It’s a good time of year to be a Bethesda fan. The game publisher is in the midst of releasing DOOM and Skyrim on PlayStation VR and Nintendo Switch.
Skyrim VR is the closest you’re going to get to putting yourself inside the very helmet of the Dovahkiin. Never before have you been able to get so up close and personal with the world of Skyrim.
As the embodiment of the Dovahkiin, you have the chance to wander all around the land as if you were playing it through for the first time on your dusty, archaic PS3. You can select to walk normally or telelport through the world, so it’s worth having a play to see which you feel most comfortable with. Teleporting is simple; point where you want to go, and you’re there within about a five-metre radius. It’s also handy to quickly jump away from a bandit who’s been swinging his iron warhammer too close to your head. If you’re using Move controllers (which you should be) you can also use your left and right hands to independently control your in-game appendages. You can wield an elven shield in your left hand and a destruction spell in your right and feel like the most powerful person in your apartment complex. Make sure you jump into the world map and skill tree at your earliest convenience, too. Now all we need is a built-in smell sensor so we can finally find out what Parthurnaax (and the Greybeards) smells like…
We got the chance to go hands on with a presumably early build of DOOM VFR at QuakeCon in 2016, and boy was it a lot of fun. This was back before anyone had even considered the possibility of how awesome third-party titles (especially pre-existing IP) could perform on PS VR.
For starters, DOOM VFR (we’ll let you work out what the ‘F’ stands for) uses the same teleport mechanic as Skyrim, altering the speed of the game so it’s not necessarily slower, but a bit more disjointed. The best part about DOOM in virtual reality is the sheer scale of it all. Things like the Martian demon Mancubus and Revenant aren’t fully realised in their scale in the current 2016 iteration of the game, so it’s refreshing (and frightening) to be able to see them looming in front of you in VR.
Another nice touch (from the QuakeCon demo anyway) was an almost trophy room where you can check out 3D renderings of DOOM’s demons in front of you like an interactive art display. It’s worth noting, too, that you can play using an AIM controller; a nice way to shake things up.
DOOM VFR, while it is a standalone release, is one that fits categorically into the rest of the franchise.
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