Review – Doom 3 VR

I played Doom 3 for the first time back in 2019, and while I did enjoy it quite a lot, especially considering the quality of its Switch port, it always felt like there was something missing to make it stand out. Its focus on horror and cramped environments, something completely different than literally every single other Doom game released before and since, stood out in a mixed way. I guess Bethesda have found the way to make Doom 3‘s overall design even better without having to change almost anything from its gameplay and maps: turn it into a VR experience. Doom 3 VR is a stroke of genius and possibly the best way to play this beloved classic of a game.

Doom 3 VR Super Turbo Turkey

Playing a game while you game in VR. The future is now, kids.

This is exactly the same Doom 3 originally released in 2004, as well as its expansions. If you’ve played the original PC release or any of its many ports and remasters, you’ll feel right at home. The guns are the same, the maps are the same, the story is the same (to the point that the cutscenes are still there, presented in a cinema-screen perspective that feels off-putting). The only things that are actually different in this version are the gameplay and the overall perspective, and they make one hell of a difference.

Doom 3 VR AIM

Doom 3 VR works brilliantly with the AIM controller.

Doom 3 VR feels a lot more immersive as a result. Considering how the game wants to feel immersive and unsettling, turning it into a VR experience was the right decision. The cramped and nightmarish maps feel a lot scarier in VR and the usage of the flashlight to make the pitch-black environments barely visible adds an extra layer of immersion. Each Imp jump scare feels earned, for instance. Even the complete lack of music and reliance on ambient noises are better suited for a VR game, although Doom 3 VR suffers from the fact its voice clips and sound effects sound way too compressed with 3D audio earphones.

You thought the Imps were already annoying enough on the non-VR version? Oh boy…

If you decide to buy this game, make sure you either have or you’re looking to get a PS AIM controller. Controlling the game with the standard PS Move controllers isn’t bad, but the AIM allows for faster movement, a much simpler controller layout, and dual sticks, with the right one freely moving the camera around without being forced to turn in set angles. Surprisingly enough, I did not feel sick while playing the game, even though I was moving the camera around and running like a scared badger trying not to be squashed by a Hell Knight. Not to mention that playing a first-person shooter with a rifle-shaped controller automatically makes things a lot cooler by default. The more immersion, the merrier.

Me + rifle + PS AIM + zombies to kill = happiness.

Honestly, there’s little else that needs to be said about Doom 3 VR. It’s the same game that has been released a decade and a half ago, but playable in a brand new way, with a brand new perspective, and it just works. The visuals look crisp, especially for an old game, the controls are extremely fluid, the framerate is solid, and being thrown into an abandoned  virtual reality space station with nothing but a big fat rifle and your real-life aiming skills will never feel boring. This might be one of the last games released for the PSVR before Sony replaces it with its PlayStation 5 counterpart, but I’m really glad it’s going out with a bang like this one.


Graphics: 7.5

The darker setting is perfect in VR and the framerate is excellent, but this is still a remastered take on a game that, despite being way ahead of its time back in the day, it still shows signs of age. The tons of cinematic cutscenes aren’t presented in VR, by the way.

Gameplay: 9.0

The translation from 2004 FPS to VR horror shooter was a godsend. The more limited amount of action and reliance on horror and lighting are a better fit in VR. Not to mention how amazing it feels to play this game with the AIM controller.

Sound: 7.0

Doom 3‘s overall lack of soundtrack and reliance on ambient noises works better in VR. Sadly, the voice acting sounds a bit too compressed with 3D audio.

Fun Factor: 8.0

Doom 3 VR takes the maps, story, and combat from the original Doom 3 and adds a brand new layer of immersion that makes the experience even better than the 2004 classic.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Doom 3 VR is available now on PSVR.

Reviewed on PSVR.

A copy of Doom 3 VR was provided by the publisher.