Doom 3 VR is now only a few days away, and with the recent announcement of the next PSVR controller, we couldn’t help but wonder if the two might make the perfect match. Doom 3 VR has already been optimised for the current generation of PlayStation Move controllers, but it likely wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to imagine the port getting a slight retouch for the PS5 and the upcoming new headset.
Details on the new PSVR system are mostly pretty light. We do know that it will feature a higher resolution, a single-cord set up and most importantly, new PlayStation Move controllers. In a blog post on its website, Sony described the controllers as incorporating “some of the key features found in the DualSense wireless controller, along with a focus on great ergonomics.”
Sony followed the announcement up by providing even more details for the new PlayStation Move controller, along with images of how they might look. The new controller includes adaptive triggers, haptic feedback, finger touch detection and tracking. A list of features which not only looks impressive on paper, but will directly directly affect player immersion in games.
With only a few updates and changes to how the game plays, Doom 3 VR could definitely take advantage of these new features in some interesting and exciting ways. So let’s break it down.
Doom is a series all about guns. The games have always revelled in providing players with some big, powerful guns to slay hordes of demons with. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that other titles in the series have already translated to VR so well. And we can imagine Doom 3 VR will as well, given the excellent PC VR mods that already exist.
One of the biggest improvements in how Doom 3 VR could play on the PSVR 2 controllers is in how much the game feeds back to players. With the new haptic feedback feature, players can get a proper feeling for the guns they are firing. The likes of the Chaingun and BFG 9000 will no longer be static assets in the game, but your hands will feel the force of the weapons as they unload.
Haptic feedback doesn’t just extend to weapons. Any physical melee combat will now feel much more visceral, as the controller can more aptly feedback the sensation of physically touching something with your hand. It would work similarly for any elements of the environment that you may have to touch or pull, giving you feedback as you do so. Ultimately, the improved feedback of the PSVR2 controller will provide players with a great sense of presence in a gaming world.
Finger touch detection tracks the player's hand on the controllers, meaning players can make far more natural gestures within a gaming world. For Doom 3 VR, this would mean having a great range of control over guns. Creating new, more intricate gun models with moving parts would enable players to reload more realistically. An outstanding example of this is in how Half-Life Alyx lets players reload guns and cock the barrel.
Doom 3’s wide array of weapons would work great with this, and in VR the developer could create some truly interesting reload mechanics.
Doom 3’s infamous torch could take on a whole other life with the PSVR2 controller, as the devs could develop new gameplay elements. There are countless torches with interactive elements in games, such as winding up the battery or outright having to replace them.
Using the haptic feedback and finger tracking technology, players could have to keep track of the battery life. In the Doom 3: BFG update, the torch is no longer an equippable item. It instead sits on the player’s armour. Using the PSVR2 controller, players could detach the torch and physically replace batteries or have to shake it to return to power. If you’ve got a group of monsters chasing you down, having to quickly recharge your torch would be pretty intense.
Better yet, if players wanted to use the torch how it was intended in the original game, the new PSVR2 controller could provide a whole new way to interact with the tool. Incorporating those previously mentioned elements of battery maintenance, the torch could be an even more immersive way to light the world.
The haptic feedback and finger touch detection could make interaction with Doom 3’s world even more immersive. There’s plenty of switches and doors throughout the world, along with machinery throughout the world which can be manipulated. Those new features could make Doom 3 VR even more immersive that it is, by increasing player agency within the world and creating more meaningful interactions.
This is obviously pure speculation at this point, but the exciting features planned for the new PSVR2 controller could make games like Doom 3 VR even more immersive.
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