The Doom series is known for its busy modding scene, so it's appropriate that a Doommod may have just shown us the way to get big budget first-person shooters to work on virtual reality headsets. Using the graphically enhanced "BFG" version of 2004'sDoom 3, the mod from "Codes4Fun" skillfully ports to game to the HTC Vive, generally making it look as though it was designed for the platform all along.
Swedish YouTuber SweViver recently posted a video showing off his first spin with it, and so much of it flies in the face of what's normally considered the "best" way to make a first-person virtual reality game. Gone, for instance, is the need to move around by "teleporting" to spots, which disappointed me during my time with Bethesda's virtual reality version of Fallout 4 at this year's E3.
Instead, SweViver walks and runs about naturally using only the Vive controller's touchpad, and he says multiple times that the "perfect" 90 frames per second keeps him from suffering motion sickness. Beyond that, the video shows him jumping and using the mod's impressive hand-tracking to handle his gun and flashlight separately as they float before him in place of the controllers in his hands. At one point, he even whips out virtual fists that let him pummel things with the controllers' left and right triggers.
"This is probably the first AAA game that actually works on the Vive," he says, and watching him, I can't help but think his demo shows that virtual reality still has plenty of life and promise to it despite this year's disappointments. It's astounding to see how well it works, and it's likely what Oculus had in mind when they announced Doom 3 as a bundled game during the 2012 Kickstarter for the Rift. We've seen other great ports before, as in the case of 2002's Metroid Prime for Dolphin VR, but Doom 3's fluid weapon handling, interactivity, and general creepiness put it in a different class entirely.
If you want to try it out for yourself, a Redditor named AerowynX put together a handy page explaining the relatively painless process. You'll even find a couple of graphics enhancement mods. On the off-chance that the thread disappears, here's a direct link to the Github download site.