Welcome to the New Shacknews

You're currently viewing the beginning of a full site renovation for Shacknews.com. You might find something working oddly. If you do, let us know! More exciting new features to follow.

Doom VR Impressions: Teleport Strafing Behind the Back Like a Boss

Finally, players can realize their dream and become the beloved Doomguy!

8

QuakeCon 2016 is full of amazing games and demos, but Doom VR has wowed me in a similar fashion to the game's 2016 release.

Doom VR is a playable demo at QuakeCon 2016 that is not a mere port of this year's smash hit game. id Software built this demo from the ground up with the HTC Vive Virtual Reality Head Mounted Display in mind. The result is an outstanding proof of concept that showcases just how great a shooter can be in virtual reality.

One of my favorite aspects of the HTC Vive are the controllers. Doom VR addresses locomotion in virtual reality by using a teleport function that is tied to the left trigger. This is similar to Valve's The Lab and countless other VR titles. When the player holds on the trigger, the game environment slows down into a bullet time effect, teleporting the player when the trigger is let go. This lends to really fun gameplay that lets you plan your next steps as the demonic onslaught begins.

The demo begins in a white laboratory setting with 3 tables featuring various holograms. Players can manipulate the holograms to look at them from various angles. This room is really meant to teach players the new gameplay mechanics in VR. After a few more moments I heard that iconic sentence, "Demonic presence at unsafe levels. Lockdown in effect." It was time to slay some demons.

The first combat environment is a hallway with 3 dead ends. Some imps appear and it is time to get to business. Players can move around the demo space, but teleportation became my go to method of locomotion as things began to escalate. More enemies start coming at you from all directions. Firing your weapon is as simple as pointing and shooting with the right controller and players can easily switch weapons by pressing the right touchpad. It felt amazing to finally wield the plasma rifle as I lit up the first few waves of damned souls. Two mancubuses appeared on either side of me and I started having to hustle.

Within a few minutes of playing this game I was no look teleporting behind myself and left and right like a boss. The gameplay transitions with remarkable fluidity between the slowed down bullet time and traditional breakneck speed. The demo faded to black before I could kill the second mancubus.

The second combat environment was a return to hell. I have never been so delighted to go to hell and it was especially great to be there in virtual reality. Once again, imps appeared but they brought some Berserker friends this time. It was intense having to dodge their bull rushes and fireballs, but I was able to do it for Shacknews with my newfound teleportation skills. After killing nearly every demon in sight, the demo faded to black one last time.

The final environment begins with the player surrounded by enemies. A voice advises you to "stay still" and a BFG round clears out everyone surrounding you. Coast was clear, or so I thought. A boss dropped down on the ceiling with four legs and a hunger for Doomguy flesh. I did my best to fight him off, shooting rockets, plasma rounds, and anything else I had. I was out of time and out of luck as the boss made his way close to me and the demo faded to black.

The Doom VR demo was one of the most exhilarating experiences in virtual reality I have ever had. I immediately asked the person running my demo when I could buy it. The future of VR shooters is not ports of games that already exist, but instead they will be re-imaginings of franchises built from the ground up with a different locomotion paradigm. id Software is off to an amazing start and I look forward to seeing a full fledge VR title from them in the future.

Asif Khan is the CEO and majority shareholder of Shacknews. He began his career in video game journalism as a freelancer in 2001 for Tendobox.com. Asif is a CPA and was formerly an investment adviser representative. After much success in his own personal investments, he retired from his day job in financial services and is currently focused on new private investments. His favorite PC game of all time is Duke Nukem 3D, and he is an unapologetic fan of most things Nintendo. Asif first frequented the Shack when it was sCary's Shugashack to find all things Quake. When he is not immersed in investments or gaming he is a purveyor of fine electronic music. Asif also has an irrational love of Cleveland sports.

From The Chatty

  • reply
    August 5, 2016 12:45 PM

    Asif Khan posted a new article, Doom VR Impressions: Teleport Strafing Behind the Back Like a Boss

    • reply
      August 5, 2016 12:48 PM

      Soooo...no eta?

    • reply
      August 5, 2016 3:26 PM

      That gif is great

    • reply
      August 5, 2016 3:28 PM

      That sounds rad!

    • reply
      August 5, 2016 3:29 PM

      It's interesting that teleporting seems to be the only way to allow movement without inducing motion sickness. Hope they figure that stuff out.

      • reply
        August 5, 2016 3:37 PM

        Yeah, teleporting seems like a good half step.

      • reply
        August 5, 2016 3:38 PM

        Onward has a traditional movement scheme (walking/running forward and backward) that apparently doesn't make people motion sick.

      • reply
        August 5, 2016 4:38 PM

        Movement will be constrained by the sensors visible area and tethering until they figure out a better way. Teleportation is a great solution for locomotion that causes little to no nausea until then.

      • reply
        August 6, 2016 12:39 AM

        For me WalkAbout is one of the more exciting methods, however it lends itself more to calmer games than Doom.

        The core of it is that it allows the player to manipulate the orientation of the playspace which regardless of movement is actually a really nice feature.

        https://youtu.be/pW6nlLV88Zk

        There's a free game-jam game with an implementation of it called Cosmic Wandering:
        https://punchey.itch.io/cosmic-wandering
        It doesn't appear to use the playspace grid but it does keep the dust for turn direction recommendations.

        World Rotator is similar but engages automatically upon nearing a boundary which is a neat idea.

        Bunch of methods demoed:
        https://youtu.be/p0YxzgQG2-E

      • reply
        August 6, 2016 1:07 AM

        It's not.

      • reply
        August 9, 2016 9:39 AM

        I´ve played games like Windlands where you basically push forward to walk and then you go in the direction your head is pointing (minus a little bit of momentum in from the direction you were heading before turning). That works fairly well. But I´d say that is for 'advanced' VR users. But if you just throw a person into VR with normal WASD or controller controls.... it will make a lot of people sick. I've played a lot of VR and I've started to get a little bit tougher. I can handle most games with no issue, but I tried VR Quake which is just the normal game with a VR headset. I could only take that for about 20 minutes before I really started to feel it. Then my stomach wasn't quite right for about an hour. I think the real issue comes when you look around with the mouse or controller and at the same time move your head to look around. That will mess most people up. You can have the toughest stomach in the world... that might still make you a bit green.

        I hope the teleportation method isn't the only solution... I'm very curious what developers come up with in the future.

    • reply
      August 5, 2016 3:31 PM

      by any chance, was the teleporting done like it is in Raw Data, where you 'slide' quickly from A to B, or, is it instant like most games do?

    • rms
      reply
      August 6, 2016 9:15 AM

      "I have never been so delighted to go to hell and it was especially great to be there in virtual reality" great stuff, and a fun article!