world. 

The VR port takes everything that you remember and love about Doom 3 and transfers it to a 3D environment. Yes, Doom 3 was always 3D, but this port adds depth to each environment, asset, gun and scary demon, creating a tangible and intense experience. 

Guns are especially important in Doom , and it would appear the team really focused on bringing the guns of Doom to life in PSVR. As Thain mentions in the blog “ In VR, your hands are usually the stars of the experience, but when it came to Doom 3, we knew the weapons would be the heroes of every single moment. “

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Every iconic weapon in Doom 3 has been redesigned with VR in mind. The team worked on visual design, how each gun handles, how each gun feels, the UI and even the sound that each gun makes. Therefore, ensuring Doom 3 VR isn’t just a simple port, but is instead a full VR experience from the ground up. This attention to detail is visible in all the prerelease footage the team has shown of the game to date.

In Doom 3, head and body movement was completely static, limited to whichever position you pointed the camera. In VR, your arms and head move irrespective of one another. This creates a lot more player agency in fights, giving you the opportunity to fight demons how you see fit. Between the impressive arsenal of weapons and your meaty fists, you should have all the tools and movement needed to kick demon butt. 

Alongside supporting the PlayStation Move Controller, Doom 3 VR also supports the PlayStation Aim controller. The gun shaped controller provides players with the feeling of holding and using the guns within the game, adding tangibility to the experience and helping suspend disbelief. Thain was passionate about adding Aim Controller support to the game: “Personally, using the Aim Controller quickly became my favorite way to dive into the demon free-for-all.”

Doom 3 VR also introduces a number of smaller touches and quality of life changes that make it much more enjoyable to play in VR. The player interface is no longer in the camera view, but is instead integrated directly into the weapons. This makes viewing your ammo count much easier, especially when you are surrounded by demons. 

All these changes are underpinned by general improvements across the board. Visuals have been upscaled to ensure they look up to scratch in VR, although we wouldn’t recommend that players raise their expectations too much, as this is still ultimately a 17-year-old game. It likely isn’t going to look as visually impressive as Doom VFR, which released 2017, but the updated visuals will certainly help. 

Doom 3 VR releases today on PSVR, so now is the perfect time to jump in. With the port now officially out, we can’t help but wonder what the next Doom related VR port might be? Doom Eternal has been a massive success for id Software, so maybe we might see a VR port of it on the PSVR2 when it releases? 

Read More: Want to play Doom 3 VR on other platforms? Check out these PC mods