When the Oculus Rift made its debut appearance in 2012, the crudely held together headset demoed by John Carmack was playing a version of Doom 3. At the time, what’s now become a familiar sensation for many was something out of straight sci-fi – strap on the goggles and boom, you were “inside” Doom, albeit a blurry version of it, blasting imps and other hellspawn. It was nuts.
Last night, Bethesda announced that, in some capacity, it’ll be making that a reality by bringing DOOM to VR. Few details were made, with no screens or footage of the game shown. It’s not even known at this point if the company plans to port the existing 2016 game over, create some version of it exclusively for VR or do something else entirely, like making “a themed experience” rather than a game (which could easily miss the point).
It’s also up in the air over whether or not a VR edition will come to consoles. With Sony holding off on talking about the Neo and the Xbox’s Scorpio hardware only just announced, it’s too early to get too much in the way of support news.
DOOM 2016 is a resource monster on high-end PCs capable of making the game run at over 100 frames per second, 40-plus frames over the standard of 60. So the more powerful consoles could in theory be worked to their brand-new cores to get it running as well in extremely horsepower-intensive virtual reality.
But there are few better games I can think of than DOOM to make me want to use VR – the speed and the intensity of it could really translate into something special, particularly if Bethesda was able to integrate some kind of motion-based controls in the game as well a perfect example of a game-y game to illustrate just how immersive and insane VR can really be.
Whatever “DOOM content” Bethesda cooking up is probably early on in development. It played second fiddle to the bigger announcement that Fallout 4 would be coming to VR in its entirety next year – potential console support also left unsaid for now. Only HTC Vive support was mentioned between these two titles, though as of this writing, Bethesda more or less confirmed that at least Fallout 4 would indeed be coming to VR on the new Xbox Scorpio.
DOOM and Fallout will both be at Bethesda’s booth on the E3 show floor; while the latter will probably be close to what the game’s final state in VR is next year, DOOM could end up being anything whenever its VR mode happens. Still, blowing away demons in virtual hell in any format sounds like a great use of the technology. Let’s hope what’s at E3 isn’t just a one-off.